John Divers Kew Gardens Memorial

The photo above of the Temple of Arethusa in Kew Gardens is taken from the Kew Gardens web site and houses the memorial shown below to the Kew workers who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
John Divers was a rifleman in the 25th London Cyclists' Regiment and is listed towards the top of the centre panel.

From the CWGC site:
In Memory of
Rifleman John Divers 7056, 1st/9th Bn., London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
who died on 09 October 1916
Remembered with honour
Thiepval Memorial
Pier and Face 9C

The following text is from a document in the archives at Kew with relevant links added.

    His friends at Kew have received with very great regret the intelligence that this young Kewite is " missing, believed killed." He joined the 25th London Cyclists' Regiment in December 1914 and was stationed for some time on the east coast. Later he was transferred to the Queen Victoria Rifles, going out to France on the night of July 30-31, 1916.
    The desperate nature of the fighting in which Rifleman J. Divers took part is indicated by the following information communicated to his father by an officer:— " The fighting on October 8 and 9 was very desperate, and I may mention that the trenches captured by the Queen Victorias then still form the farthest advanced positions of the British in that sector. From this you will understand that in front there is only "No man's land," and our troops have not been able to thoroughly search the ground. I know that an Officer and 20 Riflemen went out patrolling on October 9, and that all except about four were wiped out. Whether your son was in the party, I have not heard. The gallantry and unselfish devotion to duty of all members of the Regiment has been much commented on and exceedingly appreciated."
    John Divers was born at Redhill, Surrey, on August 7, 1891. From his earliest years he took a delight in rambling for wild flowers under the guidance of his father (Mr. Jos. Jas. Divers). Educated at Cardiff, he commenced his horticultural career under Mr. Wm. W. Pettigrew, at Roath Park, Cardiff, whose friendship and kindness it was his privilege to enjoy up to his last hours on the battlefield. He was afterwards with his uncle (Mr. W. H. Divers, V.M.H.) at Belvoir Castle Gardens—before coming to Kew,—who anticipated a useful life, based on thorough devotion to his profession.
    Starting at Kew on March 14, 1912, young Mr. Divers worked in the Tropical, Decorative, and Herbaceous Departments. The fact that he was promoted to the position of Subforeman in the Herbaceous and Alpine Department in December 1913 is conclusive evidence of his ability. The following year our late friend passed Part I. of the examination for the National Diploma in Horticulture. To his parents, who live at Richmond, Kewites will extend their sympathy in the loss of their only child.


(C) M.T. Gibbs 2009