Hyde Park Cemetery is one of the oldest municipal cemeteries outside of London. There are over 56,000 people buried here. Within the cemetery there is a total of 108 Commonwealth War Graves of which 82 are casualties from the First World War. Here are some of their stories.
PRIVATE CHARLES GILLVRAY
Charles’ was the first military funeral to be held at the cemetery. He had been with comrades in the trenches continuously for eight days and nights.
Charles was captured along with his comrades and reported that the Germans ‘clapped their hands’ when they were captured. He escaped but was then wounded by a bullet to the head which proved fatal. He died on 7 November 1914, aged 29. His coffin was draped with the Union Flag on which rested his cap and bayonet.
PRIVATE FRANK EPTON
Frank was born in Doncaster in 1884 and enlisted in August 1914, joining the York and Lancaster Regiment.
He was sent to the front on 27 August 1915 then transferred to a trench mortar battery. Frank was killed on 1 July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Frank’s family included this poem in his memorial in the local newspaper :
“He sleeps not in his native land
But ‘neath the foreign skies
Far from those who loved him best
In a hero’s grave he lies”
PRIVATE LOUIS BRADLEY REEVE
Louis originally joined the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps where he served for over a year.
He came through the Battle of Loos without injury but was severely wounded by shell fire shortly afterwards. He spent time in a French hospital and was eventually sent home. Operations were performed to save his life, including amputation of a leg, but they were unsuccessful. He died on 26 August 1916.
SQUADRON SERGEANT MAJOR WILLIAM GEORGE WEBB
William was a career soldier having served in the Boer War and in India. He received the Military Medal for gallantry for his involvement in fierce close quarter fighting with Germans at the British line near Ypres.
As Squadron Sergeant Major, he commanded two Vickers machine guns in the trenches near Hebuterne. Under constant heavy shelling and gas attacks, he provided support for the infantry for 25 days. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1916 and over his military career he was awarded nine medals. William survived the war and died in 1934, aged 53.