Tring in War Time, 1914-1919


Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 28th November, 1914

Edited from British Newspaper Archive

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The Training of the two Battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers billeted in Tring is being prosecuted with great energy, and the men are making rapid progress towards efficiency. There is a marked improvement in their appearance and bearing. Soon after six o'clock each morning the strains of the bagpipes are heard as the pipers of the 12th Battalion parade the streets where the men are billeted. By seven o'clock the men are on parade, and the day's work begins. After an interval for breakfast the men are out again, and route marches, physical drill, and manoeuvring exercises occupy them till dinner. In the afternoon the training goes on, and sometimes after tea. It was arranged that some of the men should go home for a short furlough at the beginning of the week, but owing to the difficulties of arranging the train service just now, when so many troops are being moved about, the leave had to be cancelled. This decision caused a great deal of disappointment among the men, who had been looking forward to a short holiday, and to seeing their friends and relatives.

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Under the powers given him by the Defence of the Realm Regulations, 1914, the Commanding Officer has ordered and directed that all public houses shall be closed at 8.30 each night. This regulation came into force for the first time on Sunday evening.

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The Tring Urban District Council have appointed a sub-committee to deal with the question of forming a Volunteer Training Corps. The Corps, if formed, will be affiliated to the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps, and the members will be men who through age are not eligible to serve in the Regular or Territorial Army, or who for some genuine reason are unable to do so. They will be instructed in the use of the rifle and in drill, so as to be able to take an effective part in national defence. They will have to provide their own arms and ammunition, and will receive no financial assistance from public sources. The sub-committee are anxious to know if there is any prospect of a Corps being supported in Tring, and so are inviting men who would be prepared to join such an organisation, which might possibly be of the greatest possible use at this time of national crisis, to send in their names either to Mr. William Smith, "The Hollies," who has done so much in promoting the movement, or to Mr. J. Owen Raymond, the secretary of the Tring Rifle Club, Western-road, Tring.

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The tent erected in the Green Man meadow by the Y.M.C.A. for the use of the soldiers did not seem to answer the purpose for which it was intended, or attract the men in any large numbers; so it was decided to close it. The Committee of the Tring Young Men's Christian Association offered the use of their gymnasium and this has been fitted up as a reading room for the men, and it seems to be greatly appreciated. On Wednesday evening there was a brief opening ceremony, at which the Vicar of Tring testified to the splendid work the Y.M.C.A. was doing by providing recreation rooms for the soldiers. An impromptu concert followed the opening.


Next Sunday there will be a soldier's celebration at 7.15 at the Parish Church, and a parade service at 9.30. At the High Street [Baptist Church] there is a men's meeting specially intended for Nonconformist soldiers, from 2 to 4 in the afternoon.

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A lot of work, including the erection of a mortuary, has been carried out at the Boys' School to equip it as a military hospital. It is now almost ready for the reception of patients.

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The mud at Halton Park has made camping there impossible until the huts are finished and other necessary work done, and the contractors experience great difficulty in completing the huts whilst they are in occupation. So it has been decided to temporarily move all the troops from the camp, leaving only sufficient men behind to guard the huts, stores and other Government property. On Friday (yesterday) morning the 14th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, and the 13th Battalion Rifle Brigade marched to High Wycombe, where they will be billeted and the 15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, and the 9th and 10th Battalion Kings own Yorkshire Light Infantry, marched to Aylesbury, where they entrained for Maidenhead.

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The troops of the 21st Division are scattered over a very wide area, including Leighton Buzzard, Berkhamsted, Tring, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Weston Turville, Wendover, Great Missenden, Amersham, High Wycombe and Maidenhead. The headquarters of the Division are at Tring.


In the Trenches. - Three of our young men, Albert Baker, Frederick Birch, and Harold Gurney, now serving in the Herts Territorials at the front, have had their first turn in the trenches. A letter received from Harold Gurney on Tuesday states that they had a week in the trenches, and all there were quite well when he wrote.

The Casualty List. - News was received early on Monday morning that Sergeant Percy Fulks had been brought to London, wounded. His father and mother visited him in Woolwich Hospital on Tuesday, and found him suffering from a bullet wound in the shoulder. We are glad to learn that Sergent Fulks, who has been at the front since the war began, is progressing favourably.

War Item. - Private Bertie Dell, of the Grenadier Guards, who was at Mons sprained his foot in climbing out of a trench, is now in London, at the Depot. On account of the nature  of the sprain, he is at present unfit to return to the front.

Other Tring Related News


Best Fit identity from 1911 census

Albert Baker   Albert Baker (14, born Wigginton) was a labourer on farm, living near The Brewhouse, Wigginton, with parents Frederick (Cowman in private House) and Lucy.
Frederick Birch   Frederick Burch (15) was a cow boy living at the back of The Brewhouse, Wigginton, with his parents Arthur (wood sawyer) and Minnie Burch.
Bertie Dell   Bertie Dell (26, born Wigginton) was a cowman,& Army Pensioner living at Wigginton with his wife and two young children.
Percy Fulks   Corporal Percy James Fulks (25, born Tring) serving overseas with Hertfordshire Regiment.
Harold Gurney   Harold Gurney (14, born Wigginton) was a farm labourer living at Wood Row, Wigginton, with parents Edwin (bricklayers labourer) and Louisa.
J. Owen Raymond   James Owen Raymond (30, born Yeovil, Somerset) was an architect boarding at Bottesford, Western Road, Tring.
William Smith   William Smith (62, born Tring) was a builder living at The Hollies, Brook Street, Tring..

November 2014


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