Southwater War Memorial
Isaac Thomas Loader GRATWICKE
Private 3543 Royal Sussex Regiment 3 /4 Btn|
Later transferred to 695 Agricultural Company of the Labour Corps.
18th November 1918 - one week after the Armistice was signed
Hills Cemetery, Horsham, West Sussex
Born 1887 Heathfield, son of Thomas and Emma from Itchingfield.|
At the time of the 1901 Census the family home was at Dog Barking House, Itchingfield, and Isaac
was already working on a farm as a carter (haulier).
Although the Armistice came into effect on 11th November, many men like Private Isaac Gratwicke
continued to die in different parts of the world as an indirect or as a direct result of the Great War.
Isaac Thomas Loader Gratwicke originally entered the armed forces at Horsham, enlisted into the
3/4th Training Btn Royal Sussex Regt as a conscript. He was later transferred to the 695 Agriculture
Company of the Labour Corps and given the army number of 356064. Soldiers were taken off the fighting
unit rolls as unfit for active service for a number of reasons, either being physically below par, or because of incapacitating wounds, the effects of being gassed or due to serious illness.
At the time of his death, Isaac was married to Edith, who lived at their family home in Horsham
town at 14, Park View Terrace, with their son Thomas who was born at Horsham on 16th May 1914. Only one week after the Armistice Private Gratwicke died on Monday 18th November 1918 from pneumonia. Following a full military funeral he was laid to rest in Plot I, Grave 18 at Horsham (Hills Cemetery). The cemetery is off the Guildford Road on the left hand side of the road when leaving Horsham. He is also commemorated on the Battalion Memorial Panel in St. George's Chapel, Chichester Cathedral.
Although he was transferred to the Labour Corps, the headstone in the cemetery bears his original army number 3543 and unit, the Royal Sussex Regt, with an inscription from the family, Gone but not forgotten.
No record has been found to suggest that Isaac may have at any time served overseas during his short army career. According to his descendants, in 1918 Isaac was among those detailed to guard German P.O.W.s in Horsham. Some 125 prisoners, employed to work on the land, were housed in a disused brewery on the corner of Wor¬thing Road and the Bishopric, where the fast food firm McDonalds now occupies the site. He is among those listed on the Absent Voters list for 1918.
This would have been compiled in 1917, and his surname is incorrectly spelt as Gratwick, as it is on his Memorial Plaque.
Thanks to Gary Cooper "Horsham Heroes of the Great War"