Victor Douglas Couchman 1887 – 1930

Victor was born int the 2nd quarter of 1887, in Borden near Milton in Kent. His parents were Harry Elijah and Ann (née Fowle), and he had two older brothers.

The 1891 census showed that Henry was a grocer and colour oilman, with the family living at 1 Mill Lane, Borden. In 1901, the family were living at 112 Maidstone Road in Headcorn and Henry was working as a coachman. Victor’s brother, Percival, was employed as a grocer’s assistant.

By 1911, Victor had moved to Shepherdswell where he was boarding with William Bax and his wife on Church Hill. His job was given as an assistant grocer. The following year, 1912, Victor married local girl Sarah Jane Beer in St Andrew’s Church on 22nd April, following banns. Their first child, a daughter, was born in February 1913, and their first son in 1915. At some point they moved into 2 Dorchester Cottages, with local directories suggesting that they were there from around 1917.

Some of Victor’s War records have survived. He appears to have initially attested on 8th December 1915 in The Buffs, service number G9961, but was placed in the Army Reserve the following day. At the end of May 1916, he underwent his medical examination at Canterbury. This gave the information that he was 5ft 7ins tall and had dentures top and bottom.

The following day he was posted as a private to the 3rd Battalion; he then was transferred into the 1st Battalion on 3rd November, and back into the 3rd Battalion on 12th April 1917.

Three months later he was transferred yet again, this time into C Company 2/7th Battalion, the Royal Scots Guards, when his service number was changed to 497194. He was posted the same day. He was transferred yet again in February 1918, this time into the Royal Army Medical Corps, however only a partial service number has survived, 13754. He finally came home in October 1919.

Following the War, Victor and Sarah had three more children. A newspaper report in April 1922 stated that Victor was working as an undergardener for Mr Copus.

Little more is known about Victor’s life but a Dover Express acknowledgment gave the information that he had died in November 1930, following a long illness. He was only 43.

His youngest son, Stanley Robert, who was born in 1919, was killed serving in World War Two in 1944.