HI, I'm based in Portsmouth where Frederic Nance Aylen is named on a memorial in St Mary's Church, the parish church of Portsea, A research project into this memorial is likely to start soon so I would be interested to hear from you about your research, and will gladly share amything that we discover.
Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I should explain my sudden interest. Until now my main focus in both military and social history has been in the Great war, expecially the salonika Campaign, and the involvement of clergy ftom the Portsea Parish in Portsmouth, and that of some 1000 men who served, the majority in the Royal Navy. I am still doing some research in those areas. My knowledge of this war is very slight at present, but I shall be busy learning.
Now however I have been dragged, with no real resistance, into investigating a memorial in the Portsea Parish Church. The organ screen was funded by the mother of one of the men named, and they seem to be a disparate group. The church has just been awarded a massive grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to have its Victorian organ refurbished, and on the margin of that work is a project to find out about not just the named men, but also more about the volunteers who went from Portsea to fight in the war.
Fortunately we have at least two years to complete the work, although no funds come with our challenge. We ahve found some initial information about the titled officers, but overall we are only just starting work. I also want to find the reason why these names were chosen.
I'll hopefully report back on the research in full when the rebuilt organ is again commissioned dedicated in something between 2 and 3 years, and we hope to provide a pamphlet or similar document about our research.
Thank you for getting in touch, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Pte. Frederic Nance Aylen was a volunteer with the Queen's Westminsters, a unit of the popular Volunteer Movement that had been born out of the need for national defence during the Napoleonic War. During the Boer War, the Queens Westminsters, along with many other London-based Volunteer units, were amalgamated into the City of London Imperial Volunteer Corps, and were subsequently deployed to South Africa. From my research I have gathered that Frederic Nance Aylen had died aged 23 aboard a troop ship off St. Vincent, after contracting enteric fever. An article from the 'Domestic Announcements' of the South Africa magazine reported his death with the editor seemingly asking whether, "would any of his comrades of the F Company knowing of his illness kindly communicate with his father?" It listed his next-of-kin's details as, "Frederic M. Aylen, of 73, Victoria Road North, Southsea.
Thank you for that. I'm trying to draw together the links between the various men named on the memorial. The Jennings-Bramly were established in the city, and almost certainly there were social interactions between them and the Aylens. So far I suspect that the other named men became connected during service in the war although there were some possible London society links. Our local archives will be re-opening vewry soon and I will be able to get into parish magazines and other material which hs been completely unavailable through lockdown. I have to do some reading about the CIV as well.