The War Memorial

Caldecote's War MemorialSt Michael and All Angels - war memorialA wooden tablet inside the church commemorates the First World War, listing the names of three local men who gave their lives for their country. On this webpage we look a little deeper into the memorial’s history, the men it commemorates, and the story of HMS Formidable, on which Victor Harrup served and lost his life in 1915.

The tablet

Situated on the back wall of the Church, the memorial also lists the names of others who were wounded. According to the official records, the memorial was originally a marble rather than wooden tablet, unveiled in 1920, which suggests that the memorial we have today is a replacement.

If you know more about the memorial’s history, we’d love to hear from you.

The men honoured

With kind permission from the Roll-of-Honour website, we can give a little insight from the records into these men, their family backgrounds and the circumstances of their deaths:

Trevor Badcock
Private 24077, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. Died of wounds 13th April 1917. Aged 23. Born Caldecoate, enlisted Cambridge. Son of Walter Badcock, of Brook Cottage, Comberton, Cambridge. Buried in DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN, Pas de Calais, France.

Victor Harrup
Stoker 2nd Class K/22628, HMS Formidable, Royal Navy. Lost with his ship when sunk by submarine U-24 1st January 1915 [scroll down for more on HMS Formidable]. Aged 17. Son of William and Sarah Harrup, of Main St., Caldecote, Cambridge. Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent, United Kingdom.

William Watts
Private 7066, 1st Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Forces. Killed in action 9th June 1918 having just returned from a previous wound received in action 23rd May 1918. Aged 33. Son of David Henry and Fanny Watts, of Highfield, Caldecote, Cambs., England. Native of West Ham, London, England. Enlisted Cootamundra, New South Wales, aged 32, 16th October 1916. Labourer by trade. Unmarried. Height 5 feet 8 inches, girth 38 inches, 160lbs, complexion dark, eyes brown, hair dark. Church of England. Embarked at Sydney on H.M.A.T. A24 “Benall” 9th November 1916, disembraked at Devonport 9th January 1917. Buried in METEREN MILITARY CEMETERY, Nord, France.

The war memorial at Caldecote, Cambridgeshire

HMS Formidable

Photograph courtesy of

HMS Formidable

As its name suggests, HMS Formidable was indeed a formidable battleship. Launched on 17th November 1989 at Portsmouth, its heaviest gun was 50 tons.

HMS Formidable

Photo (c) Lyme Regis Museum

The ship, pictured here (information and photography courtesy of Roll-of-Honour and the Lyme Regis Philpot Museum), was sunk by a torpedo from a German submarine U24 off Portland Bill, in the English Channel, on New Year’s Day1915.

She sank in 180 feet of water about 37 miles off the Devon coast, the first British battleship to be sunk in the First World War.Victor Harrup, remembered on Caldecote’s memorial, was one of about 550 men who lost their lives.

The story of the sinking of HMS Formidable is recorded on the Burton Bradstock village website.

The full text on the tablet reads:

To the Glory of God and in Memory of those
who gave their lives for their Country in the Great War

Pte. Trevor Badcock, Suff.Regt.
Sto. Victor Harrup, H.M.S.Formidable.
Pte. William Watts, A.I.F.
“Faithful unto Death.”

This Tablet also records the Names of others who served in the War.


Pte. Joshua Badcock
Pte. Frederick A. Richmond.
L. Cpt. George Badcock.
Sto. Sidney J. Badcock.
Ldg.Sn. W.Armell Badcock.
Pte. W.Frank Badcock.
1stA/M. Archie D.Clarke.
Sgt. George Cornell.
Gun. Leslie Gordon.
Sgt. Wilfrid D.Harrup.
Pte. Augustus G. Radford.
Pte. Harry Smith.
Drm. Henry Tabony.
Sto. Frederick Watts.