Tring in War Time, 1914-1919


Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 12th December, 1914

Edited from British Newspaper Archive

Previous week ~~~~ Tring News Index ~~~~ Next Week


A lot of news this week - with War related news turning up all over the place. There was a scare about a suspect German Spy. On the war front there were additional  names for the Roll of Honour for Tring and Wigginton, and some casualties such as Private Edwin Dell who was wounded and in hospital while Harold Gurney was suffering from frost-bite in the feet. The men of the 21st Division (the 62nd & 63rd Brigades billeted in Tring) were taking it in turn to take leave while Lieut. G. Macdonald Brown was unstinting in his praise of the behaviour of the Herts Regiment men at the front. Recruitment to the Volunteer Training Corps was reported as being slow. William Brown was advertising furnished houses near Tring and Halton - which could have been in demand where married officers wanted their families nearby during training. The Urban District Council met and in addition to routine items about a polluted pond in Grove Park, the Brook Street Sewer and a new School Manager, there were military references when discussing the Isolation Hospital and the refuse collection.


Of course everyone was preparing for Christmas, with many adverts, and I reproduce a typical one by Jacklin, a news agent, and another tuned to the war theme with the headline "War on Pain." People (including the Belgium refugees and the soldiers billeted in the town) had enjoyed Miss Darnell singing at the Gem Cinema as well as watching the films. The hare coursing season had just begun and after a good day (not so good for 14 hares) the party relaxed in the dining room of the Royal Hotel, at Tring Station - and a collection raised 1 4s for the War Fund.


On more routine matters the paper reported on the death of the Oddfellow, Thomas Dudley (55) who worked in the Tring Park building department. There were Diocesan reports of the village schools at Long Marston and Wilstone, and records of the milk production of the Shorthorn and Jersey herds at Tring Park.


On Thursday evening Tring enjoyed for an hour two a mild sensation. It was reported that a German spy had been arrested and was in custody at the Police Station. A crowd quickly gathered, and for some time the road and pathways near the police headquarters were blocked by an excited crowd of soldiers and civilians, anxious know the truth of the rumour. It seems that early in the evening a tall stranger of rather foreign appearance came across two non-commissioned officers at Buckland Wharf. He displayed considerable curiosity as to the movement of the troops stationed in the district, and made many enquiries as to the number and size the hutments in Halton Camp. The suspicions of the two officers were aroused and they followed the man to Tring, where was given in charge. The Superintendent of the Bucks Police was sent for, some the officers living in Tring were called in. and the man was closely interrogated. He explained that he represented a firm of lamp manufacturers. and had come Tring with the idea of securing for his firm the contract for lighting the camp. His statements were verified, and his explanations considered satisfactory, at late hour was set at liberty. He returned to the Royal Hotel at Tring Station, where he is staying



Our Roll of Honour. - The lists already published we must add the name Harry Prentice, Bucks Territorials. Lieut. George Walter, in last week's issue, should read Lieut. George Walter Young. A list complete as far as is known of all men belonging to Tring families who are serving with His Majesty's Forces, is placed in the Parish Church.

The Pictures. There have been crowded houses throughout the week, the soldiers - who know good pictures when they see them - being greatly in evidence at every performance. The Singing of Miss Darnell has been a much appreciated feature the programme. The proprietor has thoughtfully given a pass to the Belgian refugees who are staying in the town, which secures them free admission at any tune.

Death of Mr. Thomas Dudley. - Mr. Thomas Dudley passed away rather unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 4. at the age of 55 years. Mr. Dudley was employed in the Tring Park Estate building department, and was prominently associated with local Oddfellowship, having held various offices in the Loyal Sincerity Lodge and the Great Berkhamsted District. He was for several years an active member the Hospital Weeks Committee. He took a great interest in the religious and social work connected with New Mill Baptist Church, where he filled the post of deacon. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, 10th inst.

Coursing. - A correspondent writes: The season started well Thursday week, both as to sport and weather. If the south coast breezes do visit the Chilterns, they were in full evidence on the 3rd day of December, for the blow was somewhat beyond the zephyr order - just a healthy "nerver". It was on the Aldbury side of the railway that all the business was done on the farms of Messrs. Clarke, Pratt, Chilton, Bedford, etc., who are good coursing friends. Fun soon began, and better trials could not be wished for. One single dog course of from 1 to 2 miles was particularly interesting, but "puss" was eventually the winner by her superior hill climbing. As is generally the case, the best sport was before the luncheon hour, and in the end the dogs must have credit at this early stage of the season for accounting for 14 strong hares. Everyone was ready to visit the old dining-room at the Royal Hotel, and at the lunch on habite of the game proposed vote of thanks to the Chairman. Mr. W. N. Mead, and his helpers, and also to the farmers and those who brought dogs. As on the 12th ult., at Long Marston, further sum of 1:4 was handed to Mr. Thomas Chapman for the War Fund.



The men of the 21st Division, who are under-going very strenuous training, are being granted leave of absence for a few days. They go away in batches each day, and the leave is so arranged that the whole of the men will have finished their furloughs before the middle of next month. The granting of a free railway pass has given unbounded satisfaction to the men. During the week they have had some stiff route marches, and on Wednesday four battalions of the 62nd Brigade and two battalions of the 63rd Brigade carried out most successfully a scheme of operations for combined attack near the Beacon Hill, Ivinghoe. The General commanding, who directed the operations, was much gratified with the result.

    Lieut. G. Macdonald Brown has been home for a few days' rest. In the course of conversation with friends he emphasised the need for every man possible to be in the fighting-line, to which he drew attention in the letter published last week. He is full of hope to the ultimate result of the war, and unstinted in his praise of the behaviour of the Herts [Regiment] men at the front.

    The appeal for men to form a Volunteer Training Corps for purposes of home defence has not met with a very enthusiastic response. This may be due to misapprehension as to the objects of the movement or the liabilities of those who join; or it may be due to a fear that membership would involve some considerable expense. This latter fear is quite groundless. While it is true that no contribution will be made from public funds towards the equipment and maintenance of the Corps, support will unquestionably be forthcoming from other sources, and those who join the Tring Company will not be incurring the slightest financial liability.

    The Rev. C. Pearce is endeavouring, on behalf of the Council, to procure a little Christmas present for the men in the military hospital. Contributions towards the purchase of cigarettes for the men and chocolates for the nurses will gratefully received by either the Rev. C. Pearce, "Fernlea," Mr. R. W. Allison, High-street. or Mr. T. H. Hedges, Akeman-street.

    We learn from the Free Church Magazine that 15 young men who were boys in the High-street Sunday School have joined the Army. All those passed through the class of Mr. John Batchelor who is now afternoon superintendent. One of these young men is placed on the roll of the departed. There are six others who have been connected with High-street School.


    The monthly meeting was held on Tuesday evening. In the absence of Mr. Richardson Carr, the Rev. C. Pearce (vice-chairman) presided. The other Councillors present were Messrs. K. W. Allison, Bentley Asquith, C. G. Batchelor, D. Bishop, C. Griffin, T. H. Hedges, and J. G. Williams, with Mr. A. W. Vaisey (clerk), and Mr. S. S. Gettings (surveyor).

The Hospital. - The Matron reported that since the last meeting one diphtheria and one enteric fever patients had been admitted, and eight diphtheria and one scarlet fever cases discharged. - The Clerk remarked that the figures were good considering the number of people in the town. The Matron reported that she had engaged a servant at 22 a year, to take the place of the one who had left. - The Clerk reported that he had heard nothing further from the Local Government Board as to the huts for the military patients. As to the arrangements with the military authorities, had seen the Matron, and the matter was left on the understanding that the Council would pay the Matron something more while there were military patients in the hospital. No definite remuneration was fixed. - The question of dealing with small-pox, should an outbreak occur, had been discussed with the representatives of the joint committee, and it was agreed that the best way would to deal with any cases in tents on the land already acquired. - Mr. Waldock, the contractor for the supply of bread to the hospital. asked for allowance on account of loss on his contract caused the rise in the price of raw material. - It was decided to let the matter stand over with view to meeting Mr. Waldock's application later on. It was pointed out that prices might rise even more yet. - On the proposition of Mr. Allison, seconded by Mr. Asquith, it was decided to grant the usual Christmas fare to the patients and staff at the hospital. - The Chairman suggested that the Council should provide some little present, such cigarettes, on Christmas Day for the men in the military hospital, and chocolates for the nurses. It would be some little recognition by the town of the men's presence amongst them. Some of the Councillors would probably like to visit the hospital on Christmas Day and distribute the gifts. - Mr. Asquith remarked that the presence the military had materially contributed to the prosperity of the town. - The idea was warmly approved of. and it was decided not to limit contributions to the gift to members the Council, but to invite contributions from townspeople generally. - The Rev. Pearce and Mr. Allison consented to receive and expend any money which may sent to them for this purpose.

Pollution of a Pond. - Mr. Herbert Grange wrote that he was quite willing let the Council clean out the pond in Grove Park, and, whether the Council admitted liability or not, he should hold them responsible for any further damage to his cattle. He asked them to cease draining into the pond within fourteen days, and suggested that the question of his claim for veterinary surgeon's fee should be submitted to arbitration. The Clerk was instructed to that the Council would have the pond cleared out, but could not give up their right to drain into the pond. He was also to ask Mr. Grange to allow the Council to see the analyst's reports.

Private Streets Works. - The Clerk that three frontagers had not yet paid their apportionments, but one had promised so in January. - He was instructed to take proceedings against the two who had not paid or promised to pay. ?Brook Street Sewer. - The Clerk reported that the Local Government Board had intimated that they were prepared to sanction the loan of 340 for re-constructing this sewer, if the Council would apply for sanction when they were prepared to carry out the work. Mr. Asquith expressed himself very dissatisfied with the Board's qualified sanction.

School Manager. The Chairman said the Council were called upon to elect a manager of the Town Schools in place of the Rev. T. Percy George, who had gone away. He thought John Bly would make a good manager; he was keenly interested in the young life of the town. - Mr. Bishop asked why they should not appoint Mr. George's successor at New Mill. - Mr. Batchelor considered that it would better to appoint a permanent resident in the town rather than one who would possibly be a bird of passage. He proposed the election of Mr. Bly - Mr. Allison seconded, and it was agreed to.

County Rate Basis. - The Clerk said had received copy the new county rate basis. There did not appear anything in it object to.

Compensation from County Council. - The Clerk reported the receipt 375 from the County Council in respect of the maintenance of main and contributory roads. The Surveyor reported that the Surveyor to the Council had informed him that the Highways Committee had recommended that the grant to Tring for the next five years should 600 instead of 375. -  Mr. Asquith considered that they had not much to thank the County Council for, as by increasing the county rate 2d. the Council were taking away with one hand what they gave with the other.

Dairies and Cowsheds. - The Inspector reported that he had examined all the dairies and cowsheds in the district, and, with one exception. found everything satisfactory.

House Refuse. - Owing to the influx population the Surveyor was granted an additional horse, cart, and man for the time being to remove house refuse.

Housing Inspection. - The Inspector reported the result of his inspection of cottages in Parsonage-place and Frogmore-street, and orders for the necessary work were made upon the owners.- Mr. Batchelor suggested that it would be well at the present time to suspend the inspection of houses. Landlords were being very hard hit, and could not well bear any addition to their burdens. This view was upheld by Mr. Asquith. The Surveyor pointed out that the Council's attention had been severely called by the Local Government Board to the small number houses inspected. - The Clerk said the present was not a time for slacking, but rather for extra vigilance. With all these people in the town the condition of things might become dangerous. - The Inspector was instructed to make no more inspections until after the next meeting.

Volunteer Training Corps. - The Clerk informed the Council that Mr. William Smith had reported that he had received a certain response, but not a very large one, to the invitation for volunteers. The whole question of conditions of service was now under consideration and it would perhaps be best to let the matter stand over for the present.


    The war notwithstanding. Christmas with its claims is again upon us. The children will look forward to the annual festival, and will not expect the gaities to curtailed because half the world is engaged in a war to the death; absent friends nave still to be remembered; while our gallant brothers in the fighting-line, whether on land or sea. have a special claim on our grateful recognition. Family re-unions will still take place, though, alas! in many homes there will be some sad gaps this Christmastide. And in many homes in Tring there will be additional guests, for many of the young soldiers will be spending Christmas with us.

    Under these circumstances, the motto the local tradesmen is "Business usual." They have made every preparation for the Christmas trade, and a glance at our advertising columns will convince our readers that they can obtain locally everything necessary for the season, whether for the furnishing of the festive board or for presents for friends at home or abroad.



The School. The following Scripture report has been received: "The high standard last year was maintained, and the children again did very well. The Bible narrative produced good and accurate results, and both divisions made a pleasing return for the leaching they had received in knowledge and answering. Catechism, particularly in Division II., was well-known, and resulted in general and intelligent answering. There was evidence of definite explanation, as there was also of the Prayer-book subjects Division I., and the Church year Division II. The repetition was very well said in Division I. but was not quite accurate Division II, and the written work was neatly and correctly done. The infants made an excellent return for the teaching they had received, showing full knowledge of the syllabus, and answering in a bright and intelligent manner. Throughout all their work the children were keen to do well, and showed how carefully and reverently they had been taught. The repetition was also very well and accurately said.



Church of England School. The following is a copy of the Diocesan report: "I was much pleased with the work done in this school, and with the improvement in several points. In both divisions the Old and New Testament were very well known, accuracy in regard to the narrative being combined with bright and general answering. A good improvement was also observed in the Catechism, and in both classes the knowledge was definite and intelligent, while in Division II. The Church year was accurately known. The repetition was very well said, particularly in Division I. Throughout the school there was a pleasing keenness and interest for which commendation must be given to the staff. The written work was both neatly and accurately done. The infants also showed an improvement, answering particularly well in the Gospel story and the Church year. The repetition was very well said". Basil J. M. Reay, D.I.


C.E.M.S. - At the monthly meeting the Rev. Canon Wood, rector of Aldbury, gave a most interesting lecture on his church, tracing its history from 1219 to the present time. He was heartily thanked at the close of the meeting.

The Roll of Honour. - Arthur Gilbert, Sidney Turney, and George Turney have joined different branches of the Forces. Arthur Gilbert, who has been accepted as a sapper, expects shortly to go to the front. The vicar's brother has joined the Motor Transport Section, and is training as a motor ambulance driver.

The War. - Notification was received on Tuesday that Private Edwin Dell has been wounded and is in Hospital. We regret to hear that Harold Gurney, suffering from frost-bite in the feet, is still very ill. Sergeant P. Fulks is now well on the way to recovery. Private F. Burch is, according to the report of Lieutenant MacDonald Brown, the life of the Tring Company.



   The milk records of the Shorthorn and Jersey herds belonging to Lord Rothschild at Tring Park show that during the year ended Sept. 30 last the high level of production of former years was maintained the case the Shorthorns, though there was slight reduction the Jersey average. The comparative stability of the Shorthorn average from year to year may be explained by the fact that the herd is less liable to fluctuation. the total of 123, 71 were the herd throughout the year, whereas only 18 of the 87 Jerseys were the full 12 months at Tring Park. Last year in particular the coming and going of Jerseys was pronounced, no fewer than 43 animals having gone out during the year and 26 having been introduced to replace them. From this it would appear that the market for good Jerseys was especially brisk. It is a feature of the management at Tring Park to place a market value on every animal, and apparently customers have been numerous for animals of certified value as milkers. The average for the 18 Jerseys that were in the herd throughout the year was 5.637lbs., compared with 7,060lbs.. for 17 in the previous year. The animals sold yielded an estimated average of 4,749lbs., and those brought in an estimated average of 7,442lbs. of milk. The average for the 71 Shorthorns in the herd the full year was 6,259lbs., and the newcomers are credited with estimated average of 7,518lbs. against 8,447lbs. those they superseded. The highest individual yield by a Shorthorn was 10,711lbs, in 342 days, and three others exceeded 10,000lbs. The best Jersey record was 9,993lhs. - The Field.

William Brown & Co, of Tring, is advertising Furnished Houses in the Neighbourhood of Halton Camp and Tring - Including:

TRING - Small Country House, situated near the town, containing 2 Reception Rooms, 4 Bedrooms, Bathroom, &c., good Offices, Garage & Loose Box, well stocked Garden, and Gardener's Cottage. Servants by arrangement. Term about 6 months. Within easy reach of omnibus service to Tring Station. Early Possession


December 2014


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