The memorial is on the north wall of the nave of the church, immediately below the Franckyshe Memorial. It commemorates six men who died in World War I; no-one from the parish is recorded as being killed in action in World War II.
Herbert George Cadd was a Private in the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars who was killed in action in Egypt on 11 December 1915 and is buried at grave E.115 in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery. Born in Islington, London in 1892, he was living with his Johnson grandparents
in Water Stratford in 1901 and working as a page to Thomas Close Smith at Boycott Manor, Stowe in
1911. Robert and Sarah Johnson (sometimes spelt Johnstone) lived in a now-demolished cottage
next to Water Stratford House and he was a wheelwright and carpenter.
Soon after we started doing research on the war memorial (originally for the 2008 village Remembrance Service) we were amazed to receive an unsolicited letter from a niece of Bert Cadd containing his picture (right). She gave no address, so all we can do is publish here the picture and the inscription on its reverse, hoping that this is in accordance with her wishes and that she will communicate with us again.
The Johnsons lost another grandson, Harry Johnson Matthews (1889-1917), in WWI but he is not on our memorial.
Kenneth Borrodaile Henry was a Rifleman in the Rifle Brigade who died of his wounds on 12 July 1916 and is buried at grave II.B.5 in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe. He was born in 1895 in Hendon. His connection with Water Stratford is unknown so far, as his home was Pillerton Priors at the time of his death, his parents came from Edinburgh and Derbyshire, and his father was a self-employed merchant in London in 1901 and 1911. He is also on the war memorial for Petersham, Surrey, where they are equally mystified about why his name is there!
Francis John May was a Lance-Sergeant in the Canadian Infantry who died 15 August 1917. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais. He was born in Water Stratford in 1888, the third son of Peter and Betsy May of Lace (now Honesty) Cottage, but emigrated to Canada in 1911 and enlisted in British Columbia on 3 March 1915.
Thomas Walter Pearson was a Private in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) who died on 17 July 1918 and is buried at grave 4.B.28 in Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension, Aisne, France. He was born in Water Stratford in 1897, the elder son of Walter and Frances Pearson who lived in the Old Post Office.
William James Hilsdon was a Private in the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) who died on 14 October 1918 and is buried at grave XIV.H.16.in Hodge Crater Cemetery, Belgium. He originally enlisted in the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars. He was born in 1897 and lived at Town Farm, the third of William and Mary Ann Hilsdon's nine children and the first to be born in Water Stratford.
Robert Gordon Sikes was a Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Yeomanry/4th (Queen's Own) Hussars who died of pneumonia on 22 February 1919. Although his death occurred after the war, he is recorded as a casualty of war and buried at grave S.V.M.12 in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. He was born in Leicestershire in 1888, the son of James Sikes, younger brother of John Sikes who was head of the family that lived in Water Stratford House from the mid 1890s to the mid 1950s. Robert married his first cousin, Clementina Gwendoline Sikes, John’s eldest daughter. She was living in Water Stratford when he died and had a son, also Robert Gordon, in September 1919, so he was conceived after the war had ended and they must have thought they could look to the future with hope. Robert's father, James, was living in Canada by 1919.