Jack Maurice Keys, died 7th January 1917, aged 24. Private G/7630, 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.

Jack Keys was born on 15th September 1892 at Hunton, Kent, the only son of John and Emily (née Wickham) who also had six daughters. In 1911 the family were living at Tanner’s Farm Cottages, just outside Goudhurst parish where the road from Winchet Hill slopes down towards Marden; Jack worked on the farm as a horseman.

He enlisted in Cranbrook under the Derby Scheme on 18th November 1915, not long after his marriage to Mabel Elliot on 28th August, and was assigned to the Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was mobilised on 9th February 1916 in the 9th Battalion, before being posted to the 10th Battalion on 4th March and sent to France on 5th May. He would therefore have been involved with his battalion in the phase of the Battle of the Somme known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette which started on 15th September 1916.

A fellow member of Jack’s battalion was George Chestney from Goudhurst, who joined about the time it was moved into the Ypres salient and who was killed there in a German artillery attack on 5th January 1917. Jack Keys died two days later, probably from injuries received in the same attack, and is buried in the next row to him in La Clytte Military Cemetery, west of Ypres, where his grave reference is II D 22. His name is also on the war memorial in the church in Marden and on the memorial of the Goudhurst Oddfellows Loyal Men of Kent Lodge no. 3963.


Ernest John Lindridge, died 2nd September 1919, aged 35. Sapper 59279, 130th Field Company, Royal Engineers.

Ernest Lindridge was born on 11th December 1883, the fifth child of Edward Richard and Mary Ann (née Vousden) who had married in Goudhurst on 12th November 1876. The couple lived at No. 4 Morbreddis in Chequers Road, where they raised a family of nine children and stayed until their respective deaths in 1918 and 1935.

Ernest was a blacksmith by trade and enlisted in the Royal Engineers early on in the war. He was employed as a shoeing smith and accompanied his unit to France on 1st June 1915. 130th Field Company belonged to the 20th Division, so he would have seen action on the Somme in 1916, at the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917, and in the retreat and final advance in 1918. His obituary in the Kent & Sussex Courier of 12th September 1919 states that “he served for some time in France in the Royal Engineers, and was taken ill shortly after his release from the Army.” He is buried in Goudhurst Victorian Cemetery in Back Lane in the same civilian grave as his parents, Row 10, grave no. 20.

Three of his brothers also served in the army – Alfred in the Royal Fusiliers and Labour Corps, George with the 2nd Buffs on the Western Front, and Herbert with the 1/5th Buffs in Mesopotamia. They all survived the war.