#YateleyWW1: Arthur Larder

The name Arthur Larder is inscribed on the Yateley War Memorial. But who was he? For 10 years we have been trying to find out, but now I think I have found him. This article has turned out to be the story of the Yateley woman who lost two husbands in WW1.

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  1. The name Arthur Larder is inscribed on the Yateley War Memorial. But who was he? For 10 years we have been trying to find out, but now I think I have found him. His name was incorrectly transcribed on the War Memorial.
  2. The name Arthur Larder inscribed on the Yateley War Memorial has remained a mystery since I first started researching the memorial in 2004. Even 11 years ago virtually the only way to research a war memorial to find a man killed in either of the World Wars.was to search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website But that was easier said than done. I gave up searching for Arthur Larder.
  3. The next researcher (in 2006) to try to find Arthur Larder was Councillor Tony Spencer, a former Chairman of Yateley Town Council. His entry for Arthur Larder on the Roll of Honour website is "No further information currently"
  4. Then came Graham Fleuty researching his excellent book "Yateley Men at War - Heartbeats of Rememberance" published in 2011. Graham tried his utmost to find him, enlisting the direct help of the War Graves Commission -- who carried out a six week personal search for him. Reporting his fruitless search in three paragraphs, Graham ends with the words "We may never know,"
  5. Now, thanks to the rigorous evidence-based techniques required by the Imperial War Museum to create the digital on-line memorial to all those who served in uniform, I believe I have now found him. His name was wrongly inscribed on the war memorial. I now have the evidence to prove this and I know the name which should have been inscribed.
  6. Because I started searching for everyone male or female, killed in the war or survived, wounded or not, I created on my computer a massive database -- which stood at 449 persons for some time. I therefore decided in earnest to try to find the 450th in order to mark some sort of milestone.
  7. I decided to look again at the Yateley Marriage Registers to make sure my database included all those men whose 'occupation' was listed as some military rank or other, and who married at St Peter's between 1900 and 1920.
  8. Working through them methodically from 1900 I found a marriage I had not looked at before. The groom's name was transcribed as HERBERT CLIFFORD LANDER "a soldier". The bride was CECILIA MASTOW, a 27 year old widow, daughter of CHARLES AGAR. Both were stated to be living in Darby Green. Having previously overlooked this marriage record I duly typed into my database HERBERT CLIFFORD LANDER, pleased that I now had my 450 names.
  9. But the name CECILIA MASTOW rang bells for me. To be more accurate - it was a funeral bell since I remembered that Cecilia Agar had married a soldier called ARTHUR MUSTOW who was the first Yateley death of 1915. I looked up PRIVATE MUSTOW in #LivesOfWW1, and his Yateley marriage record to confirm.
  10. So I wondered whether HERBERT C LANDER might have served in the same regiment. I typed his name into the search engine of #LivesOfWW1. But I found nothing. So I looked in other databases for the marriage to check whether my spellings were correct. Firstly I looked in FreeBMD to confirm the marriage of HERBERT C LANDER to CECILIA MUSTOW. What I found was the key to solving the riddle of ARTHUR LARDER.
  11. FreeBMD's entry for Cecilia Mustow's marriage certificate, 2c 265 in Hartley Wintney Registration District in Dec quarter 1915, records the bride and groom as CECILIA MUSTOW and HERBERT C LARDER. This official record shows that whoever transcribed the St Pete's Yateley marriage records misread the spellings of both surnames (as LANDER and MASTOW). I have added the true names in my own database.
  12. I had therefore found that ARTHUR MUSTOW's widow had married HERBERT LARDER only six months after her first husband was killed in action. Now I needed to find out what happened to her second husband. You have guessed it -- Herbert Larder was killed.
  13. Poor Cecilia had lost two husbands

  14. The only thing left to explain is why the Yateley War Memorial has recorded her second husband as ARTHUR LARDER instead of his correct name HERBERT LARDER. Firstly it seems reasonable to assume that, since her first husband is inscribed on the memorial, it is likely that Cecilia would have wished her second husband also to be inscribed on the memorial
  15. It seems that the stone mason, or whoever instructed him as to the names he should inscribe, gave both husbands the same name - ARTHUR. Neither man is inscribed on the St Peter's Roll of Honour now hanging in the Parish Office, but the names of both men are inscribed on the Chancel Memorial which was destroyed by the fire started by the arsonist in 1979.
  16. On both war memorials both men were named ARTHUR. In the last quarter of 1920 Cecilia Larder married her third husband, Christopher Byrne. This marriage was registered in Farnham Registration District. It is possible therefore that, when the authorities were canvassing for names to put on the war memorials, that Cecilia was no longer living in Yateley. The names of her two husbands might have been put forward by a friend or relative.
  17. Arthur Mustow is listed as a voter in the 1914 Yateley Electoral Register, they are recorded as a married couple in the 1911 census, and Arthur Mustow's parents had lived in Frogmore. But Herbert Larder came from Mark in Somerset and may have only visited Yateley for his wedding day at St Peter's. The fact that neither men appear on the WW1 Roll of Honour tends to substantiate my supposition that Cecilia may already have moved away by 1919/20.
  18. By 1919 the only relative living in Yateley may have been Frederick Mustow, Arthur's brother. He may well have misremembered the first name of his sister-in-law's second husband.
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