The Mystery of Urban Eclipse Wyvill 1888 - 1917

'Urban' - this Latin name meaning Townsman was chosen by 8 medieval Popes probably because it was the opposite of 'Pagan' which originally meant 'Country Dweller'. It is rarely found in modern times.

Urban Eclipse Wyvill was born March 1888 in Notting Hill, London to John Wyvill and Emily Carpenter who named him after the solar eclipse on 19th August 1887. Although on his birth certificate, registered in Fulham, his mother was Emily Wyvill and noted as formerly Carpenter, there is no proof of any marriage to John Wyvill!

John and Emily had 4 children:
Vera Lucy b 1885
Edith Laura b 1886 d 1887 (aged 1 month)
Birth Certificate Urban Eclipse b 1888
[click to view Birth Certificate]


William George b 1891

In 1892 only 3 years after his birth Urban Eclipse was fostered by his aunt and uncle, Frederick and Laura Carpenter.
It was at this point that Urban and his 3 surviving siblings had their last name changed to Carpenter.

Cross Country Cup

He was a deeply religious man and well known in Surrey as a distance runner, and was the winner of many cups and medals. The last of his notable performances was at the military sports field at Moore Park, Ireland, when he was first in the four mile, mile and half mile, and second in the quarter mile, whilst he also ran the relay for his team.

The trophy pictured here is his Cross Country Cup. Apparently the dents in the cup were caused by a German bomb is WW2.

Urban Eclipse Carpenter enlisted as a Private, serial number 11253, in the army in Ewhurst. The 11th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. The battalion was formed in Winchester in September 1914. It became pioneers to the 16th (Irish) Division in December 1914, which had been formed in Ireland in September 1914. The division moved to England, and barracks at Blackdown Camp, Aldershot in September of 1915 for its final training before it moved overseas to France in December 1915.

WW1 Medals

His WW1 medals, left to right are
1914 - 1915 Star
WW1 Victory Meda
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His medals are currently located in Australia owned by his Great Nephew.

Urban Eckipse arrived in Le Havre, France 19th December 1915. Between January and around February 1916 the 16th Division entered the line near Hulluch and the Loos battlefield area. Here they were to remain until moving south to take part in the Battle of the Somme. They fought in the areas of Guillemont and Ginchy, before once again moving north to join Plumer's 2nd Army at Ypres. Here they held the line in the vicinity of Locre.

Grave stone

On the 4th January 1917 the 11th were at DE ZON Camp, near VIERSTRAAT (Ypres Salient) south of Voormezeele. Maintenance and improvement of the line, trench mortar emplacements, construction of strong points, trenches dug etc. kept the Pioneers amply occupied It is likely that during these works Private Urban Eclipse Carpenter was killed in action.

He was buried in Loker Churchyard, Belgium


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