The name H. Newcombe is on the Winkleigh Memorial Roll as having served in the R.G.A., but very little is known about him. The only census record to be found is of Heady John Newcombe, aged 6 in the 1881 census. Heady was the son of John Newcombe, a boot and shoe maker and his wife Mary, living in Rope Walk. He had two younger sisters, Francis and Mary and living with them was his aged grandfather, William 80 years old. There is no trace of Heady after that date, though the Newcombe family continued to live in Winkleigh.
There are no surviving medal cards of an H. Newcombe in the R.G.A., apart from an H.B. Newcombe, R.G.A. who was commissioned on 13.11.1916. No military documents have survived. However, H. Newcombe’s year of birth, c.1875, would mean that he was about 39 when war broke out. Men in their forties were certainly conscripted by the end of the war, but the absence of a medal card could indicate that H. Newcombe never went abroad but was perhaps given a job on coastal defences.
The H.Q. of the R.G.A. Western Division was at Devonport with Companies at Plymouth and Scarborough.