Charles Thomas Dench

Name on Plaque

C. T. DENCH

Connection with Effingham

He was born in Effingham, as was his father William Dench. In 1948 his parents were living here at 8, Victory Cottages [1948 Electoral Register].

Genealogy

The Dench surname appears often in Effingham’s history, and so the genealogy on this page has been traced back several generations to assist our other Dench-related investigations.

Charles Thomas’ great-grandfather Thomas (Snr.) Dench was born to parents Francis and Ann and was baptised at East Horsley on May 20th 1804 [IGI: Batch 7305111]. Thomas (Snr.) married at West Horsley on May 12th 1832 to Sarah (née) Turner[IGI: Batch M040391]. She had been born to parents Thomas and Elizabeth at Ockham on July 24th 1813 and baptised there on September 5th of that year [IGI: Batch P014491].

By 1841 Thomas (Snr.) and Sarah had produced four children; the youngest was Thomas (Jnr.), born at West Horsley in 1839 [GRO Ref: Guildford 4 149, 1839 (Q2)] and baptised there on June 2nd of that year [IGI: Batch C040391]. Here is the family in the 1841 Census:

1841 Census
The Street, West Horsley, Surrey : PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1080 Book 12 Folio 8 Page 9

Thomas [Snr.] Dench : 30 [rounded] : agricultural labourer : yes [born in Surrey]
Sarah Dench : 25 [rounded] : — : yes
Eliza[beth] Dench : 9 : — : yes
Jno [John] Dench : 6 : — : yes
Mary Dench : 4 : — : yes
Thomas [Jnr.] Dench : 2 : — : yes

and in the 1851 Census:

1851 Census
The Street, West Horsley, Surrey : PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1594 Folio 274 Page 20

Thomas [Snr.] Dench : head : mar : 44 : agricultural labourer : East Horsley, Surrey
Sarah Dench : wife : mar : 38 : — : Ockham, Surrey
John Dench : son : unm : 16 : agricultural labourer : West Horsley, Surrey
Mary Dench : dau : unm : 15 : [at] home : Effingham, Surrey
Thos [Jnr.] Dench : son : unm : 11 : — : West Horsley, Surrey
Eliza Dench : dau : unm : 9 : — : West Horsley, Surrey
Sarah Dench : dau : unm : 6 : — : West Horsley, Surrey
Wm Dench : son : unm : 3 : — : West Horsley, Surrey
Ann Dench : dau : unm : 9 : — : West Horsley, Surrey

The future wife of Thomas (Jnr.) was Sarah Anna (née) Sawyer(s) born to parents Ambrose and Mary and baptised at Effingham on March 24th 1844 [IGI: Batch C008222]; her birth does not appear to have been registered with the GRO. Here she is with her family in the 1851 Census:

1851 Census
Pit House, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: HO107 Piece 1598 Folio 359 Page 1

Ambrose Sawyers [sic] : head : mar : 38 : out of employment : West Horsley, Surrey
Mary Sawyers : wife : mar : 38 : — : Little Bookham, Surrey
George Sawyers : son : unm : 11 : — : scholar : East Horsley, Surrey
Mary Ann Sawyers : dau : unm : 9 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Sarah Sawyers : dau : unm : 7 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Catherine Sawyers : dau : unm : 5 : at home : Effingham, Surrey
Arthur Sawyers : son : unm : 2 : at home : Effingham, Surrey
Alice Sawyers : dau : unm : 7 months : — : Effingham, Surrey
Ann Sawyers : sister : unm : 51 : pauper : West Horsley, Surrey

By 1861 Thomas (Jnr.) had moved to the household in Effingham of his married sister Elizabeth (Snr.) – who had married William Wells in 1853 and would become the grandmother of Arthur Wells, one of Effingham’s fallen of WW1 – whilst his parents remained in West Horsley:

1861 Census
The Street, West Horsley, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 426 Folio 101 Page 9

Thomas [Snr.] Dench  : head : mar : 55 : agricultural labourer : East Horsley, Surrey
Sarah Dench : wife : mar : 47 : — : Ockham, Surrey
Sarah Dench : dau : unm : 16 : agricultural labourer : West Horsley, Surrey
William Dench : son : unm : 13 : agricultural labourer : West Horsley, Surrey
Ann Dench : dau : unm : 11 : scholar : West Horsley, Surrey
James Dench : son : unm : 7 : scholar : West Horsley, Surrey

1861 Census
Westmoor House, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 441 Folio 69 Page 6
[Westmoor House, in Orestan Lane, is today a listed building in the village.]

William Wells  : head : mar : 33 : farmer’s laborer [sic] : Effingham, Surrey
Elizabeth [Snr.] Wells : wife : mar : 28 : dressmaker : West Horsley, Surrey
Eliza Wells : dau : unm : 7 : scholar : West Horsley, Surrey
Thomas Wells : son : unm : 4 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Elizabeth Wells : dau : unm : 2 : scholar (!) : Effingham, Surrey
John Wm. Wells : son : unm : 2 months : — : Effingham, Surrey
Thomas [Jnr.] Dench : brother-in-law : unm : 21 : farmer’s labourer : West Horsley, Surrey
William Percy : lodger : unm : 28 : farmer’s labourer : Effingham, Surrey

In 1866 Thomas (Jnr.) and Sarah Anna married, probably at St. Lawrence [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 199, 1866 (Q3)].

In 1868 Thomas (Snr.) died aged “64” [GRO Ref: Guildford 2a 38, 1868 (Q4)].

Thomas (Jnr.) moved to Great Bookham; here he is with his young family in 1871:

1871 Census
“Rose Cottages”, Little Bookham Street (East Side), Great Bookham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG10 Piece 801 Folio 81 Page 4

Thomas [Jnr.] Dench : head : mar : 31 : labourer in a garden : West Horsley, Surrey
Sarah Dench : wife : mar : 27 : — : Effingham, Surrey
James Dench : son : unm : 3 : — : Effingham, Surrey
Thomas Dench : son : unm : 2 : — : Great Bookham, Surrey

In 1873 Thomas (Jnr.) and Sarah Anna had a son William – the future father of Charles Thomas – born to them in Effingham, to where they had by then returned [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 133, 1873 (Q2)]. Here is William in the 1881 Census:

1881 Census
The Village, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 796 Folio 115 Page 3

Thomas [Jnr.] Dench : head : mar : 41 : stockman : West Horsley, Surrey
Sarah Dench : wife : mar : 37 : — : Effingham, Surrey
James Dench : son : unm : 13 : carter boy : Effingham, Surrey
Thomas Dench : son : unm : 12 : farm labourer : Great Bookham, Surrey
William Dench : son : unm : 8 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Arthur Dench : son : unm : 5 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey 
Bruce Dench : son : unm : 3 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Minnie Dench : dau : unm : 10 months : — : Effingham, Surrey

The future wife of William was Elizabeth (née) Whittington, sister of Bob Whittington, another of Effingham’s fallen of WW1. She was born in Leatherhead in 1874 [GRO Ref: Epsom 2a 27, 1874 (Q1)]. Here she is with her parents in 1881:

1881 Census
The Village, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 796 Folio 115 Page 4

Charles Whittington : head : mar : 35 : carpenter’s labourer : Effingham, Surrey
Ellen Whittington : wife : mar : 25 : — : Fownhope, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Whittington : dau : unm : 7 : scholar : Leatherhead, Surrey
Kate Whittington : dau : unm : 5 : scholar : Croydon, Surrey
Fanny Whittington : dau : unm : 4 : scholar : Croydon, Surrey
John Whittington : son : unm : 2 : — : Croydon, Surrey

In 1884 Thomas (Jnr.)’s wife Sarah Anna died aged only “41” [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 95, 1884 (Q4)], and the following year his mother Sarah also died, aged “71” [GRO Ref: Guildford 2a 50, 1885 (Q2)]. He then partnered a widow Mary Ann (née Charlwood) Stovell.

Mary Ann had been born in Upper Tooting around 1843 and in 1867 had married [GRO Ref: Croydon 2a 312, 1867 (Q4)] Effingham’s village blacksmith Thomas (II) Stovell, a man about 36 years older than her whose former wife Elizabeth had died six years earlier [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 74, 1861 (Q4)]. They may have married in Croydon in order to keep their marriage secret from the villagers in Effingham. Thomas (II) Stovell died aged “80” in 1887 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 88, 1887 (Q4)].

The 1891 Census finds Thomas (Jnr.) and Mary Ann living in Effingham and purporting to be married to one another, although at this stage they were not; they had with them children from both their former marriages:

1891 Census
The Village, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG12 Piece 576 Folio 91 Page 10

Thomas [Jnr.] Dench : head : mar [actually widower] : 46 [sic] : agricultural labourer : West Horsley, Surrey
Mary A. Dench : wife [sic] : mar [actually widow] : 45 : — : Tooting, Surrey
James Dench : son : unm : 23 : Coldstream Guards on reserve : Effingham, Surrey
Arthur Dench : son : unm : 15 : general labourer : Effingham, Surrey 
Bruce Dench : son : unm : 13 : general labourer : Effingham, Surrey
Minnie Dench : dau : unm : 10 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
[Arthur] Archibald Stovell : [step]son : unm : 11 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
Walter Stovell : [step]son : unm : 9 : scholar : Effingham, Surrey
William Dench : son : unm : 18 : agricultural labourer : Effingham, Surrey 

In 1894 Thomas (Jnr.) and Mary Ann married [GRO Ref: Lambeth 1d 605, 1894 (Q2)]. Their wedding was twinned with that of an Edwin Frederick Stovell who is presumed to have been related to Thomas (II) Stovell.

In 1899 William Dench married Elizabeth (née) Whittington [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 339, 1899 (Q3)]. Their wedding was twinned with that of Mary Ann’s daughter Agnes Lydia (née) Stovell to William Kirby Hart.    

The 1901 Census finds William, Elizabeth and their first child constituting one of two households living in the property known as “West Street Laundry”:

1901 Census
West Street Laundry, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 623 Folio 96 Page 1

William Dench : head : mar : 27 : general labourer : Effingham, Surrey
Elizabeth Dench : wife : mar : 27 : — : Leatherhead, Surrey
Edward Dench : son : unm : 10 months : — : Effingham, Surrey

Their child Charles Thomas was born in 1908 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 197, 1908 (Q1)]. Here is the family in 1911, now living in Westmoor House:

1911 Census
Westmore [sic] House, Effingham, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 3193 Schedule 3

William Dench : head : mar : 38 : labourer for District Council of roads : Effingham, Surrey
Elizabeth Dench : wife : mar : 37 : — : Leatherhead, Surrey
Edward Dench : son : unm : 10 : school : Effingham, Surrey
Jack Dench : son : unm : 9 : school : Effingham, Surrey
Edith Dench : dau : unm : 8 : school : Effingham, Surrey
Ellen Dench : dau : unm : 6 : — : Effingham, Surrey
Charles [Thomas] Dench : son : unm : 3 : — : Effingham, Surrey
Elizabeth Dench : dau : unm : 2 : — : Effingham, Surrey

Thomas (Jnr.) Dench, grandfather of Charles Thomas, died aged “77” in 1915 [GRO Ref: Dorking 2a 257, 1915 (Q4)].

The future wife of Charles Thomas was Marjorie (née) Hebdon. Her birth reference is probably [GRO Ref: Auckland 10a 252, 1908 (Q4)] or [GRO Ref: Easingwold 9d 810, 1912 (Q4)]. They married in 1933 [GRO Ref: Woolwich 1d 3083, 1933 (Q3)]. By this time Charles Thomas may have already joined the Royal Artillery and been based in or near to the Woolwich Arsenal. They produced one child before the War, Ann E. Dench [GRO Ref: Woolwich 1d 1279, 1935 (Q2)].

In 1938 Mary Ann, the widow of Thomas (Jnr.), died aged “94” [GRO Ref: Surrey S.W. 2a 361, 1938 (Q3)].

Details of the war service of Charles Thomas are currently unknown other than that he served as a Serjeant in the 1st Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery and died in the North Africa campaign on December 10th 1941.

Marjorie may have remarried – to a Frank Wilson – in 1943 [GRO Ref: Newcastle-upon-Tyne 10b 83, 1943 (Q2)].

Military Records

1. Service Record – not yet available

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Record

Name
Rank
Regiment
Age
Date of Death
Service No.
Additional info.
Grave/Memorial Ref.
Cemetery

DENCH, THOMAS CHARLES [forenames in reverse order]
Serjeant
1 Field Regt., Royal Artillery
33
10/12/1941
1068850
Son of William and Elizabeth Dench, husband of Marjorie Dench, of Gosforth, Northumberland.
Column 31.
ALAMEIN MEMORIAL