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Guarlford History Group

The Guarlford Story

First World War Casualties

Three men from Guarlford families are known to have died during the First World War. They were Lance Corporal Frank Scrivens, brother of Rosina Beard of The Malthouse Cottage and the Panting brothers who were the sons of the widowed Mrs Ellen Panting of The Heriots, Clevelode. Frank Scrivens, a regular soldier with The Worcestershire Regiment, died of his wounds at Etaples, Pas-de-Calais, France on 1st May 1917, aged 31 years. He is buried in the Military Cemetery there.

Thomas William Panting was educated at Guarlford School and was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. He served in France and Egypt, but, at the age of twenty-one, after a painful illness, he died in the Military Hospital at Woolwich on the 10th May 1917. His body was conveyed by train to Malvern, where, by kindness of the Wireless Depot of the Royal Engineers at Worcester, a military funeral was arranged. The coffin draped with the Union Jack was brought from the station to Guarlford Church on a gun carriage with a firing party in attendance. After the service, at the graveside, three volleys were fired and the Last Post sounded. Thomas Panting's Commonwealth War Grave can be seen in the Guarlford churchyard.

Philip Charles Panting was Thomas's younger brother, and he was also educated at Guarlford School before going to work in Dudley. He was then conscripted as a Private into the Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment. After only nine months service and only one month in France, he was killed in action on the 1st June 1918, at the age of twenty. He is remembered on the British Memorial at Soissons in France. The Memorial stands in the main square of Soissons, and commemorates nearly four thousand war dead from 1914 - 1918 who have no known graves.

The Malvern News at that time commented on the wave of sympathy for the brothers' widowed mother, and also for their grandmother who had lost husband, son and two grandsons within eighteen months, and yet had managed to knit over one hundred pairs of socks for our soldiers. Reg Green, another of her grandsons, said she was constantly knitting, and when her eyesight failed in later years she would judge how the sock was progressing by feeling it . . .