Be Proud

Hertfordshire and the Great War

An Anthology

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.

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Page updated December 2004