John and William Courtenay Hore

The following biographies were written by Amanda Freeman:


Jonnie Hore

Jonnie Hore

In 1881 most bearers of the relatively rare surname Hore lived in Devon and Cornwall. Indeed, that is the district from which these two brothers originated.

Jonnie’s birth was registered in the October Quarter of 1896 in Kingswear, Dartmouth, Devon. He was the younger brother of William and was living in Hoylake in 1911 at the Coastguard Station with his family. He attended Calday Grange Grammar School for Boys in West Kirby.

Cheshire Regiment Badge

Cheshire Regiment Badge

He enlisted shortly after war broke out in August 1914 and joined the 4th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, the area’s territorial unit based in Birkenhead. Jonnie spent nearly a year training in the UK, and at one point the battalion were told they were being sent to India, but on 14th July 1915, they sailed as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division to join the battle on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Suvla Bay

The Cheshires landed at Suvla Bay on 8th August as part of an attack to support a breakout from Anzac Cove. The battalion was rushed into a botched attack on Chocolate Hill and suffered over 400 casualties. John died during the last days of the doomed Gallipoli campaign in the Dardenelles. By this stage the ill-judged attempt to force Turkey out of the war had failed and Allied troops on the peninsula had been reduced to trench warfare. On 8th December 1915 John was killed in the Green Hill area at Suvla Bay – ‘shot through the head by a sniper’.

Ironically it was on this date that Lord Kitchener sent General Birdwood the following telegram: ‘Cabinet has decided to evacuate positions at Suvla and Anzac. Helles will be retained for the present.’

St. Petroc's Church Memorial in Padstow, Cornwall

St. Petroc’s Church Memorial in Padstow, Cornwall

John is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Gallipoli, and is commemorated at St Petroc’s Church, Padstow and Padstow War Memorial alongside his brother William.

With thanks to WW1 historian Peter Smith who has kindly given permission for me to use some of his research on William and John Hore. Peter has researched the men listed on the Padstow War Memorial, and his work can be found on the Padstow Museum Website:

Birth: October 1896 in Kingswear, Devon
Death: 8th December 1915, killed in action aged 19
Address: Hoylake Coastguard Cottages (11)
Occupation: ?
Unit: 1st/4th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Number and Rank: 1476, Private
Medals: 15 Star, Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: GH, H, St. Petroc’s Church, Padstow, Cornwall, Turkey: Green Hill Cemetery I F 12
Sources: BR, CWGC, SDGW, MC, DA, FT, Census: 01,11; With thanks to WW1 historian Peter Smith who has kindly given permission for me to use some of his research on William and John Hore. Peter has researched the men listed on the Padstow War Memorial, and his work can be found on the Padstow Museum Website:


William was born on 25th August 1894 in Kingswear, Dartmouth, Devon.  His father, Philip Henry Hore, was born on 3rd November 1861 in Porthpean, St Austell, Cornwall, the second youngest of 5 children.  Philip joined the Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman, subsequently becoming a coastguard.  He married his wife, Henrietta Evangeline Elliott Courtenay (b.1863 in Padstow) on 8th November 1890 at Pendeen, a tiny village on the far west coast of Cornwall.  Henrietta was the oldest of 8 children, and had lived with her aunt Mary Courtenay, a Board School Teacher, for most of her childhood.

In the 1891 census, Philip and Henrietta were living at the Coastguard Station in Pendeen, where their first child, Eva Blanche was born later in 1891.  By 1901, they had moved to Penryn, Falmouth, having lived in Torcross, Kingswear and Bovisand, all coastal villages in Devon.  They had added to their family with Percy, William, John and Lilian.  By 1911, they had arrived in Hoylake, having had another daughter, Mabel in Holyhead, Anglesey.  Philip was the coastguard, living in the Coastguard Station in Government Road.  Percy and William had left home, both joining the Royal Navy.

Hoylake Coastguard Cottages in the early 20thC

Hoylake Coastguard Cottages in the early 20thC

William joined the Royal Navy at Chatham in February 1910, aged 15, and had previously attended the Royal Hospital School in Greenwich, which trained boys for naval careers.  He served as a Ship Steward Boy in a variety of ships – Pembroke, Bulwark, Implacable, Wildfire and Barham.  In August 1912, aged 18, he signed up for 12 years – he was 5ft 5ins tall with dark hair and a fresh complexion, and his rank was now Ship Steward Assistant.  His job was to serve officers their food and generally looked after their domestic needs.  During action stewards were allocated various roles, commonly damage control parties or sick bay assistants.  William served on Barham, Proserpine and Pembroke before joining HMS Cressy in February 1914.

HMS "Cressy"

HMS “Cressy” from here

William died on 22nd September 1914 in one of the most controversial naval actions of the war.  HMS Cressy, an obsolete cruiser, was patrolling an area of the North Sea with sister vessels, Aboukir and Hogue, when all three were sunk by German submarine U-9, with the loss of 1,397 lives.  After the sinking it was revealed that two of the ships were lost because they had stopped to pick up survivors during the attack and became easy targets.  The Cressy, the last to be hit, had crew from both the other vessels on board when she sank.

The sinking of HMS "Cressy" by Henry Reuterdahl from here.

The sinking of HMS “Cressy” by Henry Reuterdahl from here.

By the time of William’s death, his father Philip was no longer the coastguard at Hoylake, and was living at 11 Ferndale Road, Hoylake with Henrietta.  The couple remained in Hoylake until their deaths in 1939 and 1943 respectively.

William’s body was never recovered for burial.  He is listed on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent, and is commemorated at St Petroc’s Church, Padstow and on the Padstow War Memorial.

Birth: 25th August 1894 in Kingswear, Devon
Death: 22nd September 1914, aged 20
Address: Hoylake Coastguard Cottages (11)
Occupation: Royal Naval Seaman
Unit: Royal Navy HMS Cressy
Number and Rank: M/1598, Steward’s Assistant
Medals: ?
Commemorated and Buried: GH, H, St. Petroc’s Church, Cornwall, Chatham Naval Memorial 6
Sources: BR, CWGC, DA, FT, Census: 01, 11






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