Charles William Raymond Hatcher, died 18th March 1917, aged 25. Sergeant G/13760, ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

Charles Hatcher was born in Goudhurst on 10th June 1891, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Hatcher of Iden Green. The family later moved to Cranbrook and in 1911 were living there in Stone Street, where Charles was a journeyman fishmonger. It has not proved possible to ascertain when he first went to France, but it was probably in 1916, in which case he may well have been involved in the Battle of the Somme, followed by winter in the trenches near Béthune.

He was one of 11 Buffs killed in the course of a trench raid by the Germans near Loos, and is buried nearby in Maroc British Cemetery at Grenay where his grave reference is I P 1. His name is also recorded on the war memorial in Cranbrook parish church.


Arthur Stephen Head, died 13th October 1915, aged 19. Private 17266, 8th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales (Royal Berkshire Regiment).

Arthur Head was born in Goudhurst in 1895, and received into Christ Church, Kilndown, on the 14th April. He had previously been privately baptised on the 21st March. He was the son of Stephen and Harriett Head (née Smith) and at the time of his baptism his father was a gamekeeper at Bedgebury. At the time of the 1911 census, they were all living in Faccombe, a village between Andover and Newbury. Arthur was evidently a fairly early volunteer and was thus able to join his local regiment. He went to France on 7th September 1915, though most of his battalion had gone a month before.

Arthur’s army life was tragically brief, ending – like those of several men from Goudhurst and Kilndown – amid the massacres at the Battle of Loos. He survived his role in the Berkshires’ first attack on the morning of 25th September, in which 336 were killed or missing and 180 wounded out of a strength of 792, but he was numbered among the 68 missing after their next assault. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, panels 93-95. *******************************************************************************************************