Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

HM Dockyard Portsmouth has been a magnet for skilled workmen throughout it's existence, none more so than during the the late 19th Century as the Royal Navy was building a new generation of ships. One of those drawn to the town was Wilfred Vernon's father John Benjamin Legg, a shipwright.
John had been born at St. Agnes in the Scilly Isles in 1869 and arrived in Portsmouth early in the 1890s and by the middle of 1893 had married a local woman, Harriett Mary Corpes. She had been born at Portsmouth in 1868 and was the daughter of Charles and Harriett Corpes of 48 Binsteed Road. John and Harriett started a family soon after their marriage with Wilfred Vernon being born in 1894 and his sister Mildred Elsie following a year later.
The 1901 census found the family at 23 Emsworth Road, North End whilst in 1991 they were recorded as living a few doors away at 148 Emsworth Road. By that time Wilfred Vernon had left school and become a student teacher.
When war was declared in August 1914 Wilfred Vernon was 20 years old. He may not have enlisted in the first wave of enthusiasm as when he did so he was posted to the 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment, probably as a replacement for men lost at the front. Wilfred Vernon was probably killed during one of the Battles of the Somme. His body was not recovered.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Private Wilfred Vernon Legg (22212), 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment, died 19/11/1916. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 7 B). Son of John Benjamin Legg, of 148, Emsworth Rd., North End, Portsmouth. A school teacher.
Wilfred Legg is also commemorated on the Buckland United Reformed Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014