Category Archives: Y.M.C.A.

Percy Francis Kington

Percy Francis Kington
Rifleman 554923
16th Battalion London Regiment, Queens Westminster Rifles

Kington PF grave

Percy Francis Kington  was the son of John and Marion Kington (nee Blow) of 1, Hamilton Road. He was one of six children according to the 1901 census. No records have been found of Percy in 1911. He is believed to have been born in 1899.

He is buried at Maroeuil British Cemetery, in the Pas-de Calais,  location IV. H.11.  He died on 16th March 1918, killed in action, in the build up to the German Spring offensive which is officially deemed to have begun on 21st March 1918. Percy was about 19 years old.

Percy Francis Kington is also commemorated on the family grave in the Reading cemetery.  His name can be found on the kerbs in Division 62, 13103.  The headstone bears the names Kington, Hooper-Blow and Greaves.  (Berkshire Family History Classification is 62D41) His name is commemorated on the Alfred Sutton School memorial and also that of the YMCA

Edward William Hunt & Sidney Richard Hunt

Rifleman 2216
The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regt.) also Queen’s Westminster Rifles 

Hunt EW photo

Edward William Hunt lived at 74, South Street, Reading. His father was a grocer and he had an elder brother and three sisters. Edward died of wounds on 14th March 1915.  He is buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres.  Location IX. C. 41.   His grave is just a few yards away from that of Leslie Thomson who is also commemorated in the Reading Cemetery.

Rifleman Hunt was an old boy of Reading Collegiate School.  He was employed at Liberty’s, London as an apprentice draper but joined up at the outbreak of war and was sent to the front in November 1914.  The Standard 23rd March 1915, printed a letter from a friend which explained how Edward Hunt met his death.  He was employed in sniping operations on the morning of his death.  He had three more rounds to fire when he was shot.  He was buried the following day.

Sidney  Richard Hunt
Private 227059
54th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regt.)

 Sidney Richard Hunt was the elder brother of Edward William Hunt. The 1911 census indicates that he was seven years older than Edward.  Sidney was a grocers assistant, presumably in his fathers shop. It is not known when he went to Canada.

He died on 16th October 1918 and is buried in Sauchy-Cauchy Communal Cemetery Extension, Location B. I.  The village of Sauchy-Cauchy was captured by the 56th (London) Division on the 27th September 1918.  The Communal Cemetery Extension was made by the division in September and October, 1918.  After the Armistice graves were brought in from the German Extension and battle fields.  Exact details about the death of Sidney Richard Hunt are not known.

Note: The names of these two men were noted when the Berkshire Family History Society chronicled the monument inscriptions in the Reading Cemetery in the 1990’s.  When the author tried to find the names only the family headstone could be found.  The body of the grave has sunk and kerbs have been removed. The grave number is 12484; BFHS classification is 66A9

Douglas Walter Baker

Douglas Walter Baker
Flight Cadet 

Division 7


Douglas Walter Baker was accidentally killed whilst flying at RFC/RAF  Beaulieu, (a flying training school) in Hampshire on 26th October 1918.  His parents, Mr and Mrs Henry Baker, lived at 196, Kings Road, Reading.  Douglas was their youngest son.  Douglas is commemorated on the  family grave Number 12830, Berkshire Family History Society classification 7G20.   However, his registered war grave is in St. Paul churchyard, East Boldre.  Beaulieu flying school was based at East Boldre between November 1915 and 1919.

Details of his career  appeared in the Standard 9th November 1918.  Douglas joined up in September 1914 and after 5 months training went to France with the 1st/4th Royal Berkshire  (Territorial) Regiment in February 1915.  After eleven months on active service he was selected because of his previous mechanical training, along with a number of others, to return home and go into the workshops at Farnborough as a 2nd Air Mechanic.  He was very quickly promoted to 1st Mechanic.  In 1916 he was ill for four months with rheumatic fever.  Six months before the end of the war he volunteered for service as an officer in the RAF.  Having passed the Central Air Board in London he went for training as a pilot at Hastings, Bristol and Uxbridge.  Within three months he was sent to Beaulieu to qualify for his ‘Wings’.  On qualifying he would have gained an automatic commission.  Tragically it was on eve of finishing his instruction when the accident happened; he had been allocated his service machine .

Douglas Baker was spoken of very highly by his officers and tutors.  He was considered to have great promise as a pilot.   Douglas was very popular and had many friends.  Douglas lost his life so near to the end of the war, however, his parents may have been comforted by the words that concluded the article.  “It seems very hard to have one dear to us killed in England, but we must realise that the fact that he was doing his duty to his home and country just as much as the most renowned airman in France”.