Dartmouth's Great War Fallen
Researching the Dartmouth men who died in the First World War

Langmead Farrier Pillar


Langmead Farrier Pillar was born on 22nd May 1892 in Dartmouth. He was the youngest child of Langmead Casey Pillar junior and his wife Laura Farrier, both born in Dartmouth. His father was a joiner and carpenter, most probably working for his father, Langmead Casey Pillar senior. As well as running his own building firm in Dartmouth, L C Pillar & Sons, Langmead Casey Pillar senior was the Town Surveyor 1870-1882, a Councillor from 1886-92, a Churchwarden at St Petrox 1868-1887, and carried out a number of other roles in the local community.

Laura Farrier was the daughter of William Farrier and his wife Sarah Jane Prowse. William had come to Dartmouth from Moretonhampstead and he and Sarah Jane, who was from East Allington, had married there in 1849. He was a corn and seed dealer in Dartmouth, and also, according to local directories, a sub-agent for the Great Western Railway and the South Devon Railway.

Langmead Casey Pillar died on 23rd March 1892, two months before his youngest son was born, and a year to the day before his own father in 1893. After her husband's death, Langmead Farrier's mother Laura opened a china shop in Newcomen Road - the 1901 Census also records her eldest daughter Beatrice working there. By 1911, however, she had retired from the business and was living in Norton, just outside Dartmouth.

Neither of Langmead Casey Pillar's two sons followed him or their grandfather into the building business. Langmead's brother, Thomas Martin Pillar, who was ten years older, had already made his career in the Navy. He had joined the Navy in 1897 as a Boy 2nd Class for 12 years service starting in 1899, and in 1911 had extended his service for a further ten years. According to the 1911 Census, Langmead Farrier Pillar went into the merchant marine as an engineer. His naval service record gives his previous occupation as "fitter and turner".


Perhaps encouraged by his elder brother's example, Langmead Farrier Pillar joined the Navy a few months before the outbreak of war, on 5th May 1914, as acting Engine  Room Artificer 4th Class, signing on for a continuous service engagement for twelve years.  To join at this level it was necessary to be:

  • over 21
  • acquainted with the first four rules of arithmetic
  • able to read and write sufficiently well to be able to note in the Register the particulars of the working of the engines and boilers
  • generally acquainted with the names and uses of the different parts of marine engines
  • able to understand the use and management of the various gauges
  • able to ascertain the density and height of the water in the boilers, and what should be done in the event of priming
  • able to do what needs to be done in the event of water passing into the cylinders or of a bearing becoming heated
  • able to act on the occurrence of any of the ordinary casualties of an engine room.

After only two and a half months training at Devonport, he was appointed to HMS Monmouth on 30th July 1914.


For Langmead's service on HMS Monmouth, and his death at the Battle of Coronel, please see our separate article here.

At the time of his brother's death, Thomas Martin Pillar was serving on HMS Bacchante, on convoy escort duties in the Bay of Biscay. He survived the war.


An announcement of Langmead Farrier Pillar's death appeared in the Dartmouth Chronicle of 27th November 1914:

Pillar - November 1st, on HMS Monmouth, in the Naval Action off the coast of Chile, Langmead Farrier Pillar, ERA, youngest son of the late Langmead Casey Pillar, jun, and Mrs Pillar, 4 Mansard Terrace, Dartmouth, aged 22 years.

Langmead Farrier Pillar appears on the Town War Memorial, the St Saviour's Memorial Board, and the St Petrox Memorial.

Like all those who sailed from Plymouth during the First World War, but who have no known grave, Langmead Farrier Pillar is also commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial on The Hoe.


Langmead  Farrier Pillar's naval record can be downloaded from the National Archives (fee payable) reference ADM 188/1033/7852

Thomas Martin Pillar's naval record can be downloaded similarly, reference ADM 188/332/193504

Information Held on Database

Forenames:Langmead Farrier
Rank:Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, RN
Service Number:M/7582
Military Unit:HMS Monmouth
Date of Death:01 Nov 1914
Age at Death:22
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Action Resulting in Death:Battle of Coronel
Place of Death:
Place of Burial:Commemorated Plymouth Naval Memorial
Born or Lived in Dartmouth?Yes
On Dartmouth War Memorial?Yes
On St Saviour's Memorials?Yes
On St Petrox Memorials?Yes
On Flavel Church Memorials?No
In Longcross Cemetery?No
In St Clement's Churchyard?No
On a Private Memorial?No
On Another Memorial?No

This information was last updated on Friday 28 November 2014 at 01:57:08.