Kisington

Mark Kinchington

The ‘Mark Kisington’ on the Belton memorial is probably Cpl Mark Kinchington of the Hampshire Regiment.

He was born in Exbury, Hampshire in 1897.  In 1911 he was in Langley (also Hampshire) where both he and his father George were domestic gardeners.  In 1913 (aged 18) he put an advert in the West Sussex Gazette advertising for work. 

It seems that he was employed by Lord Brownlow, as in June 1914 ‘M Kinchington’ was playing cricket for the Belton Park team.  His name (spelt correctly) is on the roll of honour for Little Gaddesden in Hertfordshire.  This is the nearest church to Ashridge House, which was also owned by Lord Brownlow.  He is one of 7 men named on both the Belton and Little Gaddesden rolls of honour.   He’s not listed as being killed but he seems to have joined up early in the war and after Lady Adelaide died in 1917 Lord Brownlow stayed at Belton, with Ashridge being used as a military hospital.

Other than the spelling of the surname, the only evidence to disprove this theory is the Grantham Journal report about the war memorial which lists Kisington as ‘Bedford Regiment, August 1914, killed in France’.  

The most likely explanation is that Mark only worked for the Belton estate for a short time and that after he joined up they lost touch, especially since his family were down in the New Forest.

Mark Kinchington joined 10th Battalion Hampshire Regiment early in the war (he was awarded the 1914-15 star).  This New Army unit initially served in Ireland before fighting in the Gallipoli campaign and then Salonika (Greece).  At some point Mark was transferred to 2nd Battalion, which had moved from Gallipoli to France.  He was killed in action on 3 Sep 1918.

At the time 2nd Hampshires were part of 29th Division during the start of the allied final advance.  On 2nd Sep they arrived  just west of Ploegsteert Wood and Hill 63 (between Ypres and Lille) where the Germans were making a stand.  On 3rd they established a starting line for the assault on Hill 63 on 4th Sep.  The attack was successful but 37 men from 2nd Hampshires died.  However, the date of death implies that Mark was killed the previous day.  He is buried at Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck.