The Fallen of Ewhurst and Ellen's Green, Surrey  
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  Timothy Benjamin Woodley 

Private 8576, 2nd Bn Border Regiment
Died of Wounds, 23/11/1914, aged 27, whilst at hospital at Wimereux, France

Buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France (I.B.18A)
Remembered on:
Ewhurst War Memorial,  Memorial Plaque and Book of Remembrance
Ellen's Green Memorial Tablet



TIMOTHY BENJAMIN WOODLEY was born in 1887 in Hitcham, Buckinghamshire, the son of  Benjamin and Mary Ann Woodley, and brother of Mary Ann (b1877), Henry (b1879), Matilda (b1882), Rose (b1884) and Edith May (b1886). In 1891 the family lived Loudwater, near Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. In 1901 Timothy was employed as a van boy on a farm, and lived in No 4 Stoke Road, Egham, near Chertsey. (1)

At the commencement of the First World War the 2nd Battalion The Border Regiment was based at Pembroke Dock, South Wales. It joined 20th Brigade, of the 7th Division, which came into existence in September of 1914, assembled at Lyndhurst in the New Forest before moving overseas in early October 1914, landing at Zeebrugge on the 6th October 1914 with the objective of defending the city of Antwerp. On their arrival, it became obvious that the city was already falling to the German forces, and so the 7th Division was used to cover the withdrawal westwards of Belgian forces before becoming the first British troops to take to the trenches in front of the Belgian town of Ypres.

Timothy arrived in France on 5th October 1914 (2) and in all likelihood took part in the First Battle of Ypres, which commenced on the 14th October and lasted until 22nd November 1914. The 7th Division primarily took part in the Battle of Langemarck (21-24 Oct 1914) and the Battle of Gheluvelt (29th-31st October 1914).

During the battle the 7th Division lost 9,865 men, one of which was Timothy Woodley. who was wounded and evacuated from the battlefield to the base hospitals near the English Channel at Wimereux, but succumbed to his wounds on 23rd November 1914. Timothy was laid to rest in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, grave I.B.18A.(3)

Wimereux Communal Cemetery, shortly after the War.

Some confusion exists in the Soldiers Medal Cards as to Timothy's correct name, with two cards being raised for his service number, one for a Pte F G Woodley, the other for a Frederick Benjamin Woodley. The F G Woodley card notes Died of Wounds on 23/11/1914, and the award of the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The archive of Soldiers Died in the Great War refers to him as Frederick Benjamin Woodley, born in Burnham, Buckinghamshire and having enlisted at Kingston upon Thames.

If visiting Wimereux Cemetery, it is also worth noting that the famous poet, creator of In Flanders Fields, Lt Col John McCrae also lies here. Due to the sandy nature of the ground, the headstones lie flat.

(1) 1901 & 1891 Census returns.
(2) Medal Record Card F G Woodley 8576
(3) When visited in 2003 Pte Woodley's headstone bore the mistake Woodhy. The CWGC were notified at the time & it is hoped that this mistake has subsequently been rectified.

Follow this Link to details about First World War Medals



Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey