The War Memorial - Harlestone's heroes

Around the time of the First World War the communities of Upper and Lower Harlestone were relatively small, isolated villages. Nevertheless many of the craftsmen, agricultural labourers, tradesmen and shop keepers signed up to fight for King and Country.

Sadly, a large number of those young men never returned to the rolling green countryside of Harlestone and remain forever in "some foreign field".

village war memorialJust 20 years after the treaty that ended the "war to end all wars" the world was plunged again into global conflict.

Once more the young, the fit and the able of Harlestone volunteered for active service. Once again many did not return.

The names of the dead are inscribed on the village war memorial, which stands in St Andrews churchyard. Harlestone lost twenty men in the First World War and six in the Second World War.

Most touching are the multiple losses from single families: Daniel, John and Joseph Cross; Charles, Frederick and Arthur Dunkley.

Every year, on the Sunday nearest to Armistice day, a remembrance service is held, and as part of that service the names of the dead are read out.

Regardless of role, rank, occupation or status the solemn and eternal pledge to the Fallen is therefore honoured: "their names live for ever more".

Three servicemen are buried in the churchyard

Three servicemen have graves in the churchyard, maintained to War Graves standard. Two died in the First World War and one in the Second. We are trying to find out more about these individuals, but in the meantime the following paragraphs summarise our knowledge and provide photographs of their grave stones.

Charles Dunkley
Charles was the son of Fred and Martha Dunkley, of 117 Upper Harlestone.

Born in 1890 Charles joined the Northamptonshire Regiment as a private and died from his wounds on 22 February 1916, aged just 27.

He is buried on the north side of St Andrews churchyard.

Link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission






Grave of John YorkJohn Walter York
John was the son of John York of Harlestone and Matilda Badson of Wellesbourne Warwick.

John was baptised in St Andrews church on 3 September 1882, and was a seargent in the Royal Field Artillery when he died on 13 July 1915.

He is buried on the north side of St Andrews churchyard.

Link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission






Grave of Clarence CopsonClarence Copson
Clarence was the son of Cecil and Louisa Copson. The family lived in Ten Cottages (we believe in number 83 but are unsure).

He was born on 20 October 1919, and was baptised at St Andrews 29 February 1920. He was a craftsman in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers when he was killed on duty on 12 February 1944, aged 24.

He is buried on the north side of St Andrews churchyard.

Link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission



The complete list of war dead commemorated on the village War Memorial

First World War (1914 - 1918)

Herbert Bailey
Manning Browning
Fred Burditt
Daniel Cross
John Cross
Joseph Cross
Arthur Dunkley
Charles Dunkley
Frederick Dunkley
Harry Garner
Frederick Harrison
Horace Irons
Percy Lee
Christopher Manning
Harry Osborne
Ernest Read
John Richardson
Reginald Thorne
Audley Thursby
John York

Second World War (1939 - 1945)

Gerald Batten
Frederick Bull
Clarence Copson
Edward Griffiths
Francis Howard
Richard Wadsworth