The Army Chaplains
Chaplains are the only British Army officers who do not carry standard officer ranks. They are officially designated Chaplain to the Forces (CF) (e.g. "The Reverend John Smith CF"). They do, however, have grades which equate to the standard ranks and wear the insignia of the equivalent rank. Chaplains are usually addressed as "Padre", never by their nominal military rank.
Chaplain-General (CG) = Major-General
Deputy Chaplain-General (DCG) = Brigadier
Chaplain to the Forces 1st Class (CF1) = Colonel
Chaplain to the Forces 2nd Class (CF2) = Lieutenant-Colonel
Chaplain to the Forces 3rd Class (CF3) = Major
Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class (CF4) = Captain
The senior Church of England Chaplain is ranked within the church hierarchy as an Archdeacon.
The Senior Roman Catholic Chaplain (usually a CF1) is normally ranked as a Monsignor.
The Rev William David ABBOTT
Chaplain 4th Class
He died from natural causes on 3 December 1918 at no. 5 British Red Cross A Stationary Hospital in Dieppe. He was 35.
He was the son of the late Rev David Wyley Abbott, Vicar of Cardington, Shropshire and the husband of Ruby Abbott, 75 Mauldeth Road, Withington, Manchester.
He is buried in grave I A 1 Janval Cemetery, Dieppe
His address for probate was 75 Mauldeth Road, Withington West, Manchester Crockfords
The Rev Armar Edward ACTON MiD
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 2nd Battalion, The Border Regiment
He died of his wounds on 4 November 1917. He was 28
He was the son of Maud J and the late Lieutenant Colonel J L C Acton (1st Battalion Connaught Rangers)
He is buried in grave IV L 2 Wimereux Communal Cemetery
He was born in Galway
His address for probate was Dunmore, Glengeary Crockfords
* The Rev Frederick William AINLEY
Chaplain 4th Class attached to Chaplain General’s Office, Boulogne
He died from natural causes on 5 December 1918
He is buried in grave XII B 23 Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille near Boulogne.
also on the War Memorial in Tydd St Mary
Wilts Times 16 October 1915
Death of Rev WP Ainley
To many of our readers especially in the St Paul’s district, The Rev WP Ainley will be remembered as a former curate of St Paul’s where he laboured for about 2 years and left last year with the intention of proceeding to the Mission Field in China. The outbreak of war led to a change in his plans and Mr Ainley became an Army chaplain at Aldershot where he unfortunately contracted sotted fever (today this might be called Typhoid). He lay in a prostrate condition being affected mentally as well as physically but a change for the better came and it was hoped that the Rev gentleman would pull through. A change for the worse however set in and Mr Ainley passed away on Wednesday. (13 Oct 1915) The sad news was conveyed to his father the Rev FW Ainley vicar of Uffington, Lincs who at the time was at Bath taking part in a series of devotional meetings.
The Rev Ainley was much liked during his curacy at St Paul’s where he laboured with much acceptance and when he left the esteem of the parishioners was expressed in a presentation being made to him. The Rev gentleman was a keen supported of missionary work and he stated before leaving St Paul’s that his missionary spirit was intensified at an exhibition held in Chippenham about 3 years ago and it was then that he made the resolve to go to China. A resolve which death has now prevented being put into practice and all will regret the cutting short of a promising career
The Rev John ASH
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 48th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery.
He was killed in his billet through bombing by aeroplanes on 7 September 1917. He was 37.
He is buried in grave IX H 26 Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery
John Ash was a Methodist minister and he was Chaplain for the Free Churches at the Red Cross Hospital, Northwood House, Cowes, Isle of Wight before becoming a Chaplain to the Forces on 16 January 1917.
He lived at Dailima, Newport Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight although his wife Mary had moved to No 8 Campbell Street, Newcastle
Upon Tyne when he joined the Army.
The Rev Ernest AVENT MiD
Chaplain 2nd Class
He died at the Military Hospital, York on 25 August 1920. He was 44
He was the son of the Rev John and Alice Avent, Broughton Rectory, Oxfordshire and the husband of Jessica M Avent, Woodbrae, Curzon Park, Chester
He is buried in grave A 10 Fulford Cemetery
He was educated at Hunstanton, Felsted and Caius College, Cambridge BA 1897, MA 1906. He was ordained deacon (Liverpool) 1899; priest, 1901; Curate of St Thomas's, Ashton in Makerfield, Curate of St James's, Birkdale. He was appointed as Chaplain to the Forces, at Woolwich; then in Gibraltar; then he was posted to the Garrison Church, Arbour Hill, Dublin. Finally he joined the British Expeditionary Force, 71st Division, 1917. He was wounded.
* The Rev William Preston AVERY
age 27 died in or near Stamford
had resigned his commission and was no longer in the Army at the time of his death
The Rev George William BAILE
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 64th Casualty Clearing Station
He died from natural causes on 27 January 1918. He was 52
He is buried in grave XXVIII E 10 Étaples Military Cemetery
His only surviving son Captain J Baile, Royal Engineers was present at his funeral
He had spent 14 years as a Chaplain in Pernambuco, Brazil
The Rev Thomas Leo BAINES
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 152nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
He died from his wounds on 31 May 1918. He was 31
He was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Baines of Preston, Lancashire
He is buried in grave III B 29 Aire Communal Cemetery
Address for probate 165 St George’s Road Preston
Father Baines was a temporary chaplain to forces in northern France from 1917, tied to the Royal Field Artillery. Previously he studied for 18 years at Ushaw Northern Seminary College, where he became a professor. He was also parish priest at St Francis of Assisi RC Church in Garston, Liverpool, where his name features on a memorial.
But on May 31, 1918, aged 31, he became an early casualty of a new wartime danger – aerial bombardment. Germans hit his
base at Aire Casualty Clearing Station, near St Omer.
Father Ron Johnson, current priest of St Francis, explains: "An eyewitness said at 02.30 hours that morning he was taken to the field hospital. He had been bombed by a German plane. "He had a bad wound on one hand, multiple other wounds all over his
body and his leg above the knee was totally shattered. He was so shocked by the pain they could not operate."
Death ended his pain at 14.00 hours.
Fr Johnson adds: "All denominations paid tribute to a perfect Christian who had priest written all over him and was so loving."
Father Baines was ordained at the English Martyrs' Church in Garstang Road, Preston on August 8, 1915.
The Rev James BAIRD
Chaplain 4th Class
He died in the 3rd Stationary Canadian Hospital, St Omer from natural causes on 13 February 1919
He is buried in grave V F 20 Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery, St Omer
His address for probate was 138 Hockley Hill Birmingham
The Rev Edward Walter BARKER
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 176th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Artillery
He died in a Casualty Clearing Station on 18 March 1918 from the wounds he had received on 9 March. He was 30.
He was the son of Emily Barker, 12 Cadwell Road, Paignton, Devon, and the late Henry E Barker
He is buried in grave II C 13 Achiet le Grand Communal Cemetery Extension
He was educated at Bedford Grammar, Queens College, Cambridge University, History Tripos 1910
He was ordained 1911, appointed Curate, St John’s, Notting Hill then at Chagford, Devon and St Luke’s Torquay
The Rev Charles Lees BEDALE
Chaplain 4th Class at the 1st Eastern Military Hospital, Cambridge
He died of influenza on 8 March 1919 at 1st Eastern General Hospital. He was 39
He was the son of Thomas A and M Bedale of Eccles, Manchester and the husband of Dorothy R Bedale, Fieldside, Barton Road,
He is buried in grave 24 B 26 Histon Road Cemetery, Cambridge
He had been educated at Eccles and then Manchester Grammar followed by Clare College, Cambridge reading Classics and Theology. MA Then he was a Tutor at Didsbury before enlisting. He had been wounded on the Western Front
He was a Wesleyan Minister and his address for probate was Woodhurst Madingley Road, Cambridge
* The Rev Robert Henry BELCHER
Chaplain 4th Class
He died on 25 October 1916. He was 72
He was the husband of the late Katherine Belcher
He is buried in Lewes Cemetery
Not in SWD His address for probate was St Michael’s Rectory,
Lewes Need to check census
Robert Henry Belcher was born in 1846 in Saltash, Cornwall, the son of physician John Belcher. He attended the University of
London earning a B.A. (1867), an M.A. (1868), and an LL.D. (1879). Belcher was ordained in the Church of England and held a number of clerical posts: master and chaplain of King's College, London (1874–86); rector of Otago high school, Dunedin, New Zealand (1886–95); and rector of St. Michael, Lewes. In 1868 he married Katherine Emily Beard (died 1894). Belcher wrote two novels: Cramleigh College (1874) about a boys' school and The "Bonny Kate": A Story of Adventure (1876). He died in 1916 in Lewes.
The Rev Charles Henry BELL MC
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 1st Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
He was killed on the battlefield on 23 August 1918. He was 30
He was the son of the Rev Canon James Bell and Mrs Bell of Kettlethorpe. He was born at North Somercotes, Lincolnshire
He is buried in grave II G 10 Douchy-Les-Ayette British Cemetery
His address for probate was The Grove, Lincoln
The Rev Arnold John BENNETT MC
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 230th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.
He died of natural causes on 26 January 1918 at El Arish, Egypt. He was 34
He was the son of Arnold and Annette M Bennett, The Woodlands, Parkstone, Dorset Native of Wincanton, Somerset
He is buried in grave E 135 Kantara War Memorial Cemetery
His address for probate was The Woodlands Parkstone
He attended the Saugeen School, Bournemouth. Then he served in the Anglo-Boer War with Baden-Powell’s Constabulary.
1908 ordained from Salisbury Theological College and was appointed Curate at Pewsey. He then became a Missionary in Canada returning in 1916 as Chaplain to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before transferring to Egypt
The Rev Umberto Michael Francis Joseph BERTINI
Chaplain 4th Class Trade Dom O S B Order of St Benedict
He died from natural causes (flu) on 29 September 1918. He was 33
He was the son of Ernesto R Bertini and Palmyra Adele Bertini of Novara and Bournemouth
He is buried to the north side of the Church in Farnborough Abbey Roman Catholic Churchyard
He was born at Novara, Italy. His address for Probate was The Lindens, Christchurch Road, Boscombe
The Rev George Bernard Hamilton BISHOP
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 6th Battalion, The Northumberland Fusiliers
He was killed on the battlefield on 27 May 1918. He was
He was the husband of Dorothy Maud Bishop
He is remembered on the Soissons Memorial
His address for probate was The Vicarage, Cardington, near Church Stretton, Shropshire
The Revd. George B H Bishop was Vicar of Cardington, and was presented to the Living in 1914, having been ordained in 1911. He had been an enthusiastic Volunteer, and had served in the Durham University OTC (where he was a member of the Guard of
Honour at the Coronation of King George V) and The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was Diocesan Secretary for the A & E Churches Union and an author on religion in Russia.
He attended the King's School, Gloucester and Durham University where he was a rowing coach. He was highly praised in a report into a boating accident on 24 February 1911 for his actions which were responsible for the saving of a man's life.
in July 1917 he was appointed an Army Chaplain (4th Class). His last signature as Vicar in the St. James Church Registers was on 14 January 1917 when he officiated at the baptism of Ernest Alfred Pugh of Upper Farm Enchmarsh.
He was killed in action on 27 May 1918 whilst attached as Chaplain to 6th Battalion, The Northumberland Fusiliers. This was during an artillery bombardment of the trenches to which they were subjected at about 10.00 hours at Concevreux. This was the opening move of the Third Battle of the Aisne, when the German forces launched a large attack and carried the Chenin des Dames ridge. His death is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial (Aisne).
See photo on http://www.cardington.org.uk/wardead/GBHBishop.html
The Rev William BLACK
Chaplain 4th Class
He died from natural causes on 10 July 1918. He was 27
He was the son of Mary Vera and the late Mr Samuel Black, Aldouran, Newlands, Glasgow Assistant Minister at Govan and Kilmalcolm Parish Churches
He is buried in grave I E 36 Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille near Boulougne
His address for probate was his parents address
He held an MA
The Rev William Duncan Thomson BLACK
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 7th Battalion, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders
He was killed on the battlefield on 22 August 1917. He was 36
He was the husband of Jenny L Black, 10 Leven Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow
He is buried in grave II A 18 Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No 3
The Rev Philip John Thomas BLAKEWAY
Chaplain 1st Class attached to 1st County of London Yeomanry Middlesex, (Duke of Cambridge's Hussars) and 4th Mounted Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division, British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
He died on 16 June 1915. He was 50
He was the son of Philip and Maria Blakeway and the husband of Sybil Agnes Blakeway, The Cottage, Halnaker, Chichester
He is buried in grave A 108 Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery
MA. His address for probate was Walberton Vicarage, Arundel. He is not included in the SWD records
The Rev Vincent Coke BODDINGTON
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 35th General Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps
He died from natural causes on 13 March 1917. He was 30
He was the son of Arthur O and Dora Boddington and the husband of Florence G Boddington
He is buried in Spec Plot 23 in the churchyard of St Sebastian's Church, Wokingham
His address for probate was 25 Victoria Road, Shoreham
The Rev Edward Keightley BOTWOOD
Chaplain 4th Class
He died at Le Fort, Sark on 28 July 1916. He was 44
He was the husband of Gwendoline A Botwood, Sandford Hall, St David's, Exeter
He is buried to the north of the church tower of St Giles' Church, Kilmington, Axminster
He is not included in the SWD records
This record is intriguing. If he was a serving Chaplain why was he returned from Sark to Kilmington?
The Rev William BROWN
Chaplain 4th Class
He died at Pembroke Lodge, Kennington on 10 March 1919. He was 28
He was the son of William and Mary Brown, 1 Mons Avenue, Hebburn-on-Tyne, Co Durham and the husband of Fanny Louisa
Brown 44 St Michael's Road, Aldershot.
He is buried in grave AG 395 Aldershot Military Cemetery
He had been Curate of All Saint's Church, Hertford.
He was a native of Bishop Auckland, Co Durham
The Rev Cyril Bernard Wilson BUCK MC
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 1st/5th Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment
He was killed on the battlefield on 29 September 1918. He was 38
He was the son of William Richard and Alice Emmeline Buck, Tabards, Ewell, Surrey
He is buried in grave V C 6 Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension
His address for probate was Cathedral House, New Hall Street, Birmingham
Educated at Merchant Taylors (Captain of Rugby) Trinity College 1907 Ordained 1910 Chaplain Birmingham Street
Children’s Union and Curate of Cathedral House. He had served as Curate at St Mary's Church, Selly Oak
He was hit by shrapnel when he was trying to rescue soldiers from a tank
London Gazette 7 March 1919, awarded a Military Cross
Citation in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 4 October 1919:
“Rev. Cyril Bernard Wilson Buck, T./Chap.to the Forces, 4th Class, R.A.C.D., attd. l/5th Bn., Leic. R., T.F.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Pontruet during the attack on the village on 24th September, 1918. He worked all day at the R.A.P. (Regimental Aid Post) under heavy shell fire, helping the medical officer, carrying stretchers, cheering the wounded, and giving invaluable assistance. On the 29th September, 1918, he was killed during operations round the St. Quentin Canal, north of Bellenglise. He behaved splendidly”
I am indebted to Brian Bouchard for this information who has provided some fascinating further information
The Rev Matthew Forster BURDESS
Chaplain, 4th Class attached to 1st/6th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
He was killed on the battlefield on 18 April 1917. He was 39
He was the son of George and Rachel Ann Burdess Rector of St Thomas', Port Clarence, Middlesbrough
He is buried in grave D 50 Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery
The Rev Joseph Dobson BURNS
Chaplain, 4th Class attached to The Royal Garrison Artillery
He died of his wounds on 7 June 1918
He was the son of Joseph and Helen Burns and the husband of Mary
C Burns, 2 Denwick Terrace, Tynemouth, Northumberland
He is buried in grave
II D 11 Ebblinghem Military Cemetery
He was Scottish and a non-conformist
* The Rev James Leitch CAPPELL
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 1st/9th Battalion, The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
He died from natural causes on 23 January 1918. He was 41
He was the son of Thomas and Mary Cappell of Crieff, Perthshire and the husband of Alice E Cappell, Vine House, Revidge Road,
He is buried in grave Div 62 I O 4 Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Havre
The Rev Timothy S J CAREY
Chaplain 4th Class
He died from natural causes on 27 February 1919 at no. 35 General Hospital, Calais. He was 41.
He was the son of Patrick and Mary Carey of Co Limerick.
He is buried near the west end of the Churchyard at Audruicq near Calais
His address for probate was Milltown Park, Dublin.
The Rev William Gerard CHEESE
Chaplain 4th Class attached to 8th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
He died from natural causes on 7 November 1918. He was 35.
He was the son of the late James and Emily Cheese and the brother of Bertha F Cheese, Roslin, White Knole Road, Buxton
He is buried in grave S V G 6 St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
His address for probate was Duddington Vicarage, Stamford, Lincolnshire
* The Rev Stephen CLARKE
Chaplain 4th Class attached to%2