Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2000 Dave Edwards
additional RFC/RNAS/RAF information David Manning

The Mepal War Memorial stands at the roadside on the corner of High Street and School Lane. It takes the form of a stone cross mounted on a four-stepped base. Thirteen names are listed for World War 1 and six for World War 2.

From an old postcard

Extract from Ely Standard, Friday 13th October 1922:

Woman's Name on Roll of Honour.

"To the glory of God and in thankful memory," a memorial cross was unveiled and dedicated at Mepal on Sunday, when the whole village assembled to pay reverent homage to the 13 inhabitants who gave their lives for their country in the Great War.

A notable fact about the Mepal memorial is that the names recorded upon it include that of Miss Nellie Waters, who Died from pneumonia while serving at a military camp at Thetford as a member of the N.A.C.B. Her father was one of the large number of bereaved relatives who attended the simply but deeply impressive service on the green. A light shower, about an hour before the ceremony, threatened to mar the proceedings. The sky was overcast and rain seemed imminent. While the brief Church service was in progress, the sun shone brilliantly, and the unveiling ceremony was graced by delightful weather. Visitors from Sutton and elsewhere swelled the attendance.

Capt. Colin Coote, D.S.O., M.P., had promised to perform the unveiling, and it was regrettable that the Rector (the Rev. J. W. Robson) had to announce that the Isle Member had failed to arrive. Under the circumstances, Mr. A. S Corbett, of Wellington, Shropshire, who was visiting Mr. F. Pearson. chairmen of the War Memorial Committee, filled the breach.


Mepal’s gratitude to her thirteen heroes is shown in a monument in the form of a Maltese cross, constructed of Cornish granite, and erected on the most conspicuous site to be found in the village. It stands on the green, at the junction of the two roads leading through the village. Built upon a sound foundation, the memorial was executed by Messrs. W. T. Doe and Son, of Soham, and the whole of the cost, with the exception of the iron pallisading, was defrayed by public subscription. When designs were originally considered, provision was not made for this part of the work. The design is simple but the memorial is none the less imposing.

Tribute should be paid to the Committee responsible for the scheme. Formed as recently as eight months ago, the members, under the leadership of Mr. T. Pearson, chairman, worked assiduously to ensure completion of the memorial as soon as possible, and, receiving the co-operation of the inhabitants, succeeded in their aim. The Committee also comprised Messrs. Vivian Hadder, S. Pepper, John Fisher, A. Setchfield, J. J. Pearson, John Rayner, W. S. Pearson (hon. treasurer), and Perry Constable (hon. Secretary).

Prior to the unveiling ceremony, a service was conducted in the quaint but picturesque little Parish Church by the Rector, and the limited seating accommodation was soon occupied. Harvest festival decorations made the service more beautiful. Following the hymn “O God, our help in ages past,” a fitting explanation of the reason for those solemn proceedings was intoned by the Rector. Versicles and responses preceded Psalm 46, after the lesson, Romans 8, v. 23 to 39, the congregation processed to the memorial for the unveiling ceremony.


Impressive scenes were witnessed. Women were moved to tears, and men stood with heads bared in reverence. Under their Commandant, Mr. J. Simpson, a contingent of the Sutton Branch of the British Legion formed a guard of honour, and the relatives of the fallen, carrying floral tributes, stood on either side of the monument.

At the outset, the Rector expressed regret for the absence of Capt. Coote, adding that he was unable to state why he had failed to arrive. He mentioned that Mr. Corbett would deputise.

Following the formal unveiling and dedication, and the hymn "Fight the good fight," Mr. A. S. Corbett delivered an inspiring address,


The memorial is inscribed:—


To the glory of God and to the memory of those who fell in the great war."

Private, F. B. Angood,
Private, H. Atkin,
Private, L. D. Constable,
Private, W. Constable,
Private, W. Hall,
Lce.-Cpl. W. Hensby,
Capt C. A. Lee,
R,N.A.S. A. C. Pearson,
Pte, E. G, Palmer„
A.S. W. M. Rowell,
Lce.-Cpl. A. W. Sykes,
Private, J. M. Wollastow,
Nellie Waters.


In his address. Mr. Corbett said he was very sorry Capt, Coote was not present, but he was always pleased to do what he could in that direction. It was wonderful, as one travelled about the country, to see the monuments which had been erected to those who had made the supreme sacrifice, and that afternoon the last thing they could do, when they thought of the wonderful way in which those noble men and women laid down their lives for others, and for them, was to rededicate and re-consecrate themselves yo yhe services of jesus Christ.

"We shall never forget," he went on, "the magnificent service which they have rendered to us and all mankind. This is not the time for a speech, but only to speak from the heart, and say that we honour them."

The monument would remind them of the work they did in action in the Great War. After extending sympathy to the bereaved relatives, Mr. Corbett said they trusted the Eastern crisis would soon blow over; that England would become s peaceful land; that the world might have peace, so that war would be no more, and that the Great Peacemaker might reign for ever.

“And so as we go to our respective homes,” he concluded, “may we go with the determination to fight on truthfully and manfully, and ever to be at our post of duty like those dear brothers and sisters whose memory we are celebrating to-day. May we go forward with compassion, and hearts all aglow.” “Go, work in my vineyard, the Master saith go.”

The proceedings concluded with the hymn “Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven,” after which the bereaved deposited their floral emblems around the base of the cross. These number 43, and they were beautiful.

1914 - 1918

To the glory of God
and to the memory
of those who fell in
the Great War.
ANGOOD Frederick Bowman
Private G/86194, 19th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment). Killedf in action 23 July 1918. Aged 35. Resident Raunds, Northamptonshire, enlisted Northampton. Son of Frederick and Jane Angood of Mepal. Husband of Lilian A. Angood (nee Kirby), of High St., Thrapston, Northants, married in the April to June Quarter 1912 in Thrapston. In the 1901 census he was aged 18, born Mepal, a Shoe Maker, lodging with Harry and Edith Annie Bamford, resident Spencer Street, Raunds, Thrapston, Northamptonshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 29, born Mepal, a Boot Maker, lodging at 3, Abbey Road, Grimsby, Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXVIII. Row G. Grave 12.
ATKIN Herbert
Private 7545, 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. Died of wounds 15 February 1915. Born Sutton, Cambridgeshire, enlisted Ely. In the 1901 census he was aged 17, born Mepal, a Farm Labourer, lodging at Wood Farm, Chatteris (Isle of Ely), North Witchford, Cambridgeshire. In the 1901 census he was aged 6, born Mepal, son of Thomas and Ann Constable, The Green, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 27, born Mepal, a Farm Labourer, married to Annie, resident Wood Street, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 21. See also Witcham
CONSTABLE Leonard Douglas
Private 33420, 6th Battalion, Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) formerly 4587, Suffolk Regiment (SDGW states Staffordshire Regiment). 11th Division. Killed in action 27 September 1917. Aged 20. Born in Ely and enlisted in Ely. Resident of Mepal. Son of Thomas Constable, of Brook House, Sutton, Ely, Cambs. In the 1901 census he was aged 4, born Mepal, son of Thomas and Ann Constable, The Green, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 14, born Mepal, a Farm Labourer, son of Thomas and Ann Constable, resident Thomas Constable, Mepal, Ely, Cambridgeshire. No known grave. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 52 to 54.
George & Walter Constable
Private 30804, Bedfordshire Yeomanry formerly 1882, Bedfordshire Yeomanry. Died from pneumonia and finally consumption in 1921. Aged 26. Volunteered in 1915 and served throughout the war. Brother of Leonard above. In the 1901 census he was aged 6, born Mepal, son of Thomas and Ann Constable, The Green, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 16, born Mepal, a Horseman on Farm, residing with his brother, Herbert Sutton Constable, at Common Farm, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. Photograph on the Cambridgeshire Community Archives Network website.
HALL William
Private 24478, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action 10 December 1916. Aged 24. Born Mepal, Cambridgeshire, enlisted Ely, Cambridgeshire. Son of Mr & Mrs Harry Hall of Mepal. In the 1901 census he was aged 8, born Mepal, Cambridgeshire, son of Henry and Eliza Hall, resident Sutton Road, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 18, born Mepal, Cambridgeshire, a Second Housekeeper, son of Harry and Eliza Ann Hall, resident Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11 A and 11 D.
HENSBY Walter William
Lance Corporal 23948, 12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action 25 March 1918. Aged 22. Born Littleport, Cambridgeshire, enlisted Ely. No known grave. Commemorated on Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 4. See also Sutton
LEE, RD Charles Alexander
Captain, Chinese Labour Corps (18 October 1917) formerly Commander (Retired), Royal Indian Marine, formerly Royal Naval Reserve. Died at Taranto on his way to India 6 February 1918. Aged 63. Son of the late Rev. William and Mary Lee; husband of Margaret Elizabeth Lee, of The Cottage, Mepal, Ely, Cambs. Awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japan) and RD, Decoration for Officers of the Royal Naval Reserve, commonly known as the Reserve Decoration (RD), was a medal awarded in the Royal Naval Reserve of the United Kingdom to officers with at least fifteen years of active duty. Buried in Taranto Town Cemetery Extension, Italy. Plot III. Row B. Grave 1.
PEARSON Amos Charles
Private 1st Class 237984, 47th Wing, Royal Air Force formerly F37984, Royal Naval Air Service. Died of pneumonia 2 November 1918. Aged 30. Born 14 May 1888 in Witcham, Cambridgeshire. Son of Jonas James Pearson; husband of Florence Cronk (formerly Pearson), of 95, Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, London. Native of Brixton, London. Prior to enlistment he was a Contractor. Enlisted 14 September 1917, height 5 feet 7½ inches, chest 34½ inches, brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion. Transferred from R.N.A.S. to R.A.F. 31 May 1918. Buried in the West part of Mepal (St. Mary) Churchyard, Cambridgeshire.
PALMER Ephraim George
Private G/30504, 6th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 12th Division. Killed in action 21 September 1918. Born 19 June 1897 in Sutton, the eldest son of Ephraim and Esther Rebecca Palmer (nee Dewey). Baptsied 29 August 1897 in Sutton, son of Ephraim and Hester Rebecca Palmer. In the 1901 census he was aged 3, born Sutton, Cambridgeshire, son of Ephraim and Esther Palmer, resident High Street, Red Lion Lane, Sutton (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. The family moved to Manor Farm Cottage, Mepal, in August 1905. In the 1911 census he was aged 13, born Sutton, a Labourer, son of Ephraim and Esther Rebcecca Palmer, resident Mepal, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds. Called up for service at cambrdige 15 March 1916, appointed to Royal West Kent Regiment, allotted regimental number G30504, posted 3rd Battalion at Rochester 16 March 1916. Buried in Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy, Somme, France. Plot VI. Row A. Grave 5.
ROWELL William Seth
Able Seaman R/1803, Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Divison Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Died 19 October 1918 while Prisoner of War at Lazarette War Hospital, Lehrerseminar A.27 D.F.35. Born 24 June 1898 in Witcham. Son of William Rowell, of The Green, Mepal. Mobilized 15 June 1917 to 3rd Reserve Battalion, at Blandford. Joined Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division, 22 October 1917 at Passchendaele. Posted missing 24 March 1918 (retreat from Cambrai to Hamel), later reported Prisoner of War. No cause of death stated, but very likely pneumonia and/or influenza. Religious denomination Church of England. In the 1901 census he was aged 2, born Witcham, son of William and Mabel Rowell, resident Headleys Lane, Witcham (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 12, born Witcham, a Scholar, son of William and Mabel Rowell, resident Bury Road, Witcham, Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire. Buried in Mons Communal Cemetery, Mons, Hainaut, Belgium. Plot VIII. Row A. Grave 7. See also Witcham
SYKES Alfred William
Lance Corporal 3/7568, 7th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. 12th. Division. Killed in action 30 November 1917. Born in Mepal and enlisted in Ely. Son of Hannah Sykes, resident Mepal Row, Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1901 census he was aged 5, born Mepal, son of George and Hannah Sykes, resident The Bank, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 16, born Mepal, a farm Labourer, boarding in Mepal, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Attested 8 April 1913 in 3rd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment at Ely, aged 18 years, born Mepal, an Agricultural Labourer, unmarried, height 5 feet 5 inches, weight 110 lbs, chest 33½ inches, blue eyes, brown hair, religious denomination Church of England. Mobilised 8 August 1914, posted Depot 26 December 1914, posted 3rd Battalion 9 June 1915, posted 7th Battalion, 3rd September 1915. posted Depot 17 November 1915, posted 3rd Battalion 28 November 1916, posted 7th Battalion 9 January 1917, embarked at Folkestone and disembarked Calais 9 Janaury 1917. No known grave. Commemorated on Cambrai Memorial, Nord, France. Panel 4.
Private 77169, 2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, discharged with wounds in 1918. Died 5 April 1938. Aged 40. He was the second son of Mrs Whitehead and the late Mr George William Whitehead of Mepal. In the 1901 census he was aged 3, born Chatteris, son of George William and Sarah Jane Whitehead, resident 7, London Road, Southampton Row, Chatteris (Isle of Ely), North Witchford, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census he was aged 13, born Chatteris, a Farm Labourer, son of George W and Sarah J Whitehead, resident Mepal Fen, Mepal, Ely, Cambridgeshire. Buried in Mepal. (Probably the latest date of death on any Cambridgeshire War Memorial.)
[Listed as Oscar Mott WOLLASTON on all military records] Private 13854, 9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. 6th Division. Killed in action near Ypres 19 December 1915. Born in Tottenham and enlisted in Ely. Next of kin not known. Buried in White House Cemetery, St. Jean les Ypres, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot III. Row B. Grave 18.
Died of pneumonia at Bury St Edmunds hospital 16 February 1919. Aged 22. Buried in Mepal. Daughter of Mr Charles Waters, Ferry House, Mepal. She worked for the Navy and Army Canteen Board at Thetford Military Camp, the forerunner of the NAAFI. In the 1901 census she was aged 4, born Mepal, daughter of Charles and Lucy Waters, resident The Bridge, Mepal (Isle of Ely), Ely, Cambridgeshire. In the 1911 census she was aged 14, born Mepal, a servant to Alexander and Ellen Ann Setchfield, resident Cross Lodge, Mepal, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends

1939 - 1945

BAKER Amos William
Aircraftman 2nd Class 1455545, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 19 January 1942. Aged 19. Born 12 March 1922, baptised 16 April 1922 in Manea, son of Charles and Maud Baker, of The Biggins, Manea. Son of Charles and Maude Baker, of Mepal. Buried in Mepal (St. Mary) Churchyard, Cambridgeshire.
HENSBY John Thomas
Private 14568802, 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment. Killed in action 16 October 1944. Aged 19. Born and resident Cambridgeshire. Son of Thomas H. and Laura Hensby, of Mepal, Cambridgeshire. In the 1939 Register he was born 2 November 1924, a Milkman Labourer, resident 3 Witcham Road, Ely R.D., Cambridgeshire. Buried in Overloon War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. Plot III. Row E. Grave 4.
LADSON Donald Arthur
Private 14985221, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Died as a result of an accident in India 30 June 1945. Aged 19. Born and resident Isle of Ely. Son of Alfred Ferdinand and Emily May Ladson, of Mepal, Cambridgeshire. Buried in Ranchi War Cemetery, India. Plot 4. Row A. Grave 11.
NORMAN William Percy
Fusilier 11420575, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment.). Killed in action in Italy 2 August 1944. Aged 23. Born and resident Cambridgeshire. Son of Charles Percy and Rosina S. E. Norman, of Mepal, Cambridgeshire. Buried in Florence War Cemetery, Italy. Plot VI. Row E. Grave 11.
PEPPER Leslie Walter
Rifleman 5949563, 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Missing in the Middle East 14 November 1942. Aged 23. Born Cambridgeshire, resident Suffolk. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Ladson Pepper, of Witchford, Cambridgeshire. No known grave. Commemorated on Alamein Memorial, Egypt. Column 72.

Last updated 15 May, 2020

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