Tranter boys

Stop number ORANGE 12: Looking directly beyond the grave of Charles Rose you will to see the grave of the Tranter family and the headstone, lying flat and broken on the ground, with its memorial to Horace Tranter.
Tranter plot
Tranter plot
Read the Tranter story below and and when you are ready to move on click on the dot/circle for the Newman family.

Horace Tranter's memorial Troops on parade in Wycombe
Horace Tranter's memorial Troops on parade in Wycombe (SWOP BFP05516)

Henry Tranter (1834-1922)

I am Henry Tranter and I’m a chair turner in Stokenchurch. I am now a widower and the grandfather of George Tranter (named after his father) who was killed at the Somme in July 1916 and Horace (son of Henry, my namesake) who will die of his wounds in France in December 1917. George’s brother, Thomas, will survive but he’ll have a rotten time of it, getting badly gassed.

We have followed the news from the Somme avidly, and my sons George and Henry in particular, with sons of their own fighting at the Front, are grateful for any letters sent home. The casualty lists and obituaries printed in the paper give us some indication of how things are going but much of the news is heavily censored.

When Lloyd George encouraged us to watch the film The Battle of the Somme everyone went to the Electroscope in Frogmoor and it was packed out. It was billed ‘ An intimate and vivid survey of the most glorious deeds ever performed by the British Army’. It was very hard for my family of course, to see what George had had to face, but it made us all proud of our lads fighting at the Front. It was powerful stuff and no doubt aided enlistment by encouraging the men in the audience to join up.

George had worked for Mr Stratford, a chair manufacturer in Wycombe, and when war broke out was engaged to be married. The Wycombe Tranters attended All Saints Parish Church and George had been a member of the Church Lads Brigade (CLB) - All Saints Company 691 - and, no doubt encouraged by his comrades, he enlisted with the 16th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps (commonly called the Church Lads’ Brigade or the Churchmen’s Battalion) which was created for the war effort by Field-Marshall Lord Grenfell, Governor of the CLB.

George would have gone to do his training at Denham before leaving for the Front in November 1915. He was made a Lance Corporal, assigned to C Company, and he was in a ‘significant tactical incident’ when he was killed on the 15th July 1916. He was fighting near High Wood in the second Somme offensive which will later become known as the Battle for Bazentin Ridge. He has no known grave but will be remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

His father received a letter from his sergeant which said that George died doing his duty and was the bravest man he had ever met in France.

Our next family tragedy has yet to befall us, but Horace will be the next to die in 1917 from wounds he receives in action when he is setting out wire close to the German Lines.

My other grandson, Thomas, became a riding instructor and was sent down south to train soldiers in the skills of horsemanship. It was pointed out to him that this was rather a cushy number and, feeling rather guilty about the situation he volunteered for the Front. Although badly gassed he will survive the war and will set up a fruit and veg shop in Desborough Road, but he will suffer ill health for the rest of his life.

George and Horace will be remembered on the Wycombe War Memorial and a memorial plaque to Horace will be placed next to his parents’ grave here in the cemetery.

Below is a photograph of my son George and his family, with young George in uniform and his brother Thomas beside him.

Tranter Family The Electroscope
Tranter family The Electroscope (MHW12557)

Researched by Sally Scagell

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