The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) was founded in 1826 by Sir Stamford Raffles. In 1828, London Zoo opened. At the start of the First World War in 1914, the ZSL employed about 150 male staff, 92 of whom enlisted, although 14 were rejected on medical grounds. 12 members of the ZSL’s staff were killed during the First World War.
After the First World War, the governing ZSL council decided to place a permanent war memorial within London Zoo’s grounds. The Scottish architect John James Joass was commissioned to design the memorial. The design was based on a medieval French ‘Lantern of the Dead’ memorial at La Souterraine, Creuse Valley.
The memorial was constructed from Portland Stone and placed by the main entrance and unveiled in 1919.
After the Second World War, five more names were added.
The memorial was moved to its present position (by Three Island Pond) in 1952.
The 12 First World War names and 5 Second World War names, including an employee of ZSL Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, are listed on the two metal panels.
First World War
William Bodman, born Clerkenwell Middlesex, married Mary Smallman on 27 October 1908.
The 1911 England and Wales Census records the Bodman family living at 24 Barrow Hill Road, St. John’s Wood. William Bodman’s occupation is recorded as “Painter Zoological – Gardener”.
Entered France and Flanders theatre of operation on 7 September 1914 with the 1st Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment. Later transferred to the 6th Battalion. Killed in action on 18 March 1916. Commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Panel 15 to 19.
The battalion’s war diary records that the 18 March 1916 was
… quiet until 5.30pm when the enemy opened a heavy fire of trench mortars on the line of craters that formed the front-line and artillery fire on the rear trenches. Soldiers manning the front-line craters were either killed or buried. At about 6.15pm, the enemy exploded between two of the craters, which completely filled in the saps leading to the craters from the front-line trench. At 6.30pm, the bombardment ceased and the enemy advanced to the lips of the craters. One company from the Buffs plus three companies from the Royal West Kents and some Royal Engineers, advanced under heaving machine gun fire and managed to reoccupy the enemy’s positions and dig out some of the saps. By 7pm, the situation was quiet again.War Diary, 6th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment (National Archives).
William Bodman was awarded the 1914 Star with “5 August to 25 November 1914” clasp, British War and Victory Medals.
William Bodman’s widow Mary who had three children (Winifred Florence, Mary Charlotte and Lilian) to look after, was awarded a widow’s pension of 20 shillings 6 pence per week.
CHARLES WILLIAM DARE
Charles William Dare, the son of Charles James (a distillers clerk) and Mary Ann Dare, was baptised on 7 July 1898 at St Marks Church, Regents Park, London.
The 1901 England and Wales Census records the Dare family (Charles James, his wife Mary Ann, son Charles William and daughter Lilian Ethel Dare) living at 16 Eton Street, Regents Park together with eight other people.
The 1911 England and Wales Census records the Dare family residing at 16 Eton Street.
|Charles James||Head||48||Wine & Spirits Clerk|
|Lilian Ethel||Daughter||14||Hairdresser Apprentice|
|Samuel Flowers||Boarder||45||Furniture Porter|
Charles William Dare, a helper at London Zoo, enlisted in the London Regiment. Between 25 June 1917 and 20 July 1917 as a Private (number G/10564) in the 19th Battalion. Between 21 July 1917 and 10 September 1918 as a Private (number 245116) in the 2nd Battalion.
During January 1918, whilst on leave, Charles William Dare married Emily C Holloway. On 10 March 1918, Charles and Emily Dare’s daughter Gladys Catherine Dare was born.
On 10 September 1918, Private Dare went “missing – presumed killed”. His death being assumed a few days later. As his remains were not found, Private Dare is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Panel 10.
Charles William Dare was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Charles’s Dare widow, Emily, received a war widows pension of 20 shillings 5 pence a week.
ALFRED LOMAS DAY
Alfred Lomas Day, a helper at London Zoo. Married to Eliza Day, with four children: Jane Florence (born 5 January 1909), Winnie Elsie (born 26 November 1911), Alfred (born 13 March 1913) and Violet Maud (born 23 July 1914).
Enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Rifleman Day was taken prisoner by the Germans. According to Day’s Pension Card, he died from a pulmonary inflammation between 18 August 1917 and 19 January 1918. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have the date of 29 November 1917. Rifleman Day is buried in Rethel French National Cemetery.
Alfred Lomas Day was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Rifleman Day’s widow, Eliza, was awarded a war widow pension of 33 shillings 9 pence a week.
ALBERT ARTHUR DERMOTT
Albert Arthur Dermott was the son of Frederick John and Rachel Francis Dermott. The family lived in Dalston, London.
The 1911 England and Wales Census records Albert Arthur Dermott as residing at The Royal Philanthropic Farm School at Redhill, Surrey. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the school was classed as a reformatory, under the Reformatory Schools Act 1854. Farm work was the principal occupation, although carpentry, tailoring and other trades were also taught.
Albert Dermott worked as a messenger at London Zoo.
Albert Dermott enlisted in the 13th Battalion, Rifle Brigade as a Rifleman (number S/4504), entering the France and Flanders operational area on 29 July 1915.
On 10 July 1916, Dermott was killed in action. The War Diary for the 13th Battalion, Rifle Brigade contains the following entry.
Orders were received to attack the German front line at 8.45pm. “C” and “B” companies left the supporting lines with orders to get into the front line. As soon as the supporting line was in the front line, “D” and “A” companies left the front line followed at 130 yards interval by “C” and “B” companies. The two last companies had not got 200 yards, when a runner from 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, rushed up with a message that the attack was cancelled. The CO gave the order to retire, and the Battalion retired to its original front line, having penetrated to the enemy’s 3rd line, inflicted severe losses to the enemy and capturing 200 prisoners. The casualties amounted to 20 officers and about 380 other ranks.War Diary, 13th Battalion, Rifle Brigade (National Archives).
Rifleman Albert Arthur Dermott’s remains were not located and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 16B and 16C.
Albert Arthur Dermott was award the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
William Dexter was the son of Robert and Mary Ann Dexter. The 1891 England and Wales Census records the following details foe the Dexter family.
On 9 September 1909, William Dexter married Sarah Elizabeth at St Saviours Church, South Hampstead. Lived at 12 Manley Street, Regents Park. Worked as keeper at London Zoo. William and Sarah Dexter had four children
- Emma Mary (born 2 October 1910)
- Dora Florence (born 20 March 1912)
- Edward William (born 12 February 1914)
- Joan Elsie (born 5 October 1915)
On the 11 December 1915, William Dexter enlisted for military service. His service papers record his height as 5 feet 5.5 inches, chest (fully expanded) 34.5 inches with a range of expansion of 2.5 inches and weight 119 pounds (8.5 stone or 47 Kg). A day later, he was transferred to the army reserve. On 30 May 1916, Dexter was posted to the 3rd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade.
Rifleman Dexter’s unit embarked on 13 September 1916, arriving a day later. On 29 September 1916, Dexter was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade.
Rifleman William Dexter died on 23 October 1916. His remains are buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Plot XVIII, Row J, Grave 5. The inscription for his headstone is “Always living in the hearts of those who loved him.”
The Army Form B.104-126, contained in Rifleman Dexter’s service papers, and sent to his widow Sarah Dexter, states
I am directed to forward the undermentioned articles of private property of the late No. S/19841 Rifleman William Dexter, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade and would ask that you will kindly acknowledge receipt of the same on the form overleaf:
Portion of Boot.Rifleman William Dexter, Service Papers (National Archive).
William Dexter’s widow Sarah was awarded a pension of 28 shillings 9 pence a week.
William Dexter was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Robert Jones was born in Islington, London. During 1905, Robert Jones married Bertha (born 19 April 1880). Robert Jones worked as a gardener at London Zoo. The 1911 England and Wales Census records Robert and Bertha Jones residing at 4a Kenwood Road, Highgate, London.
Between 4 and 22 October 1916, 23358 Private Robert Jones served in the 2nd Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. On 23 October 1916 until 7 April 1917, 60595 Private Robert Jones served in the 9th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers.
On 7 April 1917, Private Robert Jones died of wounds. His remains are buried in Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Plot VII, Row G, Grave 38. The inscription, chosen by his widow, on his headstone reads “Thou art not far from us who love thee well.”
His widow received a pension of 13 shillings 9 pence a week.
Robert Jones was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
The 1911 England and Wales Census records the Munro family living at 177 Gloucester Road, Chalk Farm, London.
Henry Munro was employed as a keeper at London Zoo.
At some point between the 1911 Census and joining up, the Munro family moved to 113 Hampstead Road, Tufnell Park, London (the next-of-kin address stated in his service papers).
On 31 August 1914 Henry Munro enlisted, at a recruitment office in Camden Town, as a Private (number G/2197) in the 4th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. His enlistment papers provide the following description.
|Apparent Age||34 years 6 months|
|Height||5 feet 5 inches|
|Chest Measurement||35.5 inches|
|Religion||Church of England|
Private Munro spent the period 31 August 1914 to 5 January 1915 serving in the UK.
On 6 January 1915, Private Munro entered the France and Flanders operational theatre. This was followed by a promotion to Lance-Corporal (unpaid) on the 8 March 1915.
Private Henry Munro’s service papers (contained in the National Archives) record, that on 29 October 1915, he was missing. On 16 August 1916, the service papers contain the following entry
To be regarded for official purposes as having died on or since 29 September 1915.Army Form B.103 for Private Henry Munro (National Archives).
Private Munro’s remains were never found and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Panels 49 and 51.
Munro’s widow, Ada Florence Munro, received a widow’s pension of 23 shillings a week.
Henry Munro was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
GERALD PHILLIPS PATTERSON
Gerald Phillips Patterson was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, the son of Arthur Henry and Alice Elizabeth Patterson. The 1911 England and Wales Census records the following information.
|Arthur||Head||53||School attendance officer & naturalist|
|Ellen||Daughter||24||Helping at home|
|John Danby||Son||16||Auctioneers articulated pupil|
The war memorial in London Zoo records Gerald Phillips Patterson as being employed as a helper. After enlisting at a recruitment office in Camden Town, he saw service with the 8th Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment.
43689 Private Gerald Phillips Patterson, 8th Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment, was killed in action on 5 October 1916. He was initially buried in Thiepval Cemetery. After the war, Patterson and all the graves from this cemetery were exhumed and reburied in Connaught Cemetery. Patterson’s remains are buried in Plot XI, Row C, Grave 4.
Gerald Phillips Patterson was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
HENRY GEORGE JESSE PEAVOT
Henry George Jesse Peavot, the son of Henry (a watch maker) and Mary Ann, was born on 26 October 1881 in Islington, London. The 1901 England and Wales Census records the Peavot family living at 109 St. John Street. While the 1911 England and Wales Census records the family as having moved to 343 St John Street, London. Both the 1901 and 1911 censuses record Henry George Jesse Peavot’s occupation as “Clerk – Zoological Society”.
On 7 December 1912, Henry George Jesse Peavot married Maud Odette Schneider (her father was a horticultural agent) at St Mary’s Church, Barnes, Surrey. On the marriage certificate, Peavot’s occupation is recorded as “Librarian”. The married couple then moved to 28 Sheen Gate-mansions, East Sheen, Surrey. On 19 December 1913, the Peavots had a son Leslie born at their home: 40 Chipstead Street, London.
On 1 December 1916, Henry George Jesse Peavot enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company’s recruitment office at Armoury House, London.
The Army Form B.178, medical history, records the following particulars of Henry George Jesse Peavot.
|Height||5 feet 6 inches|
|Weight||8 stone 8 pounds|
|Chest (Expanded)||35 inches|
|Range of Expansion||2 inches|
On 1 March 1917, 9580 Private Henry George Jesse Peavot embarked at Southampton, arriving at No. 8 Infantry Base Depot, Le Harve on 2 March 1917.
On 28 March 1917, Private Peavot left the base depot and joined his unit two days later: “B” Company, 1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company.
Less than a month later, on 21 April 1917, Private Peavot was killed in action. As Peavot’s remains were not located, he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Bay 1.
The Army Form B.104-126, dated 31 October 1917, records the following items that were returned to Peavot’s widow
- Safety Razor
- Electric Lamps
- Cap Badge
- Waterproof Bag
Peavot’s widow also wrote back to the Army office enquiring after a plain gold signet ring and a silver watch presented to Peavot by his school, engraved on the back “Presented to Henry Peavot 1896. The best all-round boy”. As these would probably have been on Peavot when he was killed, and his remains were never located, these items would have been lost.
Henry George Jesse Peavot was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
William Perkins was born in Stowford, Devon, the son of Thomas (a labourer) and Emma Jane Perkins. William was baptised on 27 January 1878.
The 1881 England and Wales Census records the Perkins family living at Pepperdon Hall, Mortonhampstead, Devon.
The 1891 England and Wales Census records the Perkins family living at Hewerd Cottage, Mortonhampstead, Devon.
|Francis C||Son||2 months||–|
The 1911 England and Wales Census records William living with his cousin Edward Spencer Farndon (a piano trader) at 26 Eton Street, Regents Park, London. In addition to sharing the nine room house with the Farndon family (William’s cousin, his wife and three children), there were eight boarders (all working as ladies tailors): three from Germany, two from Denmark, two from Hungary and one from Sweden. William Perkins was employed as a keeper at London Zoo.
On 23 August 1914 William Perkins married Lucy Elizabeth Macgregor at St Stephen the Martyr Church, Hampstead. The couple moved further down the road to 6 Eton Street, Regents Park.
115806 Bombardier William Perkins served with 233 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, until he was killed in action on 3 October 1917 (age 39). Perkins’s remains are buried in Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, Plot I, Row O, Grave 6. The inscription on his headstone, chosen by his widow, is “Lord teach me from my heart to say thy will be done.”
William Perkins was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Albert Staniford was baptised on 8 September 1893, the son of Alfred and Ann Staniford, of 24 Egbert Place, Camden, London.
The 1911 England and Wales Census records the following information about the Staniford family.
|Albert||Son||17||Assistant Cycle Motor|
|Alfred Edgar||Son||14||Errand Boy grocers|
Between the 1911 Census day (2 April 1911) and enlisting in the army, Albert Staniford was employed as a gardener at London Zoo.
Albert Staniford joined the Army and was enlisted as Gunner (number 174234) in 216th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Sometime after entering the France & Flanders operational theatre, Gunner Staniford (now number 17692) was transferred to 109 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
On 6 June 1917, while home on leave, Albert Staniford (age 24) married Esther Amelia (age 21) at St Marys Church, Somers Town, London. The couple lived at 8 Stibbington Street, Euston, London.
Just three months after his marriage, Gunner Albert Staniford was killed in action on 23 September 1917. Albert Staniford is buried in Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, Plot II, Row M, Grave 3.
Albert Staniford’s widow, Esther Amelia, was awarded a pension of 13 shillings 9 pence a week.
Albert Staniford was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
ARTHUR GEORGE WHYBROW
Arthur George Whybrow was baptised on 13 August 1891, the son of John (a gardener) and Louisa Mary Ann Whybrow.
The 1901 England and Wales Census recorded the following information about the Whybrow family, living at 33 Warden Road, St Pancras, London.
|Louisa M A||Wife||36||–|
By the time of the 1911 England and Wales Census, the Whybrow family had moved to 1 Hethersett Street, St Pancras, London.
On 27 July 1913, Arthur George Whybrow (age 22) married Daisy Sutliff (age 21) at Holy Trinity Church, Haverstock Hill, London. On 2 December 1913, the Whybrows had a daughter Winifred Daisy. The Whybrow family resided at 7 Dickenson Street, Kentish Town.
Arthur George Whybrow was employed as a helper at London Zoo.
On 4 September 1914, one month after the outbreak of war, Arthur George Whybrow enlisted at a recruitment office in Camden Town and became 2547 Private Whybrow, 19th Battalion, The London Regiment. Whybrow remained in the UK from his enlistment until 9 February 1916, when he entered the France and Flanders operational theatre.
On 15 September 1916, Private Arthur George Whybrow was killed in action. His remains are buried in London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, Plot 1A, Row A, Grave 10.
Daisy Whybrow was awarded a pension of 18 shillings and 9 pence a week. After her husband’s death, Daisy remarried becoming Daisy Goodard and moving to 193 Junction Road, Highgate, London.
Arthur George Whybrow was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
Second World War
PERCY MURRAY ADAMS
Born on 15 July 1917 in Kensworth, the son of Stacey and Frances Louise Adams.
The 1921 England and Wales Census records the Adams family residing at 21 Beechwood Road, Leagrave, Bedfordshire.
The ZSL Memorial records that Percy Adams worked as a keeper at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.
Served as a gunner (number 922398) in 148 (The Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Captured by Japanese forces on 17 February 1942. Died from colitis on 28 July 1943. Remains cremated and buried in Sonkrai Cemetery.
After the war, the Army Graves Service established Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery by transferring all the graves along the northern section of the infamous Burma-Siam railway, between Moulmein and Nieke.
Gunner Adams’ remains are now carried for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, plot B6, row F, grave 2.
HENRY PERIS DAVIES
Henry Peris Davis, the son of Evan and Anne Davies, was born in 1914. The Davis family resided at 4 Mallard Way, Kingsbury, Middlesex. Married to Ann Davies. Worked as a clerk at London Zoo.
164971 2nd Lieutenant Davies served with 5 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Died on 31 December 1941 (The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has the date 21 December 1941).
The “Casualties and Missing Personnel 1939-1945” file at the National Archives, Kew, London, state that Davies was killed in action on 29 December 1941, near Kuantan, Malaya (Malaysia) (WO 361/1203). Age 27.
As Davies’s remains were not located, he is listed on the Singapore Memorial, column 3.
WILLIAM WALTER THOMAS LENEY
William Walter Thomas Leney was born on 19 October 1878 in Walworth, London.
On 14 December 1901, William Walter Thomas Leney (occupation groom) married Kate Cowley at St Martin’s Church, Gospel Oak, Kentish Town, London.
The 1911 England and Wales Census has the Leney family living at 116 Gloucester Road, Regent’s Park.
On 10 December 1915, William Walter Thomas Leney attested in the Army Service Corps and was immediately transferred to the reserves. The following figures were extracted from his service papers at the National Archives.
|HEIGHT||5 Feet 4.25 Inches|
|CHEST (EXPANDED)||36.5 Inches|
|CHEST (RANGE OF EXPANSION)||2.5 Inches|
45790 Private Leney was mobilised on 17 September 1917 to the 9th Battalion, Essex Regiment. On 10 April 1918, Private Leney was assigned to the British Forces on the Western Front. However, Private Leney only spent 17 days there as he was returned to the UK on 27 April 1918. He served in the UK until 24 June 1918, when he was discharged as medically unfit for further service. 45790 Private Leney received the British War and Victory medals and the Silver War Badge (number 411931).
After his discharge, Leney resumed working for London Zoo.
The 1921 England and Wales Census records the Leney family living at 17 Princess Road, St Pancras, London.
|Walter W J||Head||42||Animal Keeper|
|Kate J||Wife||42||Home Duties|
|Doris M||Daughter||18||Shorthand Typist|
On 29 September 1939, the “1939 England and Wales Register” was compiled as a basis for issuing wartime identity cards and ration books. This register shows William Walter Thomas and Kate Leney living at 59 King Henry’s Road, Hampstead.
By the end of September 1944, all the V-1 launching sites had been overrun by the Allied forces in their advance across western Europe. However, the Germans had started launching the V-1 flying bombs from converted Heinkel 111 aircraft. On 25 November 1944, one such V-1 flying bomb scored a direct hit on 59 King Henry’s Road killing both William Walter Thomas and Kate Leney. Their remains were buried in Hampstead Cemetery.
LEONARD JAMES PEACHEY
Leonard James Peachey was born on 19 October 1909 in Islington, Middlesex. The 1911 England and Wales Census shows the Peachey family living at 13 Thornhill Bridge Place, Barnsbury, Islington.
The 1921 England and Wales Census records the Peachey family living at 32 Stroud Green Road, Hornsey, Middlesex.
|Albert||Head||41||Met Police Constable|
Leonard James Peachey worked as a clerk at London Zoo.
On 29 September 1939, the “1939 England and Wales Register” was compiled as a basis for issuing wartime identity cards and ration books. This register shows Leonard James and Marjorie (born 23 January 1911, married 1931) Peachey living at 213a Woodhouse Road, Friern Barnet, Middlesex. Leonard James Peachey’s occupation is recorded as “Leading Aircraftsman 749539 RAF”.
At the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939, 22 Squadron was part of the RAF’s Coastal Command based at RAF Thorney Island, carrying out anti-submarine patrols over the English Channel with its Vickers Vildebeest bi-plane aircraft. From November 1939, the squadron started to receive Bristol Beaufort twin-engine monoplanes, to replace the obsolete Vildebeests. However, the Bristol Taurus Engines of the Beaufort proved unreliable. 22 Squadron flew its last Vildebeest operation on 20 December 1939.
22 Squadron moved to RAF North Coates, Lincolnshire, on 8 April 1940. The first operation from its new base occurred on 15 April 1940, when nine Beauforts took part in mine-laying operation off the entrance of the River Elbe.
On 18 December 1940, a Bristol Beaufort Mark I took off, for a mine laying sortie, from RAF North Coates. Just after take-off, the plane suffered an engine failure, stalled and crashed at Marshchapel, just one mile from its base. All four crew members were killed in the crash. All the crew are buried in North Coates (St. Nicholas) Churchyard.
|HART Ralph Gerald||22||WO Program Mechanic|
|HOW Dennis George||23||Pilot|
|PEACHEY Leonard James||32||Wireless Op/Gunner|
|RENAI Paul Victor||22||Observer|
Paul Victor Renai was the son of Hector Henry Archimede Renai and Susannah Jane Renai, of Khandallah, Wellington, New Zealand.
ALBERT HENRY WELLS
Albert Henry Wells was born on 25 April 1908 in Regents Park, London.
The 1911 England and Wales Census shows the Wells family living at 46 Gloucester Road, Regents Park.
On 20 July 1935, Albert Henry Wells married Doris Hilda Wood (born 27 December 1908) at St. Barnabas Church, Kentish Town, London. Albert Henry Wells worked as a keeper at London Zoo.
On 25 January 1945, while serving with 70 Heavy Anti-Aircraft, Royal Artillery, 1755068 Gunner Albert Henry Wells died during fighting in the Mandalay area of Burma (now Myanmar). Buried in Mandalay War Cemetery, Plot 2, Row E, Grave 16.
In 1951, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission created Taukkyan War Cemetery by exhuming the remains from four battlefield cemeteries: Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw, and burying all the remains in the new Taukkyan cemetery where they could be maintained in perpetuity.
The remains of Gunner Wells now lie in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Plot 18, Row G, Grave 21. The following inscription, chosen by his next-of-kin, is on his headstone: “So dearly loved by his wife and children. All he had he gave for his Country.”