Owen Plummer was one of three Chailey brothers killed in the First World War.
Chailey Parish Magazine provides brief details about him. He first appears in a special list of attested men in April 1916, the words “medically unfit” being written against his name. He must however, have subsequently been upgraded because he joined the Army Service Corps and was killed in action whilst serving with them, on 5th
April 1917. Chailey Parish Magazine incorrectly reported
his death as 13th April.
The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission’s Debt of Honour Register tells us that he was M2/188419 Private Owen Plummer serving with the 283rd Motor Transport Company at the time he was killed. He is buried in Douchy-les-Ayette British Cemetery in
reference: IV.H.5 France
Owen Plummer was born in late 1882 or early 1883, his birth being registered in the March 1883 quarter at Lewes. He appears on the 1891 census, living with his family at
South Street, Chailey. The family comprised Charles Plummer (a 37
year old agricultural labourer), his 36 year old wife Caroline and their eight
children: Clement Plummer Martin (aged 19, an agricultural labourer), Ebenezer
Plummer (aged 14), Emily Plummer (aged 12), Albert Plummer (aged ten), Owen
Plummer (aged eight), Alexander Plummer (aged five), Annie Plummer (aged three)
and Laurel Plummer (aged five months).
Another son, 17 year old William Plummer, was working as a cow lad and
domestic servant for Thomas Farrant at Weavel’s Den, Chailey.
Ten years later, most of the family is still living at
South Street (although some of the ages
do not tally with the information given on the previous census return and there
are some name variations). The family
comprised Charles Plummer (aged 49 and now working as carter on a farm), his
wife Caroline (whose age is given as 57) and seven children: [Charles] William
Plummer (a 27 year old farm labourer), Albert Plummer (a 20 year old gardener),
Owen Plummer (an eighteen year old brickyards labourer), Annie Plummer (aged
12), Laura N Plummer (aged 11), Dora Louisa Plummer (aged six) and Kate Elizabeth
Plummer (aged three).
Clement Plummer Martin, oldest of the Plummer children, was married with two children, living at
45 Church Street,
Brighton and working as brewer’s
labourer. Fifteen year old Alexander
Plummer was still in Chailey but not at South Street. He was working as a page at The Hooke,
Owen Plummer is commemorated on Chailey’s village war memorial along with his two brothers Albert and Alexander.
My thanks to Jon Miller for the photographs on this post.