Hertfordshire and the Great War
John G. E. Cox
Eddington Press, 2002
Paperback, 21*15 cm, 300 pages, some pictures and maps
This is a wonderful collection of quotations from contemporary documents relating to the First World War. A variety of sources have been used, but most relate to St Albans, and particularly reports and letters in the Herts Advertiser (a St Albans newspaper). Some of the heading I noted were:
War breaks out: Herts Advertiser 1st August, 1914
Troops billeted in St Albans: Herts Advertiser 8th August, 1914
Battle of Loos: A graphic account. Bombardier G. E. Paines, 18th Battery, 7th London Brigade, who was stationed in Boxmoor in the winter of 1914. Herts Advertiser 20th Nov, 1915.
From the Parish Magazine. The February 1916 issue of the St Saviour's Parish Magazine contains news from members and friends who are serving in the war: Corporal Sidney Dance; Private S. Percy Ives; Bombardier Charles Christmas; Sapper Wilfred H Morley; Company Sergeant-Major Ralph Dunham.
St Albans City Tribunal: Attested men seek exemption from military service: Edwin Eddy, Seth William Green, Thomas Joseph Ballard. Herts Advertiser, 17th June 1916
Private Houses lent as hospitals for the wounded: Herts Advertiser, July 1916
|Blakemore End||168 beds||Malay States Hospital|
|Boxmoor House||20 Beds||Mrs Bouwens|
|Underfield, Boreham Wood||8 beds||Mrs Jarvin Dickson|
|Codicore, near Welwyn||24 beds||Mrs J Pierpoint Morgan|
|The Institute, Croxley Green||35 beds||J Dickinson & Co|
|Ken Cottage, Hadley||10 beds||Mr R F Sandon|
|Goldings, Hertford||16 beds||Mrs Reginald Abel-Smith|
|Wallfields, Hertford||20 beds||Convent of the Sacred Heart|
|Ewen Hall, High Barnet||40 beds||Congregational Church Deacons|
|King's Walden Bury, Hitchin||40 beds||Mr T Fenwick Harrison|
|Rosehill, Hoddesdon||33 beds||Mr R Barclay|
|Bragbury, Knebworth||15 beds||Mrs S Leger|
|Little Heath, near Potter's Bar||18 beds||Mrs Nathan|
|The Studio, Rickmansworth||16 beds||Mr E Beckett|
|St Augustine's Hall, Rickmansworth||20 beds||Father Julian|
A First and I hope my only Christmas Day in France: Private Robert Titmus. Herts Advertiser, 19th January 1918.
Military Funerals at St Albans Cemetery: Driver Frederick William Gates, Private Sidney Lea
From the point of view of the family historian the book contains much potentially useful information, including some lists of names, and it feels churlish to criticise. However there are two snags. The first is that there is no context, and if you are not familiar with the history it would be difficult to put many of the quotations into context. (My own book, The London Gunners come to Town covers the same period, and a similar geographical area, and as such provides a framework in which many of the quotations can be placed.) The second, which is far more serious, is that there is no index, and only way of discovering whether you ancestor, or his military unit, are mentioned is to read the book from cover to cover.
Page updated December 2004