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FALFIELD - Pale brown or fallow open land'. Old English fecal + field.
Taken from A Dictionary of Place-Names Oxford University Press, © A.D. Mills 1998.



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After some extensive research no information can be found for a HERBERT SELMAN. However entry no 336 in the Burial register of St George’s Church dated 14th June 1915 records the burial for a WILLIAM SELMAN (Qtr Sergeant 2nd Glos regiment) In the address box the officiating minister recorded the following “died at Lincoln result of wounds killed in action 17th May” Searching the “Soldiers of Gloucestershire website a record for William Selman service no 5956 recorded that he was buried at “xFALFI” following contact with “Soldiers of Gloucester” it was confirmed that he was infact buried in St George’s churchyard.


Date Born:

Circa 1880

Birth Place:

Possibly Chipping Sodbury / Yate

Date of Death:

17th May 1915


Died of wounds

From Soldiers or Gloucester database “Quartermaster

W Selman (Salmon?) was shot at the Front with 2 Glos

Regt and died in Lincoln Hospital aged 35. Buried in

Falfield Churchyard on 13 June 1915. (Echo 16/6/15)

Reported as Died of wounds 10/6/15”


Quartermaster Sergeant


2nd Gloucestershire Regiment

Service No:


Duty Location:

Unknown but thought to be France.


St Georges Churchyard, Falfield. Plot not recorded.


1914/15 Star

Given the information available, it is very possible that William Selman was was awarded the 1914/15 star campaign medal of the British Empire for his service in World War One.

This Star is identical to the 1914 Star in every respect except that the centre scroll bears the dates “1914- 15” and the two small scrolls bearing “Aug” and “Nov” are omitted.

British War Medal and Victory Medal

He would also have received the British War Medal and Victory Medal, as it was not awarded singularly. These three medals were sometimes irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. With Pip representing either this medal or the 1914 Star, only one of which could be awarded to a soldier, Squeak represented the British War Medal and Wilfred represented the Victory Medal.

Eligibility for the Victory Medal consisted of having been mobilised, fighting, having served in any of the theatres of operations, or at sea, between midnight 4th/5th August, 1914, and midnight, 11th/12th November, 1918. Women who served in any of the various military organisations in a theatre of operations were also eligible.

The Victory (Medal British Empire campaign medal) was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

This medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service before the completion of this period.



Military Information:

2nd Battalion Gloucester Regiment

August 1914 : in Tientsin, China. Returned to England, landing at Southampton on 8 November 1914.

8 November 1914 : came under command of 81st Brigade in 27th Division at Winchester.

Landed at Le Havre 18 December 1914.

Moved to Salonika theatre in late November 1915.

3 November 1916 : transferred to 82nd Brigade in same Division.

Other Information

Searching the “Soldiers of Gloucestershire website a record for William Selman, service no 5956 records that he was buried at “xFALFI” On checking with the Archivist at Soldiers of Gloucester he confirms that the reference of xFALFI refers to Falfield Churchyard.

Checks on the census returns have been made for 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. A William Selman can be found in the Chipping Sodbury Union (Workhouse) in 1881 ages 7 months and again in 1891 aged 10 and  was born in Yate. Also in the 1881 census there is an Emily Selman, aged 33 recorded in the Workhouse. Could this be William’s mother? In the 1901 census William is now a soldier with the Gloucester regiment based at Tregantle Fort, Antony, Torpoint, Devon and in the 1911 census he is now a Corporal based in Polvrista Barracks, Malta.

The information below was taken from the Gazette in 1915

“The week after Sir George Jenkinson’s funeral on 5th June 1915, QMS Selman was buried with full military honours, including a rifle salute”.

William was a friend of Mr Simmons (could this be Frederick Simmonds recorded in the 1911 census as a farm worker living in Moorslade Lane, Falfield)  and came to Falfield with him and looked on it as his home.  He was injured at Ypres, a bullet passing through his spine.  He was brought back to Lincoln hospital where he died. His wish was to be buried at Falfield so his body was brought by train and cart and kept overnight at the vicarage.

Credits: St George’s  Burial Records, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Ancestry website, forces-war-records.co.uk, Soldiers of Gloucestershire.

If anyone believes that any of the information above is incorrect or has information to add to Herbert (William) Selman then please email webmaster@falfield.org.uk


British War Medal

Victory Medal

1914/15 Star

Page last updated: Saturday, January 24, 2015