Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The great public memorials to the fallen of World War 1 are rightly honoured, but often it's the personal commemorations that truly capture the grief felt by the families concerned. Many of the latter are etched into the fabric of family burial plots where their permanence is, sadly, less secure. The Tappenden family grave commemorates the sacrifice made by their son Herbert Frederick.
Although firmly set in Portsmouth by 1914, the Tappenden family roots lay over the water in Gosport. There Herbert Frederick's father Charles Attrill Tappenden was born in 1854. His parents were John, a linen draper by trade, and Anne Tappenden. Charles made his move to Portsmouth in the 1880s after marrying Harriett Elizabeth Waters (b. 1862) in 1885. They made their home at 52 Victoria Road North, Southsea where Charles set up his own business as a draper whilst also selling stationery.
Charles and Harriett had four children, Edith (b. 1886), Herbert Frederick (b. 1891), Irene (b. 1893) and Arthur (b. 1900). Harriett lived long enough to see three of them attain adulthood but died in 1909 when the youngest was only nine years old. Charles seems to have resonded by securing the family business which by 1911 had developed to include the roles of newsagent and sub-postmaster. By this time however it seems as though Herbert Frederick had already joined the army, that at least would be a logical reason for his absence from the UK when the census was taken.
There is little evidence available online to tell of Herbert's wartime experiences but we know he was in the Middle East in 1916/17 during the approach to and capture of Palestine. He died in action on 26th March 1917 which was the date of the First Battle of Gaza.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Second Lieutenant Herbert Frederick Tappenden, 4th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, died on 26/03/1917. Remembered on the Jerusalem Memorial. Son of Charles Athill Tappenden and Harriett Elizabeth Tappenden, of 52, Victoria Rd. North, Southsea, Portsmouth.
Herbert Tappenden is also remembered on the Family Gravestone in Highland Road Cemetery, the WW1 Memorial in Holy Spirit Church and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014