Friday, 31 October 2008

Blackmore: War Memorial

On The Green at Blackmore is the village War Memorial commemorating those who died and those who served in the First World War. There is no permanent memorial to those who gave their lives in World War Two. It is a hexagonal pillar. On the front face are the names of 21 men who gave their lives. To the left is a list of those men from Blackmore who served whilst to the right are those men associated with Blackmore who served.

The Memorial was unveiled in 1920 so pre-dates the deaths of Frank James Monk (1921) and Jacob Wiltshire (1923) who also died from their wounds. Both of these men are buried in the churchyard at Blackmore and have a non war commission headstone. Alfred Ellis appears on the memorial window inside the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore, but not on the War Memorial.

The War Memorial was dedicated on 7th November 1920, four days before the second Anniversary of the Armistice when people would have gathered and paused for two minutes to remember. The Essex County Chronicle reported: “The unveiling of the war memorial took place on Sunday afternoon, a very large number of people being present. The ceremony began with the singing of “O God Our Help In Ages Past” followed by the lesson read by the Vicar (the Revd. W L Petrie) and prayers by Pastor Francis. At the request of Mr Edmund Marriage, Lieut. Col. Gibbons D.S.O. then unveiled the memorial congratulating Blackmore for having sent 103 men out of a population of 600. He mentioned that one in every five had paid the supreme sacrifice – Mr J H Hull then asked Mr E Marriage as Chairman of the Parish Council, to accept custody of the memorial. The names of the fallen are inscribed on the front face, and on the other faces the names of the men from the village who served are inscribed”[1].

The names recorded on the War Memorial are as follows:

In memory of those who gave
their lives for their country
in the Great War 1914 – 1918

Sec Lieut G W Pigott RFA
Sec Lieut A I Miller MMRIR
Stoker W Brazier RN
A/B E Alexander RN
A/B W Wash RN
A/Mech W Scudder RNAS
Pte G White RMLI
Bomd. A Godding RFA
Gr E Sutton RCA
Drv C Wash RE
Drv A J Wheal RE
Pte D Sutton R Fus
Pte H Riglin Suffolk
Pte W Rudling Suffolk
Pte H Game E Surrey
Pte H Miller E Surrey
L Corp E Maynard Essex
Pte A Barker Essex
Pte E Martin Essex
Pte A Nash Essex
Pte J Roast Essex

At the foot of the memorial is the inscription:
‘Their name liveth for evermore’

The following connected
with Blackmore also
served in His Majesty’s

Pte A Roast Bedford
Pte H Allen Border
Corp C Miller Essex
Corp J Monk Essex
Corp P Pagram Essex
Pte W Chumbley Essex
Pte C Hasler Essex
Pte T Livings Essex
Pte C Miller Essex
Pte H Ovel Essex
Pte F Penson Essex
Pte C Stiff Essex
Pte H White Essex
Pte J Wiltshire Essex
Pte F Wilson Essex
Pte G Woollard Essex
Pte J Wray Essex
Pte A Wright Essex
Pte A Chumbley Middsx
Pte R Chapman Middsx

Sgt W Sankey RASC
Cpl J Pagram RASC
Drv P Roast RASC
Pte W Burr RASC
Pte W Chumbley RASC
Pte A McLaren RASC
Pte E Ovel RASC
Pte C Pagram RASC
Pte F Wood RASC
Pte A Boyd RAMC
Sgt/Mec C Pratt RAF
Sgt H Matthews RAF
Ft Sgt J Woollard DSM
Cpl/Mec G Newcombe RAF
A/M A Ovel RAF
L/Cpl A Wheal MCC
Gr C Knight MCC
Pte L Chumbley MCC
Pte H Pavitt ACC
Gr T Roast Tank C
Pte C Wray Labour C
Pte F Smith Labour C

The following connected
with Blackmore also
served in His Majesty’s Forces

Lieut-Col W G Piggott .
OBE Rifle Bde
Major H C C Hackney .
Capt J H Hull Essex
Sub-Lt A L Jasper PMR
Sec-Lt G V Jasper MGC
Sec-Lt R Ingram RAF
P Offr A Griffiths RN
P Offr D Martin RN
Cr G Attridge RN
A/B S Ball RN
A/B S Brazier RN
Str E Brown RN
A/B G Farmer RN
A/B E Murkin RN
Str J Murkin RN
Str F Saye RN
Str A Wheal RN

A/B W Woollard RN
OS J Wilson RN
A/M L Ingram RMES
Tr B Whitmore Essex Yeo
Tr R Whitmore 15th Hus
Gr W Wood RFA
Gr J Brinkley RGA
Gr A Jobson RGA
Gr J Monk RGA
Spr B Surridge RE
Spr T West RE
Pte E Puddephatt RW Surrey
Pte F Wray RW Surrey
Pte W Brown Roy Fus
Pte H Rayner Roy Fus
Pte E Wager Roy Fus
Pte G Wash Roy Fus
Pte H Game X Liverpool
Pte A Hart Norfolk
Pte A Humphreys Norfolk
Pte J Horrex Devon
Pte S Martin Suffolk

[1] ERO. T/P 181/2/11. A quotation taken from a newspaper cutting in the Cuttle collection, dated 12th November 1920, concerning the dedication of the War Memorial.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... others born here

Wallace King.

Ernest Knight, who lived at Magdalen Laver.

Bertie Millbank, who died 23rd September 1914.

Walter Ovel, who lived at South Weald, died 8th August 1915

Joseph Thomas, who lived at Bishops Stortford.

Also Walter Gray, born at Stondon Massey.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Herbert Larke

Herbert Larke (son of Mr W G & Mrs E F Larke of Copyhold Cottage Blackmore) served in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He died on 21st March 1918, aged 23 and is remembered on Pozieres Memorial.

His name is not commemorated at Blackmore

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... George Wright

Private George William Wright, who was born at High Ongar and said to have lived at Blackmore, served in the 10th Battalion of the Essex Regiment. He died on 31st July 1917. He was the son of Mr & Mrs Bramston Wright, of Blackmore, Ingatestone Essex.

His name is not commemorated at Blackmore.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Monday, 27 October 2008

Ninety Years On. Remembering the First World War (15)

Extract from ‘Notes For A Parish History’ (ERO T/P 188/3) written by Revd. E. H. L Reeve of Stondon Massey (Essex).

27th October 1918

A Mr Briscoe with his wife and child has come to the farm-house at Little Myles. He was some time ago badly injured in the spine and head by the explosion of a mine in France which has rendered him unfit for travelling to London as he did before the War, and for brain-work in the City. He is to do light work, but at times is prostrate through effects of the shock. It seems doubtful if he will ever entirely recover strength and has lost weight.

General Allenby has taken Aleppo, the great junction of the Baghdad railway, and has thus cut off the communication of the Turkish armies with Constantinople through Asia Minor.

Next entry: 1st November 1918

Stondon Massey: Remembering ... Herbert Hasler

Herbert Hasler survived being “torpedoed twice on the same day by two vessels (31st December 1917) en route from Marseilles to Alexandria” and marched on to Palestine where he was ‘gassed’. (An account of his experience was recorded by Revd. Reeve on 12th October 1918). Although he returned home, “he never fully recovered” and died on 21st June 1920, aged 32. “He was accorded a full military funeral” and was buried in Stondon churchyard three days later. “One grieves to think how many a man up and down the country must have succumbed to this sad complaint. A company of 21 Soldiers with sergeant and bugler from the Middlesex Regt. kindly attending from Hendon: Hasler having served in the 3/10 Bn. of this Regiment. They brought a Union Jack wherewith to drape the “coffin”, and a party of six acted as bearers. The firing party fired three volley over the grave at the conclusion of the service, and the bugler sounded the ‘Last Post’”.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Sunday, 26 October 2008

North Weald: War Memorial

Names commemorated:

Leonard Bard
William J Burling
Robert Broad
George L Bridges
John P Chambers
John Crow
George E Day
William J Dawes
John R Eymon
Jacob J Foster
Thomas J Freshwater
William A Fry
Walter J Glasscock
Christopher King
Leonard L King
Charles H McLaren
Albert W Lowen
George Maynard
James Nash
Arthur Newman
Cecil A Oakley
William C Pomfrett
Eric L Powell
John Smith
A Stannard
William Stevens
Charles Thake
Charles Thompson
Peter Turner
Edmund C Turner
Montague Winch

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Charles Wash

Driver, Charles Wash (the son of Robert and Minnie Wash of Spriggs Farm, and brother of Walter) served in the Royal Engineers. He died on 25th October 1918, aged 39 and is buried at Plovdiv Central Cemetery.

Although Walter is commemorated on the church window, Charles is not. Both brothers are remembered on the War Memorial.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Friday, 24 October 2008

Events Following The Armistice

During the winter of 1918/19, 150,000 people died in Britain as a result of the virulent Spanish Influenza Pandemic. Worldwide it killed more people than had perished during the whole of the War and had swept the Western Front towards the close of war. Many veterans speak of its affect in the book ‘Last Post’. The illness reached Blackmore and Stondon Massey in November 1918.

Revd Reeve wrote: “Stondon is passing through a Visitation of the prevailing ‘Influenza’ epidemic. In England Schools have been closed in many districts, and mortality has been very serious.

“Our neighbours at Blackmore and Kelvedon Common were attacked before us, but we were to be no exception. The School has been closed as from the 15th November and the sickness has found victims in almost every house. When the fever is followed by pneumonia and complications it becomes of course a dangerous visitor. The doctors are barely able to attend their numerous patients, and are at a loss to account for the origin of the scourge. It suffices to keep in check the superabundant rejoicings of Peace” [ERO T/P 188/3 f780-784].

The role of women changed significantly during the War. Reeve looked on with some bemusement during the war years as women took jobs in munitions factories and increasingly took charge in the gathering of the harvest. The call for ‘Votes For Women’ prior to the War was now unquestionable and a free vote given to Members of Parliament met with little opposition becoming law in June 1918. The ‘Representation of the People Act’ created almost universal suffrage for males over 21 years old (previously only three-fifths of the population could vote) and women over 30. Harry Patch, the last surviving veteran who served in the trenches, wrote in his autobiography in 2007, “in part because they could hardly withhold the right to vote from soldiers who had fought for their country” [Patch, p146]. It increased the franchise from 7 million to 20 million. Until then, only those who owned property could vote. A J P Taylor wrote, “War smoothed the way to democracy – one of the few things to be said in its favour” [Taylor, p94].

Reeve wrote on 14th December 1918: “The General Election of Members of Parliament is taking place today. Stondon people go to Blackmore to vote. This is the first occasion of the admission of women to the franchise, and the first occasion when women Candidates for Parliament have been admissible. Motor-cars and carriages are being utilized where possible for the conveyance of electors, and I have seen several amused and smiling faces of village women being taken to the poll, pleased alike with their unwonted excitement of their importance. The Poll will be declared on the 28th, the delay being caused by the inclusion of soldiers’ proxies who are permitted to vote by post”.


Arthur, Max. Last Post. The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2005)
Patch, Harry, with Emden, Richard. The Last Fighting Tommy (Bloombury, 2008)
Taylor A.J.P. English History 1914-1945 (Oxford, 1965)

Blackmore: Remembering ... David Sutton

Private David Sutton served in the 11th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. No. 87384. He was killed in action in France on 24th October 1918, aged 24 and was buried at Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-Au-Bois.

His name is commemorated on the War Memorial but not the church window.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Ninety Years On. Remembering the First World War (14)

Extract from ‘Notes For A Parish History’ written by Revd. E. H. L Reeve of Stondon Massey (Essex).

23rd October 1918

Mrs Conn has returned. Her son [Leonard Hasler] died in one of the hospitals at Boulogne. He was badly wounded by a jagged piece of shrapnel in the upper part of the temple, and had he lived he must probably have been mentally affected. Mrs Conn found him scarcely conscious, but he recovered sufficiently to tell her that a shell burst close to where he was on Oct 6th and that he had some distance to be carried to a dressing station. All treated her with the greatest consideration. She was of course astonished at the vast scale on which everything was ordered.

The whole town seemed crowded with soldiers. “One could scarcely move for them”. There was marching everywhere, and by day and night there seemed to be ships and trains arriving and departing.

The “Hospitals” were principally temporary huts and tents, and that in which Leonard was staffed with Canadian nurses. There were, of course, many affecting scenes, some poor mothers and relatives arriving at the end of their journey only to find that they were too late. Many of the soldiers greeted Mrs Conn cheerily as “Mother”, and seemed pleased to see a countrywoman again, and to have tidings first-hand of “Blighty”, which is their familiar name for the old country. Everything was high-priced in the market-place, and she paid 1/8 for a single pear for her sick lad, and sevenpence for a banana!

He was not, however, to live long, and died within a week of her arrival. It went to her heart to see the hundreds of sad cases, nearly all young lads of 19 or 20: cases of amputated arms and legs, bad head wounds etc etc. Leonard was buried with five other soldiers, with military honours. Mrs Conn herself and one other English woman being the only near relatives present. The day previously the funeral service had been read over 60 poor fellows at one time. These are the harrowing accompaniments of the war. Up and down the neighbourhood we are constantly hearing of sad losses.

Next entry: 27th October 1918

Blackmore: Remembering ... Arthur Nash

Private Arthur John Nash (born High Ongar) of the 2nd Essex. No. 27552 was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme, France on 23rd October 1916, aged 34.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Jacob Wiltshire

All we know about Jacob Wiltshire is the epitaph on his gravestone. He was buried in Blackmore Churchyard.

“In fond memory of Jacob Wiltshire, Late 10th Essex. Died March 5 1923 from a wound received in France Feb 1917. Aged 34. ‘Severed only till He come’”. On the same stone below are the words, “Also at the right rests his brother Fred who died Dec 25 1902 Aged 16”.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Herbert Miller

Private Herbert Miller of the 7th Battalion East Surrey Regiment died of fever in Germany, aged 29 on 21st October 1918. He was buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery.

His name can be found on the War Memorials at both Blackmore and Doddinghurst, and also on the commemorative window inside Blackmore Church.

Herbert Miller (according to Soldiers Died in the Great War – SDGW) was born in Blackmore but lived in Doddinghurst.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Monday, 20 October 2008

Stondon Massey: Remembering ... Leonard Hasler

Leonard Hasler “joined as a lad in September 1916” – he was called up at the age of 18 - and served in France but was fatally wounded and died on 20th October 1918. His mother made the journey from Stondon to visit him in hospital in Boulogne “and was just in time to be recognised by him. She was present at his funeral”. (The account of Mrs Conn’s visit to France and that of Leonard’s funeral, as recorded by Reeve on 23rd October 1918, is very poignant.)

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sad Shires and Bugles (2)

Essex Record Office's one-day conference considering the First World War in Essex is on 1 November from 10.00am to 4.30pm. The cost for the day is £12.00 with concessions, £9.00. The programme, which contains contributions from four speakers has been published this week to delegates:

The Men of Colchester: An Essex response to the War. Dr Paul Rusiecki (author of the book, 'The Impact of Catastrophe: The People of Essex and the First World War')
Strong arms and stout hearts. Essex and the outbreak of the Great War. Stuart Hallifax (University of Oxford)
Internment of Enemy Aliens. Grahame Harris (Essex Record Office)
Zeppelins over Southend. Ken Crowe (Southend Museum and author of 'Zeppelins over Southend')

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Ingatestone: Treble Bell

The Treble Bell inside the brick tower of St Mary and St Edmund Church Ingatestone was cast in 1923. It bears the inscription “In Memoriam 1914 – 1918”.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Winston Churchill. Air raids. Blackouts. People taking refuge in London in ‘tube’ stations. Food shortages. Rationing. All these things we associate with the Second World War but, in fact, apply also to the Great War 1914-18.

As an island nation we are not able to feed ourselves and have always relied on food imports. So the first thing that an enemy will do is to halt our food supply by blockading the seas to create a ‘siege’ situation. The Government’s response is to increase productivity and ration the amount of goods people can obtain. In February 1917, a Food-Comptroller was appointed, Lord Davenport.

Land was surveyed and farmers ordered to grow more. In January 1917, Essex County Council organised the sale of seed-potatoes at wholesale price to small-holders. 250 tons of seed was to be distributed throughout about 500 parishes in Essex.

Wheat was important. The Government brought forward and enacted proposals to guarantee a minimum price to farmers for wheat and oats: wheat, 60 shillings (£3) per quarter and oats, 38/6 (£1.88).

A shortage of wheat and flour was predicted in April 1917 and police officers made house-to-house enquiries in Stondon Massey and the neighbourhood to ascertain the number of farm and domestic animals owned in order to ensure that there was no unnecessary consumption of food suitable for human beings. On 6th May 1917 a proclamation from the King was read in Church urging people to abstain from unavoidable consumption of flour.

On 9th May 1917, Revd. Reeve, Rector of Stondon Massey, wrote:

“It becomes increasingly difficult for the wayfarer to get served in pastry cooks’ and refreshment houses. At Ongar the confectioners refuse to supply the traveller with a “sit-down” meal: and at Brentwood recently I was told that only between three and six o’clock in the afternoon may a cup of tea and light refreshment be supplied. Similarly at Chelmsford two or three weeks ago I found I went to a Restaurant at a pasty-cook’s the proprietor was only allowed to serve an individual customer up to the limit of one shilling and threepence for eatables”.

The Corn Production Act 1917 set minimum wages for agricultural labourers. A Committee (the Essex District Wages Committee) represented by 9 employers, 9 workmen and 5 independent members met and agreed “by a substantial majority upon a minimum wage of 30s for Essex” [ERO T/P 181/18/1B (Essex Chronicle. 28 May 1918)]. The Central Board though rejected this and imposed a rate of 32s (£1.60) much to the disgust of farmers. On 24 March 1919, the wage rose to 36s (£1.80) then 46s.6d. (£2.33) from 23 August 1920. Market gardeners received a higher rate, 50s.6d. (£2.53).

George Everett (Boxford, Suffolk) recalled that the minimum wage was not paid on every farm and that men were not unhappy to take work at reduced wages. As before, when there was no work there was little or no pay. When the Corn Production Act was repealed in 1921 wages immediately fell.

Ashley Cooper concludes his book ‘Our Mother Earth’ (1998) by observing that only in times of national crisis is the necessity for domestic crops supported by Government.

But wheat was required not only for bread but for use in munitions!! Reeve wrote on 19th December 1917: “Supplies of Horse-Chestnuts have been collected this autumn and sent to London, it being discovered that certain chemicals may be extracted from them for the manufacture of munitions which have hitherto been obtained from flour. The food-supply may be saved. A ton of Chestnuts is found to equal half a ton of grain. We have lately sent some 5 bushels to the “Director of Propellant Supplies” at Westminster”.

During the War the Government expressed the need to be thrifty: to invest money in war loans and be sparing with the use of woollen goods and paper. In April 1917, “The Times” rose to twopence (1p) with others – presumably the Daily Mail and Daily Express - previously sold for ½d increased to 1d. and “’Mr Punch’ from his long familiar threepence per week, has been raised to sixpence” [ERO T/P 188/3 f239].

The sugar ration was reduced from ¾lb (about 300g) to ½lb (200g) in April 1917. By September this was causing concern that a large quantity of fruit might be lost if not preserved (eg into jam). “The Government has now taken control, and by appointing agents in each district offices the public who make application within a given time a limited supply up to 28lbs for preserving fruit guaranteed to have been grown on their own premises. Each application must be countersigned by a Minister of Religion, a Justice of Peace or a householder of standing”. Reeve wrote that the harvest of soft fruit that year had been particularly heavy because of the absence of late frost. Large quantities of pears and peaches were sent from the Rectory to the Budworth Hospital in Ongar for the convalescent troops. Apples were stored and as much jam as possible was made from currants. The sugar ration was compulsorily enforced on 1st January 1918 and meat was reported as being scarce.

On 25th February 1918: “Today ushers in the “Rationing” System for London and the Home Counties in respect of Meat and of Butter and a compound known as “Margarine” a substitute for butter. These articles are only to be obtained from today on production of a coupon. The total allowed per week is 1lb of meat for adults and half the amount for children under ten years. Four ounces of butter is the limited allowance for such. A little allowance of dilution of honey was served to me yesterday at Chelmsford in lieu of sugar with a cup of Coffee”. The system was accepted without much complaint. In June, Revd. Reeve noted that he could not get a pot of Orange Marmalade from any grocer in Chelmsford High Street.

One of the major social changes in terms of rationing was the availability of alcohol. Concerned about drunkenness and inadequate production of munitions, the Government passed a law in 1916 restricting the opening hours of public houses. The law stayed in place almost intact until about 1986 with the final remnants repealed following the Queen’s Speech in 2002. Pubs used to close at 11.00pm during the week and 10.30pm on Sunday evenings. The ringing of the bell for last orders is a thing of the past in many of our nation’s pubs.


Cooper, Ashley. Our Mother Earth (Bulmer Historical Society, 1998)
Reeve ed. Smith. Chronicler of the Great War (2008)
Scott, Hardiman. Many A Summer (Richard Castell Publishing, 1991)

A history of binge drinking taken from ‘The Publican’, 1 September 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Frank Monk

Corporal Frank James Monk served in the 3rd Battalion Essex Regiment. No. 19208. He died of his wounds and was buried at Blackmore on 9th March 1921. Aged 26. His grave is well tended to this day.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Walter Wash

Able Seaman Walter Herbert Wash served on the Royal Navy Ship Lucia. No. M.F. 12352. He lost his life on Submarine L55 in the Baltic on 9th June 1919, aged 24.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Ninety Years On. Remembering the First World War (13)

Extract from 'ERO T/P 188/3' written by Revd. E. H. L Reeve of Stondon Massey (Essex).

15th October 1918

A message has been received that Mrs Conn arrived safely in Boulogne, and has found Leonard seriously wounded.

Next entry: 23rd October 1918

Blackmore: Remembering ... Henry Scudder

Henry William Scudder, Aircraftman 1st Class, served in the Royal Air Force. He lost in life in the Baltic, 2nd July 1919, trying, with one officer and three other men, to stop a mine which was drifting down on a hospital barge. His action saved the barge and is highly to be praised. He was loved by his fellow men and highly respected by his officers for his efficient and unfailing conscientious work on all occasions. He was 20 years old.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

His father, William James Scudder is buried at Blackmore. He was landlord of The Leather Bottle public house. His epitaph reads: “In Loving Memory. William James Scudder died 10th Dec 1920 aged 63 years. Also Henry William Scudder, son of the above. Killed while on active service in Russia, 1919. Aged 20 years. Also Lillian Mary Russell Simpson, daughter of the above. Died 18th Dec 1920 aged 19 years. Interred in Lodge Hill Cemetery. ‘In the midst of life we are in death’”.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Edward Sutton

Gunner Edward (Ted) Sutton served in the Royal Garrison Artillery No. 66987. He was wounded at Ypres and died at Exeter Hospital, aged 31 on 24th November 1918. He was buried in Blackmore and is the only First World War grave in the churchyard.

His name is commemorated on the War Memorial but not the church window.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Monday, 13 October 2008

Stondon Massey: Remembering ... William Hasler

William Hasler “joined the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers early in 1915; served in the [failed] Dardanelles expedition, and came through unwounded but was invalided out with fever”. He was killed in action on 27th January 1917, aged 24, in France.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Ninety Years On. Remembering the First World War (12)

Extract from ‘Notes For A Parish History’ (ERO T/P 188/3) written by Revd. E. H. L Reeve of Stondon Massey (Essex).

12th October 1918

The wonderful advance continues. The Germans have made application to the United States, through President Wilson, for an armistice and for preliminary “conversations” with a view to peace.

We have heard that Leonard Hasler, a Parishioner, who has only lately gone to France, has been badly wounded in the face. The intimation was sent by a Chaplain at Boulogne to his mother (now re-married and Mrs Conn) and a telegram was received soon after from the Hospital inviting Mrs Conn to proceed to France to see her son – all facilities given and expenses paid.

Mrs Conn is “no traveller”, but she has decided to try to venture, and we await her story.

Leonard Hasler is in the 3rd Bn of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt. His brother, twice torpedoed, and “gassed” in France, has returned home convalescent from Hospital at Colchester and Bures, but too late to escort his mother to the ship. Herbert is now discharged as unfit but has well “done his bit” for the war, wounded in France and convalescent he was proceeding with a draft of 50 men from his Regt from Marseilles to Alexandria in Dec 1917 when on Dec 31st he was torpedoed just the further side of Gibraltar. Rescued and placed on another vessel he was torpedoed a second time the same night within three or four miles of the same spot, and only 13 men out of a draft of 50 lived to reach Egypt. He took part in one battle, and then suffering from gas he was taken to Hospital. Another brother, William, has been killed.

Next entry: 15th October 1918

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Norton Mandeville: Remembering ... Charles Maryon

Charles Maryon (recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as Charlie Maurice Maryon) died in France on 4th June 1917, aged 27. He was one of a firm of Confectioners and bakers in Ongar. Revd Reeve wrote, “Charles had previously been in the service of Mr Tyndale White of Stondon Place as footman and valet, and was well known as a bowler in the village cricket team. He was badly wounded, a message from the Chaplain stated, and died in about two hours”.

I cannot find his name recorded on any local War Memorial. His residence appears to have been in Norton Mandeville, the tiny parish immediately to the north of Blackmore. But Norton Mandeville does not seem to have a War Memorial anywhere.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Friday, 10 October 2008

Ongar War Memorial Hospital

Budworth Hall at Ongar closed as a Military Convalescent Hospital on 22nd January 1919. Miss Ethel Jones, of Marden Ash House, was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her efforts. In total, 1333 soldiers were received for treatment. Blake Hall, for Officers, closed about the same time.

The population was affected greatly by the War. In December 1918 it was decided to build a Cottage Hospital at Ongar as a memorial. However raising money was difficult and is was not until 1928 that a site in Shelley was purchased and August 1933 before it was finally opened. The building is still in use having gone through a chequered recent history and being officially re-opened in August 2003.

The memorial to the fallen is inside the Hospital and it is not possible just to wander in and take a look. Disturbing those who work for the NHS did not seem fair and there was no bell for Great War enquiries. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a transcription of the names anywhere either.


From the ‘National Archives’ site.
Ongar War Memorial Hospital (A/HW 4)
Situated in the parish of Shelley, this voluntary hospital was opened in 1933, although the decision to build a hospital had originally been taken in 1918. It became a National Health Service hospital in 1948, and was part of Epping Group H.M.C. (1948-63), and later Harlow Group H.M.C. (1963-74)

The debate about a stone War Memorial is a very lively topic in Ongar (Essex). Peter Richards wrote on 14th September 2008: “There are 313 names of men of the Ongar & District who perished in World War 1 only. There are no names of WWII casualties on the Hospital Roll of Honour they are only in St Martins Church, Ongar”.

Channel 4’s ‘Lost Generation’ website

Further reading

Aspects of the History of Ongar by the Ongar Millennium History Group

Blackmore: Remembering ... Albert Barker

Albert Edward Barker (born Romford) of the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment. No. 32975 died at Peolcappelle on 10th October 1917, aged 38. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, near Ypres, Belgium.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:
(See also 'A Daytrip to Flanders' posted on 11 November 2009)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... George White

George William White served in the R.M.L.I.. His Ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, in 1917. He died on 20th January 1918, aged 51, and is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Ernest Maynard

Before going to War (Lance Corporal) Ernest Maynard had worked in the garden at Stondon Rectory. He was called up in March 1916. He was killed on the French Front on 27th June 1917, serving in the 8th Bedford, No. 1 Platoon, “A” Co. No. 33237. Revd. Reeve wrote, “It appears that he was attached to a Machine Gun which was doing good service when a shell burst among those manning it, killing most of them instantaneously”. He was buried at Philosophe British Cemetery, 1 mile south of North Vermelles, France.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... Alfred Wheal

Alfred J Wheal served with the 22nd (Tyneside Scottish) Battalion
Northumberland Fusiliers. No. 47250. He was killed in France on 5th June 1917, aged 31, in “No Man’s Land”. He was buried at Arras Memorial.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Monday, 6 October 2008

Stondon Massey: Remembering ... Herbert Gann

Herbert Walter Gann, the son of Mr James Thomas Gann (the builder) joined the 1st Battalion of the Territorial Engineers in December 1914. He served in the Dardanelles then in France where he was wounded in the counter attack by the Germans at Cambrai (30th November 1917). He died in hospital the following day, aged 23, and was buried at Ruyaulcourt Military Cemetery. Herbert is commemorated on his father’s tombstone in Stondon churchyard.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Theydon Garnon: War Memorial

The War Memorial Tablet for Theydon Garnon can be found inside the village church on the east wall of the north aisle. It reads:

In affectionate remembrance
of those who fell in the Great War
1914 – 1919
The Parish set up this record

Major Adam Dickson Bell 4th Hussars
Capt. Atherton Harold Chisenhale-Marsh 9th Lancers
Capt. Philip Everard Graham Marsh RAF
Lieut. James Craig Royal Air Force
Lieut. Harold Clement Montague Lucas 2nd Ghurkuas
Lieut. Walter Austin Rowley 8th Leicestershire
Lieut. St George Swaine Showers 2nd Essex Regt.
Rev. Arthur Henry Marsh Chaplain USA
Sergt. Edward Downham 2nd Battn Kings Royal Rifles
Seaman Arthur Betts Royal Naval Reserve
Pte. Charles Edward Banford 9th Essex
Pte. William Burton 17th Middlesex
Pte. John North Davis Queen Victoria Rifles
Pte. Thomas Edgar 1st Battn Essex Regt.
Pte. Jesse Freshwater 1st Battn Essex Regt.
Pte. Percy Freshwater 1st Battn Essex Regt.
Rfn. Edward Alfred Furlong Kings Royal Rifles
Gunner James Hardy Royal Field Artillery
Pte. Ernest Law 10th Yorks & Lancs Regt.
Pte. Alfred James Love 9th Battn Rifle Brigade
Pte. Ernest Albert Love 1st Battn Essex Regt.
Pte. Ernest Ratcliffe 1st Battn Essex Regt.
Pte. Albert Edward Shoat Queens (Royal West Surrey) Regt.
Pte. William James Stevens 4th Royal Fusiliers
Pte. Walter Stubbings Royal Army Service Corps
Pte. Samuel Arthur Wade 15th Battn Essex Regt.
Gunner Sidney George Wade Royal Field Artillery

Qui procul bine
Qui ante diem perierunt
Sed milites sed pro patria

There must have been only one person in the area by the name of St George Swaine Showers. Revd. Reeve of Stondon Massey wrote: “Nephew of Mr Swaine Chisenhale Marsh of Gaynes Park Epping. He often visited a relative, Mr Cleave, as a lad who for a while rented the Soap-house [Farm]. He was wounded in July 1916, and for some time in the Military Hospital at Chatham. On Aug 9 1917 he was killed at Bapeausme” [ERO T/P 188/3 f747]. His name also appears on the War Memorial tablet at Doddinghurst.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Magdalen Laver: Blitz Of The Harvest Moon

‘The Blitz of the Harvest Moon’ (24 September to 1 October 1917) was the most intense period of German aid raids on London during the Great War. (see entry, ‘The First Blitz’, 12.9.08). Revd. Edward Reeve, Rector of Stondon Massey, wrote of his experience at the time dodging the shrapnel in Magdalen Laver. Knowing the places personally one can follow his footsteps that moonlit September evening. He wrote in his notes [ERO T/P 188/3]:

3rd October 1917

We have had a succession of nightly raids during the moonlit period.

The evening of Wed Sep 26 was cloudy. This kept off the Germans and we held a Harvest Thanksgiving Service at Stondon Church undisturbed by alarms!

On Saturday a number of the enemy appear to have got through to London and to have caused considerable damage. The loss of life and number of personal injuries is not perhaps so great as might have been expected, but the population has been instructed to take shelter, and numbers have been accommodated in underground shelters, and in the corridors of halls of our underground and “Tube” railways.

Guns have been greatly multiplied lately all round London, and here at Stondon we are nearly in the centre of a ring of fire, guns being placed at Epping, North Weald, Fyfield, Radley Green, Swallows Cross, Barretts Corner, Ingatestone, the nearer London suburbs and so round to Epping again. The danger for us is the dropping of our own shells.

On Sunday evening Sept 30 a Harvest Festival Service was held at Magdalen Laver Church and I was invited to preach the sermon. The moon was full, and there was a good congregation. I did not expect the probable Raid till past eight o’clock and most people elected to stay awhile in the building. I was to stay the night with Sir Godfrey Thomas at Wynters, and we had about 1½ mile to walk from the Church. We set out, and had reached the Rectory when the scream of the shells and the roar of the guns all round us suggested shelter there temporarily. A number of pedestrians followed our example. When, after half an hour or more we pursued our way we found in the solid granite highway a hole some 5 inches in diameter and a foot of more in depth made by a falling shell, and we were ready to admit that our delay has been dictated by prudence. Lady Thomas and the other ladies with us were not sorry I think when Wynters was safely reached at a little before nine o’clock. The bombardment lasted about an hour longer.

On Tuesday Oct 2nd we heard the heavy drone of German “Gothas” at mid-day, but understand that the raiders met a “warm reception” and returned without reaching London.

Blackmore: Remembering ... Alfred Godding

Bombardier Alfred Godding of the 120th Battery. Royal Field Artillery was killed in France, 8th May 1917. He was buried at Aux Reitz Military Cemetery, south west of Neuville, St. Vaast and 3¾ miles north of Arras.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Blackmore: Remembering ... James Roast

Private James Roast of Hook End served in the 13th Essex Regiment. He was killed in action at Oppy, France on 28th April 1917, aged 26, and was buried at Arras Memorial.

His name can be found on the War Memorials at both Blackmore and Doddinghurst, and also on the commemorative window inside Blackmore Church.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation:

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.

Doddinghurst Priest House Appeal

A £36,000 appeal for the repair of an early sixteenth century timbered framed and weather-boarded building in neighbouring Doddinghurst (Essex) has been launched. Formerly the Priest’s House, it is now the Church Hall standing adjacent as it does to All Saint’s Doddinghurst. (See photo).

School Sold!!

“Subject to contract” the former Blackmore school has been sold. The ‘sold’ board went up on 23rd September 2008. Good news for the village who will receive a sum of money to support the building of a new Youth Facility!

Stone Circle at Ingatestone?

Three websites put forward the same theory that Ingatestone (Essex) once had a stone circle and that the church was built on a pre-Christian knoll. “A sarsen (a hard silicified sandstone of a type also used at Avebury and Stonehenge) was found in the north wall of the church during building work for the organ chamber there in 1905. This stone has since been relocated to the south side of the church.” Another two stones can be found on the corners of Fryerning Lane in the High Street.

“While the smaller stones, some painted white and now scattered along Ingatestone High Street, might not yet be considered important enough to return to the Ingatestone churchyard there are good reasons, on grounds of conservation and heritage, for returning the two large Fryerning Lane stones to their likely place of origin on the church knoll.

“A campaign is underway to achieve this aim and emails of support should be sent to Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council at or to Heritage Action at”.

Times Online Archive

Free introductory access to ‘The Times’ archive of newspapers (mentioned in our news round up a few months ago) ended on 18 September. The E mail says:

“All the featured content on our Archive home page and on Times Online will remain free to view, but if you wish to search the Archive there will be a charge to view the results. You can sign up for full access to the Archive in three ways:

“Day pass: £4.95; Monthly membership: £14.95; Annual membership: £74.95.

It has certainly been a useful resource and for a fiver in a single burst does not seem an unreasonable charge.

Essex Record Office

From November 2008, Essex Record Office will be closed to the public for the first two whole weeks for stocktaking. It provides an opportunity for staff training and to check data thus improving the already excellent service given.

Essex Ancestors

‘Essex Ancestors’ is a new project launched by Essex Record Office to publish scans of all parish registers on-line thus enabling people worldwide to research from the comfort of their homes rather than the comfort of the ERO. At present it is necessary to visit the office and view microfiches on a reader. The original copies submitted by churches are not available for public inspection. This is a major project extending the coverage of SEAX, the on line index of resources available in the archive.

Blackmore’s registers are available at the Essex Record Office, but the Burial Register after 1893 is still held in the church safe. I have a transcript for the period 1893 to 1920. Contact me if you would like me to look up any name for you.

Great War commemoration

Readers can hardly miss the fact that this site is commemorating the local history of the First World War. The coverage continues through to 11 November.

Essex Record Office is holding a one day conference on 1 November entitled ‘Sad Shires and Bugles’, which will cover the impact of the First World War on Essex. For more information, contact the staff at ERO. The cost for the day is £12. The Historical Association, Essex branch report that: “The branch is pleased to announce that Dr Paul Rusiecki, our Programme Secretary, is having his book published by the Essex Record Office in October. Its title is The Impact of Catastrophe: the People of Essex and the First World War. He will be a speaker in the Sad Shires and Bugles Conference on 1st November at ERO.”

At the Keene Hall, Galleywood, the local historical society is putting on an exhibition, ‘The Great War – Galleywood and Beyond’ on 8 November 2008. Follow this link for information.

Thanks to this entry on a blog …
… I discovered that the BBC will be extensively covering the anniversary of the close of the First World War, from 1 to 11 November. More information can be found on:
Follow this link to the Press Release
As part of the project, Ancestry “are waiving their charges for the month of November for people to search the remaining British Army First World War service and pension records (otherwise only available by visiting National Archives in Kew) and the British Army First World War "medal rolls" online”.

Blackmore: Remembering ... Harry Riglin

Private Harry Riglin of the 7th Batt. Suffolk Regt. No. 44024 was Believed to have been killed at Monchy, East of Arras, on or about 28th April 1917, aged 31. He was buried at Arras Memorial.

His name can be found on the War Memorials at both Blackmore and Doddinghurst, and also on the commemorative window inside Blackmore Church.

The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ includes the following citation: