Kenneth Leslie Poland

Name on Plaque

K. L. POLAND

Connection with Effingham

He was born in Effingham although his parents were not. The latter had moved to the village by 1914.

Genealogy

Kenneth’s grandfather was Arthur Poland, born to parents James and Sarah in 1857 [GRO Ref: Worthing 2b 264, 1857 (Q2)] and baptised at Heene (a part of Worthing) on June 14th of that year [IGI: Batch C070602]. The 1881 Census finds him living with his parents in Broadwater (also a part of Worthing):

1881 Census
No. 6, Bath Place, Broadwater, Sussex : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 1116 Folio 26 Page 44

James Poland : head : mar : 54 : boatman : Worthing, Sussex
Sarah Poland : wife : mar : 53 : lodging house keeper : Ashington, Sussex
Arthur Poland : son : unm : 23 : boatman : Worthing, Sussex
William S. Poland : son : unm : 18 : carpenter : Worthing, Sussex
Mary Sopp : servant : unm : 21 : general servant : Sidlesham, Sussex
Mary A. Stangert : lodger : unm : 31 : dividends : S. Africa (British Subject)

Arthur’s future wife was Eliza (née) Saunders, born to William and Ann [GRO Ref: Chichester 2b 292, 1859 (Q3)] at Fittleworth, about 8 miles east of Midhurst, and baptised there on October 7th of that year [IGI: Batch C070501]. When she was still an infant her family moved to Easebourne, just a mile NE of Midhurst, and were living there by early 1861. The 1881 Census finds Eliza living, like Arthur, in Broadwater:

 

1881 Census
Deverell Cottage, Crescent Road, Broadwater, Sussex : PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 1117 Folio 53 Page 37

John Roberts : head : mar : 40 : wine merchant : Worthing, Sussex
with his family and 4 servants, including:
Eliza Saunders : servant : unm : 20 : domestic cook : Eastbourne [sic – Easebourne], Sussex

Arthur and Eliza married in 1887 [GRO Ref: E. Preston 2b 547, 1887 (Q2)] and then moved to Richmond in Surrey. Their son Arthur James – the future father of Kenneth – was born there around early 1889 [GRO Ref: Richmond S. 2a 387, 1889 (Q1)]. They have not been found in the 1891 Census but were almost certainly living in Richmond.

The 1901 Census finds Arthur and Eliza living in Richmond. By now she was confused as to her birthplace, remembering only where she had lived in her childhood:

1901 Census
No. 17, Old Palace Lane, Richmond, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG13 Piece 674 Folio 60 Page 12

Arthur Poland : head : mar : 43 : police constable : Worthing, Sussex
Eliza Poland : wife : mar : 43 : — : Midhurst [in error], Sussex
Arthur J. Poland : son : unm : 12 : — : Richmond, Surrey
Robert W. Poland : son : unm : 11 : — : Richmond, Surrey
Ida A. Poland : dau : unm : 7 : — : Richmond, Surrey
Philip H. Poland : son : unm : 5 : — : Richmond, Surrey
Thomas E. Poland : son : unm : 4 : — : Richmond, Surrey
Marie E. Poland : son : unm : 3 : — : Richmond, Surrey

By 1911 the family had moved to Kingston-on-Thames:

1911 Census
No. 6, Bloomfield Road, Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey : PRO Ref: RG14 Piece 3505 Schedule 161

Edward Collins : head : mar : 48 : town postman : Alton, Hampshire
Louisa Collins : wife : mar : 49 : — : Matching Tye, Essex
Louisa Agnes Collins : dau : unm : 21 : — : Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey
Edward Rixon Collins : son : unm : 17 : cable jointer : Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey
Cecil George Collins : son : unm : 14 : telegraph messenger : Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey
Percey [sic] Robert Collins : son : unm : 9 : — : Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey
Arthur Poland Collins : granson [sic] : unm : 5 months : — : Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey

The above record indicates that Agnes Louisa had produced a child “Arthur Poland Collins” out of wedlock [GRO Ref: Kingston 2a 421, 1910(Q4)] and that Arthur James had been the father.

Shortly after this census Arthur James and Agnes Louisa married [GRO Ref: Kingston 2a 939, 1911 (Q2)]. Their marriage is the only one in the GRO index between a male Poland and a female Collins, and the index offers birth references for five Poland children having Collins as their mother’s maiden name:

Arthur [John] Poland : born 2 November 1910
                                       late GRO registration Kingston 2a 733, 1927 (Q3)
Gladys L. Poland : Kingston 2a 869, 1912 (Q3)
Edward P. Poland : Dorking 2a 327, 1914 (Q4)
Kenneth L. Poland : Dorking 2a 401, 1920 (Q2)
Ronald J. Poland : Dorking 2a 339, 1923 (Q2)

The first child was the child registered in 1910 as Arthur Poland Collins. He was evidently re-registered with the Poland surname when he was nearly 17 years old; his “late entry” GRO reference in 1927 names him only as “Arthur”. In the electoral records for the years 1932-38 he is named only as “Arthur (Junr.)” but the 1939 National Register names him as Arthur John and gives his precise birthdate. He is also named as Arthur John in the national Probate Index.

In 1927 Kenneth’s grandfather Arthur died aged “69” [GRO Ref: Kingston 2a 798, 1927 (Q1)].

Arthur James in (probably) the 1920s and Agnes Louisa in 1933.

A former resident (Mary Elizabeth Procter) has stated that Kenneth was “always teased for his tanned face” and that he died while mine sweeping on the shores of Italy. It had been her job at the time to deliver telegrams to those whose sons had died on active service.

Kenneth served with the Royal Engineers in the War and was killed in Italy in December 1944, just three months after the death of his younger brother Ronald James Poland. His parents were living in Effingham at 2, Church Street, where (Electoral Registers show) they had lived for many years. He is commemorated on the gravestone of his brother in St. Lawrence churchyard:

on the upright headstone:

In Loving Memory
Trooper Ronald James Poland
Sherwood Rangers R.A.C.
Died on active service Sept 18th 1944
aged 21 years

Also his brother
Sapper Kenneth Leslie Poland
Royal Engineers
Killed on active service
on the Italian front Dec 30th 1944
aged 24 years
Interred Cesena Military Cemetery

“At the going down of the sun
And in the morning,
We remember them.”

on the flat panel:

Treasured Memories
Edward “Phil”
Poland
1914–1995
and his loving wife
Muriel
1920–2010

In 1947 Kenneth’s grandmother Eliza died aged “87” [GRO Ref: Surrey N.E. 5g 692, 1947 (Q1)].

In 1964 Kenneth’s father Arthur James died aged “75” [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 227, 1964 (Q4)], and in 1972 his mother Agnes Louisa died aged 83 [GRO Ref: Surrey Mid.E. 5g 256, 1972 (Q3)].

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

POLAND, KENNETH LESLIE
Sapper
Royal Engineers, 857 Quarrying Coy.
24
30/12/1944
2018031
Son of Arthur James Poland and Agnes Louisa Poland, of Effingham, Surrey
II. G. 2.
CESENA WAR CEMETERY