Friday, January 30, 2015

Latest Tring WW1 News: A Military wedding, a local casualty, 3 local men join Herts Regiment in France, Zeppelin warnings

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 30th 
January, 1915
War related matters were more prominent in this week's paper, headed by details of the wedding, with full military honours, of Herbert Hamilton, an officer in the Northumberland Fusiliers. The Hertfordshire Regiment is doing well at the front and 200 more territorials have joined them, including three men from Tring Archibald Bishop (carpenter, son of Henry Bishop, carpenter, of Longfield Road), Frank Marcham (coach painter, son of Frederick W. Marcham, invalid, of Oakleigh, Western Road), and Fred Rodwell (son of William Rodwell, brewer, of Akeman Street).
Tring War Memorial
News is given of the death of Harry Poulton (married Clara Fountain, daughter of Joseph Fountain of Buckland Wharf, in 1913), of Tring, who has died fighting with the Highland Light Infantry. The Rev. Charles Pearce has been appointed as a chaplain for the troops currently stationed in Tring. In Wilstone a concert was held in aid of the Soldiers' Reading Room while the Wigginton Red Cross Society has sent "a parcel containing nightshirts, flannel jackets, surgical coats, bed socks, sheets, pillow cases, and hot-water bottle covers" for use by injured soldiers.
Shortages of men due to the numbers who have gone to the front are mentioned the regular Agricultural Notes column, where the problem is being made worse by bad weather. Mr Bedford, of New Ground Farm  advertises for a ploughman in a Reading newspaper - presumably because he can't recruit locally, while Walter Rothschild now only opens his museum to visitors on Wednesday afternoon.
Two news items would remind readers of the real possibility of German attacks on this country. The first was an announcement about the blackout precautions in the event of a zeppelin raid. The second was in a news item, reprinted from The Field, which discussed the possibility of the a number of the agricultural shows being cancelled. While it did not mention the German bombardment of Scarborough it points out that "the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Societies had virtually no alternative but abandon their shows, which, strangely enough, were both have been held within gun range of the sea."
Tring Post Office was very much in the news as a postman, Fred Budd, was presented a testimonial by the Royal Humane Society for resuscitating a child who had been unconscious when pulled from a pond near Pitstone. The presentation was also an opportunity to welcome the new postmaster, Mr Charles Alfred Cole, to the town. Earlier the same day John William Thomas Morrison (a chemist and druggist whose shop was on the other side of what was the called Western Road, but which is now part of the High Street) was involved in an accident with a car.
As usual the paper printed details of the service so be held at the Parish Church on Sunday, while the recently appointed organist and choirmaster, Arthur Henry Baker was advertising his services as a music teacher. At Wigginton the Church of England's Men's Society had a meeting about setting up a Diocesan Union.
Every week the Estate agent and Auctioneer, William Brown & Co. of Tring and Aylesbury have a large advert and this week you could rent a 4 reception room, 7 bedroom house in the Tring area for 7 guineas a week (£7.35). I have also included details of one of his livestock sales - which includes the names of many local farmer.
Surnames mentioned in the complete extracts: Anderson, Baker, Bedford, Bell, Bishop, Breadalhane, Broad, Brown, Budd, Capel, Cole, Curtis, Fells, Figg, Finch, Francis, Gaston, Gomm, Goulder, Grange, Hamilton, Hedges, Jesson, Lewin, Lowe, Marcham, Morant, Morrison, Ogilvie, O'Keefe, Pearce, Poulton, Puddephatt, Rodwell, Rothschild, Thomas, Woodman, Wakley, Waldock Winteringham
Notes from usual genealogy sources - particularly census returns of 1901 and 1911)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Book - A History of Preston in Hertfordshire

Philip Wray is in the process of getting this book printed for distribution mid February. He says that advanced orders have already exceeded the planned print run - but he will be increasing the number at the last moment.  The are extensive details of the book online and if you want a copy you should contact Philip ASAP. Philip is a highly competent local historian, and the Preston web site is one of the best historical village web sites in Hertfordshire. If you have any ancestors in the village I am sure that it will be excellent value for money at a price not exceeding £15 (plus post and packing).
A History of Preston in Hertfordshire

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tring News 23rd January 1915 - Wartime activities and killing sparrows.

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 23rd January, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index 
The training of the men in the 21st Division continued, and they remained in local billets while the construction of the Halton Camp (described in detail) continued. The Y.M.C.A. facilities for the troops billeted in Tring continued with an evening of entertainment in the Museum annexThe Bucks Herald also reported details of the concert organised by the Aldbury Choral Society. One of the singers was Captain Vivian D. Williams of the 5th Dragoons, who was back in England recovering from wounds he had sustained in France. Two soldiers from the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (who were billeted in the village) also preformed. At the Parish Church the Rev. Rainbow gave a talk describing the Church Army's contribution to the war effort. There was a recruiting advertisement showing the Royal Field Artillery in action, and it may well be that the number of men joining up explains why Herbert Grange and James Honour of Grove, Tring, were both trying to recruit grooms.

The St John Ambulance Association was planning to set up a local Ambulance Division and the paper lists 13 local men who recently qualified for a first aid certificate, carefully failing to name the one in the class who failed. The Tring and district Sparrow Club held their annual meeting at the Rose and Crown and it was reported that during the year bounty had been paid for 9,302 sparrows heads.

There was a big wedding at All Saint's Church, Long Marston when  Miss Edith Ives, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Roberts, married Mr. A. Proctor, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Proctor - and there is a long list of those who gave presents. Mrs J Batchelor died and was buried only a week after the death of her husband. Another death was that of Alice Osborn of 70 Akeman-street, Tring. A new organist was appointed at Tring Parish Church, and there was a fund-raising talk on the  Baptist Missionary Society at the High Street Baptist Church.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Latest on Hertfordshire Regiment Memorial on the Western Front

Headlines from Herts Mercury, 18 August 1917

Herts at War announce that so far over £3000 has been raised for a memorial on the River Steenbeek in the small village of St Julien (Sint Juliaan), Belgium at the site of the Hertfordshire Regiment's attack on 31st July 1917. On that day 479 of 620 men that started the advance were either killed, wounded or captured in a little over two hours.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tring at War - 16th January, 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 16th January, 1915
This week's news included two reports from local soldiers fighting overseas. Arnold Ward, M.P. for West Hertfordshire, was with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry in Egypt. Sergeant E C Whiskin, of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, described the Christmas TruceNews of the troops billeted was limited. Soldiers in the Northumberland Fusiliers were given a lecture on the history of their Regiment, and Private David Long was prosecuted for stealing money at the Half Moon Public House at Wilstone. The Aylesbury Motor Car Company was planning to provide a service between Aylesbury, Tring , Halton and Wendover - and it seems likely that most of their customers would be connected with the troops in the area, and the camp being erected at Halton.

The big local news was the death of Mr John Batchelor of Hastoe Villa, together with his funeral, where the chief mourners are listed. There was also references at the Council meeting to the contribution of Dr James Brown made to the town (Death & Funeral reported earlier)  The council also considered Housing Inspection, the Hospital, A pond in Grove ParkTenders for Tar, andvarious reports from council officers. Other items involve Fulks' Winter Clearance Sale and J. Gander and F. W. Bright's fox terriers wining classes at the National Dog Show.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Albert Arthur Darrah, photographer of Rickmansworth,

Finch's Avenue
Janet has provided an interesting post card of Finch's Avenue, Croxley Green by a photographer, Albert Darrah, of Rickmansworth, which I had not previously come across. A quick search online showed several post cards by him were on sale on ebay - most in the same series - with captions in handwriting. Another card,almost certainly latershows Rickmansworth war memorial. It turns out that before the First World War Albert was employed to make photographic emulsions (who for??). It is only after he had fought in the war that I find supporting evidence for him as a professional photographer. Unfortunately there are no postal dates for any of the cards I have traced and it would be very useful to know if the cards with somewhat crudely written captions were produced before or after the War. Let me know if you have a date-able card by this photographer.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book: De Haviland and Hatfield

De Haviland & Hatfield
If you are interested in the development of the aviation industry in Hertfordshire you will be interested in a new book which is to be published shortly. It is De Haviland and Hatfield and the author John Clifford found my web site useful when researching the book. It includes the kind acknowledgement "Chris Reynolds of provided invaluable material, especially relating to Victorian Hatfield."

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Fonthill Media (31 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781553602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781553602
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.2 x 21 cm

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Hertfordshire Polo Club Activities in 1884

Old News
While searching online I found a page of the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (27th September 1884) full of pictures of the Hertfordshire Polo Club tournament held at Panshanger. It is being sold by prints-4-all on ebay and if you want to see the full page of pictures visit the advert before it is sold. I decided to look at the Herts Mercury to see what it says and found the pictures show a meeting at Panshanger between the Herts Polo Club, the Royal Field Artillery Polo Club and the West Essex Polo Club in September 1884. I also located details of four other meetings including one with the Cambridge University Polo Club.

Further details (including the full text of the September meeting and references to the other meeting - together with some thumbs from the advert.)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tring at War: 9th January, 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 9th January, 1915
Edited from British Newspaper Archive
Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index 

While the Headquarters of the 21st Division was in Tring, most of the Division was stationed in Bucks and that the Bucks Herald was based in Aylesbury and that most of its readership lived in Bucks.  As a result general news, which affects Tring, is often reported under the Aylesbury section or as general news.
For instance the section "The Troops at Aylesbury" describes accounts of troop training, and changes affecting the 21st Division, almost certainly apply to Tring. Agricultural Notes discusses problems caused by the weather, rail transport, and labour shortages which would have affected all the farms in the area. Gardening in War Time is also of general interest - and appears to be publicity for Sutton's Seeds. However it would seem that the plans for Entertaining the Troops in Aylesbury were went further that any New Year events in Tring although the National British Women's Temperance Association opened rooms next to the Post Office which were appreciated by soldiers billeted in the town.
Much of the local news was related to the Day of National Intercession, and other church news, with the Rev C. Pearce being asked by the army to act for soldiers of the Wesleyan and Congregational churches. Miss Phoebe Lyndhurst was singing at the Gem Picture House (which also showed some films!) while the International Stores (then in the shop now occupied by Lloyds Pharmacy in the High Street) has a large general advert which changed every week. The Parish Council at Wigginton thanked Mr Rowe for building a new post office.
And finally, on New Years Eve, Alec Charlton, a private in the 12 Northumberland Fusiliers, billeted at Tring stole a bicycle lamp, valued at 1s. 6d., belonging Ernest Blake, platelayer, of Pitstone, from a bicycle at the Duke of Wellington at Marsworth. He pleaded guilty saying he was a fool to take the lamp and in consideration of good character from his officer, was sentenced one day’s imprisonment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The story behind an charming Carte de Visite from Hitchin

This CDV is by Thomas Benwell Latchmore, who was Hitchin's most significant photographer. Like the majority of such cards this one is is undated - but fortunately it has the names on the back.

So who were Lucy Hensley & Agnes? a quick check online shows that Lucy Hensley was born on  3rd July 1859 and baptised on 10 August at Hitchin. Gertrude Agnes Hensley was born 14 April, 1864, and baptised on 18 May. My estimate of Agnes's age is about six months - which means that the photograph was taken by Thomas Latchmore in about October 1864 - which means  it was one of the earliest photographs he took in his Bancroft Studio - providing a key date on Thomas Latchmore's time line.

The girls baptisms were carried out by their father - who turns out to have been the vicar of St Mary's Hitchin between 1856 and 1905. I therefore decided to draw up a detailed time line  for Lewis Hemsley to demonstrate  how useful the British Newspaper Archive can be is reconstructing someone's life. One sad incident was that when a daughter was born the birth notice was sent off to the papers immediately - only to be followed the next day by the daughter's death notice.

One interesting observation is that, despite being vicar for virtually 50 years he is hardly mentioned at all in Hine's books on the history of Hitchin. Admittedly Hine concentrated on the non-conformist churches - but it suggests that the Rev. Lewis Hemsley may have noy play a significant part in the life of Hitchin as a whole.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Tring at War: Latest News 2nd January, 1915

Extracts from the Bucks Herald
The section headed "TRING in 1914" starts with the words "The most memorable year which this generation has known or is likely know. has just come to an end. Tring at the beginning of 1914, was an obscure little country town, pursuing its quiet, uneventful way. To-day it is a centre of military activity." and much of the current week's news is typical what one might expect of an obscure little country town. The Churches did what churches do at Christmas, the local Slate Clubs paid up, three girls passed their music exams. Lord Rothschild distributed hampers to the children in nearby Marsworth (just over the county boundary into Bucks). Hunting was still continuing as normal, S.C.Holdaway was selling a full range of Horrockses striped and plain flannelettes and you could buy Harrison's Hair Colour Restorer from A. G. Wright. And of course there was a funeral to report, Mrs Percy Mead having died at her home in Gubblecote.

While the soldiers were still in town, and are mentioned in the review of 1914, the only current events described are the Christmas gifts of cigarettes to the soldiers in the two military hospitals, and the concert in the Tennis Court at Pendley Manor. Some of the soldiers seemed to have missed out on parcels from the mining towns in Northumberland - but to learn of this Tring problem you needed to read the Newcastle Journal.

While the military camp at Halton was in Bucks, the 21st Division H.Q. was in Tring, but for the latest news relating to the poor state of the roads to the camp one has to look under the High Wycombe News.

Because the newspaper straddles the county boundary it is weak of more general news relating to Hertfordshire and the Bucks Herald did not mention the following report which appeared in a number of papers, such as the Liverpool Daily News:
Official communication was received yesterday at the headquarters of the First Hertfordshire Regiment (Territorials), at Hertford announcing that Lance-SergeantT. E. Gregory, of Watford, and Private Percy Suggins, ofWare, were killed in action on Christmas Day. The fighting took place at a point where only twenty yards separated the British and German trenches. This is the second time the Herts Territorials have been under fire.

Extracted from the Bucks Herald, 2nd January, 1915

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"Genealogy in Hertfordshire" statistics for 2014

One of the main tasks in 2015 is to review the future of the "Genealogy in Hertfordshire" site. The support software is creaking with old age, the site itself large and has expanded to about one gigabyte, and at the age of 76 I will not be able to manage it for ever. For this reason it is appropriate to look at the recent usage statistics in some detail: