Private William James Newman

Regiment: 9th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (also 37th Training Reserve Battalion)
Service No.: TR/8/1842
Date and place of birth: 2nd quarter 1899 in Chithurst,Midhurst registration district, Sussex
Date and place of death: 17 May 1917 (aged18) Military Hospital, Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire.

Private William James Newman (referred to in parish minutes as Jim) was born in Chithurst in 1899 the eldest son of a gamekeeper. He was still in the 37th Training Reserve Battalion for the Royal Berkshire Regiment when he died of illness at the age of 18 in a military hospital in Wiltshire in May 1917.

 Family background

William James Newman was born in the second quarter of 1899 in the Chithurst area of the Midhurst registration district in Sussex. He was the son of Sydney Newman, a gamekeeper who was born in Hampshire in about 1868. His mother was Ellen Mary Norbury, the daughter of a small farmer near Lyndhurst, Hants who later worked as a barmaid in the George Inn, Middle Wallop where her step-father was the publican.

In 1897, Sydney and Ellen married in the Southampton area but by 1901 the family were living in the Borden Wood area of the parish of Chithurst and in 1911 there were nine children of the marriage. There is no information about any work undertaken by William James Newman before he enlisted.

Military service

William James Newman enlisted at Winchester into the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was serving with the 37th Training Reserve Battalion when he was sent to the Military Hospital at Compton Chamberlayne near Wilton in Wiltshire after falling ill.

Death and commemoration

He died on 17 May 1917 of measles and meningitis and his body was brought back to Iping where he was buried. His name does not appear on the War Memorial in Iping Church but there is a note in the minutes of the Vestry that Miss H. Scrimgeour had erected a Memorial Tablet in memory of “Jim Newman” in Iping Marsh Church. This chapel had been opened in 1878 to serve the northern parts of the parish of Iping. It was declared redundant in 1980 and subsequently demolished. It is presumed that the memorial tablet was destroyed with the church.

Later family history

William James Newman’s father, Sydney Newman continued to live in Nightingale Cottage, Borden Wood until he died in March 1958 at the age of 90. He was buried in the churchyard at Iping. A grant of Letters of Administration to his estate was made to his daughter Alice Annie Newman in June 1958.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project