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There are memorials on four of our estates.
The earliest death of a Peabody resident came within weeks of the outbreak – Private Ralph Higgins from Pimlico estate, aged 23, who was serving in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.
Following the conflict, commemorative memorials were erected nationwide to ensure the dead and their actions were not forgotten. Four memorials were placed on Peabody estates:
During WWI residents set up a "Tommy and Jack Fund" for gifts and supplies to the soldiers. At the end of the war, the remaining money was used for this memorial.
Old Pye Street
The wall-mounted memorial on the estate lists the names of 15 servicemen who died.
Peabody Avenue (Pimlico)
The memorial with the greatest number of names (67).
Abbey Orchard Street
This lists the names of 26 residents and gives the regiment/service for each one, but no details of rank or any mention of gallantry medals.
However, research has shown that two of these men were both awarded the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal):
B E C Adams
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion. When all his officers had become casualties, he held a position 20 yards from the enemy for 60 hours, in spite of repeated attempts to bomb him out.” (This was officially recorded in July 1917; it's likely that the action described was during the Battle of Arras in April 1917.) He died in September 1918 and is buried in a military cemetery in France; his headstone bears the words “Life’s work well done, a loving and loved son”.
We have named our new development in Vauxhall Bridge Road after him, following an opening ceremony in December 2014. His brother G W C Adams from the same estate, whose name also appears on the war memorial, also died while serving with the Army. The cause of death was tuberculosis and he'd been a patient in a sanatorium in Surrey prior to his death.
“For gallant conduct and ability between 29 October and 11th November, north of the Menin Road, when he carried out reconnaissance duties at great risk and obtained much valuable information relative to the enemy’s positions”.
That was in 1914 and the award was recorded in April 1915. He died in September 1915 during the Battle of Loos — no body was recovered and he has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
News in the Fulham Chronicle (30/3/1917) of a Roll of Honour board, which unfortunately no longer exists, commemorating Lillie Road servicemen.
It also contains statistics on Peabody residents from all estates, including numbers of fatalities, injuries, and medals won.
We commerate World War One here and look at its impact on our residents and communities.
Our records show that by 1916 there were 2,637 Peabody residents serving with the armed forces. We believe 350–400 died on active service.