Tring in War Time, 1914-1919


Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 16th January, 1915

Edited from British Newspaper Archive

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This week's news included two reports from local soldiers fighting overseas. Arnold Ward, M.P. for West Hertfordshire, was with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry in Egypt. Sergeant E C Whiskin, of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, described the Christmas Truce. News of the troops billeted was limited. Soldiers in the Northumberland Fusiliers were given a lecture on the history of their Regiment, and Private David Long was prosecuted for stealing money at the Half Moon Public House at Wilstone. The Aylesbury Motor Car Company was planning to provide a service between Aylesbury, Tring , Halton and Wendover - and it seems likely that most of their customers would be connected with the troops in the area, and the camp being erected at Halton.

The big local news was the death of Mr John Batchelor of Hastoe Villa, together with his funeral, where the chief mourners are listed. There was also references at the Council meeting to the contribution of Dr James Brown made to the town (Death & Funeral reported earlier)  The council also considered Housing Inspection, the Hospital, A pond in Grove Park, Tenders for Tar, and various reports from council officers. Other items involve Fulks' Winter Clearance Sale and J. Gander and F. W. Bright's fox terriers wining classes at the National Dog Show.




C.E.M.S. - The Rev. H. Kirk, chaplain of the Forces, was the preacher at the quarterly service on Sunday. He gave an earnest and practical address on "Preparation for Prayer."

Funeral of the Liberal Whip. - Among the large and representative gathering attending the funeral of the late Chief Government Whip. Mr. Percy Iillingworth, at Bradford, was Mr. Bentley Asquith, of Tring and Bradford. At the time of his death Mr. Illingworth was joint president with Mr. Bentley Asquith of the Low Moor Football Club, Bradford.

Military Lecture. - On Monday evening in the Pendley Tennis Court, the Hon. John Fortescue, librarian of Windsor Castle, gave a lecture to the Northumberland Fusiliers, on the history of their regiment. General Sir Edward Hutton, commanding the 21st Division, presided. Mr. Fortescue is the author of "The History of the British Army," and his articles on regimental history, which have been appearing at intervals in The Times since the beginning of the war, have attracted a good deal of attention.

A Warning to Publicans.  At the Hemel Hempstead Petty Sessions on Wednesday. Mr. H. R. G. Craufurd in the chair. Private David Long, of the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. was charged with stealing 19s. 6d. from a box at the Half Moon public house, Wilstone, where he was billeted. Accused was handed over to Sergt. Baldock by the military authorities. Evidence was given by a corporal of the regiment and by Mr. Walter Cartwright, of the Half Moon. In the end Long was bound over under the First Offenders' Act to come up for sentence within six months if called upon, and the publican was warned not to allow soldiers to get drunk on his premises.


The town has to mourn the loss of another old and well-known resident, in the person of Mr. John Batchelor, who passed away at his residence, Hastoe Villa, on Saturday afternoon, at the advanced age of 84. Mr. Batchelor, who had resided all his life in the district, was in bygone days prominently associated with the business life of the town. He resided at Hastoe, and afterwards conducted for some years the Akeman Brewery (now the Tring Brewery), Tring. On his retirement from business he lived first at Buckland, and finally settled at Hastoe Villa, Tring. A man of considerable energy and business ability, he was very vigorous to the last, and took a keen interest in all that was going on around him.

A pathetic circumstance is the fact that Mrs. Batchelor, who for 61 years has been the partner of his joys and sorrows, is lying in a partly unconscious state, and is not expected to survive her husband many days.

The funeral took place at the Akeman Street Burying Ground on Wednesday afternoon. and was conducted by the Rev. W. W. Heading, of New Mill. The Rev. L. H. Colls, of Abbey Road. St. John's Wood, whose ministration at Akeman Street was greatly appreciated by the deceased gentleman, had promised to officiate, but at the last moment was prevented by illness. The principal mourners were: Mr. W. J. Rodwell (son-inlaw). Messrs. W. H. Rodwell and Charles Rodwell (grandsons). Mr. H. Jenney (son-in-law). Mr. Bert Wright, Broughton (nephew), Mr. J. W. Grange, Mr. S. W. Jenney, Mr. B. E. Horwood, Aston Clinton. Others present were Mr. Cyril Batchelor, Mr. J. Griffin, Mr. H. R. Glover, Mr. A. T. Sanders, Mrs. H. R. Glover, Mrs. R. Hedges, Mrs. A. H. Dawe, Miss Butcher, and Miss E. Butcher. Wreaths were sent various members of the family. including "From William and Emily": "In loving remembrance from his grandchildren. Lily, Willie, Charles, and Fred" "In loving memory from Doris and Jack."



. Sir,—Now that Mr. Arnold Ward is debarred by his military service from appearing amongst or communicating with his constituents, feel sure that news about him will be of interest to your readers throughout West Herts. I have obtained permission from Mr. Humphry Ward to ask you to publish in your next issue the enclosed letter which he wrote to me a few days ago.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,


Ardmore, Cassio-road, Watford,

     9th January, 1915.


Stocks, Tring,

 Jan. 5h, 1915.

To Dennis Herbert, Esq., Chairman, West Herts Conservative Association

Dear Mr. Herbert,—As many friends in the constituency have been kind enough to inquire after my son, Arnold Ward, during his absence Egypt. I am glad to write a few lines on his behalf. I sure that he would himself have before now written directly to his constituents through the local Press, but he has more than once explained to that to do so is "contrary to the Regulations.”

I am happy to say that he keeps very well, and is also very busy. Besides his regular work he has for some time past been fulfilling the duties of Assistant Adjutant and Musketry Instructor to the Regiment. During October and November the training of the Yeomanry proceeded very steadily, and in connection with this I lately read in letter from another officer in Egypt that the Herts Yeomanry had come on tremendously." Lately their work has become more interesting and no less strenuous, including many field days in the desert.

Three weeks ago your Member wrote; "I seldom get any time off till I have done, from 5.15 a.m. to 5 p.m.” He writes also of the great and interesting variety of troops collected now in Egypt Indians, Australians. New Zealanders, Ceylon Tea planters ranged up together with our British force. Hertfordshire may rest assured that Egypt is being well defended against any possible attacks from Turks or other enemies. As to the more ornamental side of things, our friends will doubtless have noticed that the Herts Yeomanry took a prominent part in the great ”route march" through Cairo on October 31st, which made such a great impression on the Egyptian mind, and also two or three weeks ago in the State entry of the new Sultan, as to whose fidelity to Great Britain the most confident hopes are entertained. When the House of Commons re-assembles next month it will seem strange to my son. as to scores of other Members, not to be there. But just now the armed defence of the Empire is the higher duty. I sure that his constituents will feel that representing them truly in the Egyptian desert as could be within the walls of Westminster

Believe me, yours very truly.

(Signed) Humphry Ward.




The monthly meeting of the Council was held at the Market House on Tuesday evening. The Rev. C. Pearce (vice-chairman) presided. The other Councillors present were Messrs. R. W. Allison, C. G. Batchelor, D. Bishop, H. C. Cook, T. H. Hedges; also Mr. Roland M. Vaisey (assistant clerk) and Mr. S. S. Gettings (surveyor). Dr. W. Gruggen, the Medical Officer of Health for the district, attended the meeting.

Housing Inspection. - Dr. Gruggen said he understood it had been suggested that he and the Surveyor should hold their hands in the matter of housing inspection. But with the Local Government Board pressing them, they could not but on. - Mr, Batchelor: Have we had any particular pressure pu upon us here? I think we have done very well. - Dr. Gruggen: Tring has done very well as far as getting houses goes, but I don't know how you are doing as to inspections. - Mr. Batchelor: My point is the owners of the property have just now quite enough trouble and anxiety without having this thing forced upon them. - Mr. Hedges: Other people turn round and sat "Look at the monet which is being spent in this town." - Mr. Batchelor: That does not benefit the owners of property, whose houses are perhaps overcrowded. - The Chairman: We cannot stop it now, in fairness to those who have had their properties inspected. - Mr Allison proposed, and Mr. Hedges seconded a resolution that the Medical Officer and the Surveyor proceed with the inspection. All voted for this except Mr. Batchelor, who did not vote.

Chairman's Address. - The Rev. C. Pearce said as this was the first meeting of the new year, they might say how much they missed their Chairman, and he thought it would be well if they asked their clerk to send to him and assure him that though out of sigh the was not out of mind, but that they thought of him, and trusted he would come back to them after the good work he was doing out there. One subject he (the chairman) was sure was in the minds of all the members - the bad loss they had sustained in the removal of one of the most able and genial members of the Council, Dr James Brown. His death was a great loss to them, for Dr. Brown was always ready give them the benefit of his experience. It was very pathetic to hear how the doctor's name was mentioned in the streets and in sick rooms. He was so gentle, so full of sympathy, so ready to help, even at times when his own physical condition made it difficult. At that Council he was so kind, ready, and cheerful that they all felt they had lost a friend as well as a member of the Council. There was something very pleasant in the thought that a gentleman could have lived a public life in their little town and have been honoured, respected, he would go further and say loved, as Dr. Brown was by all classes. After thirty years of public life, to pass away with the respect and affection of the people among whom one worked was something worth living for. - A resolution of condolence with Dr. Brown's family was passed the Councillors standing in silence. This was proposed by Mr. Hedges, and seconded by Mr. Allison. The Chairman proceeded to refer to the gifts to the soldiers in the hospitals at Christmas. The appeal for funds met with a ready and a generous response. They were able to give cigarettes to all the inmates in the hospitals in. Akeman-street and High-street, and also a little present to the staff at each institution. The money was all spent in the town, and the arrangements were made by Mr. Allison. Mr. Hedges and himself. They distributed the gifts on Christmas afternoon, and the men were delighted with them. He (the Chairman) produced the accounts, from which it would seen that the expenditure and receipts exactly balanced. - Mr. Batchelor, on behalf of the other members of the Council, said how much they appreciated the time and trouble the Chairman and Messrs. Allison and Hedges bad given this matter. He had heard numerous expressions of appreciation from the recipients of the gifts, and he would very much like to say "Thank you" to the Committee for all they had done on behalf of the other members of the Council.

The Hospital. - The Matron reported that one enteric fever case had been admitted and one scarlet fever case discharged since the last meeting. and that two enteric fever cases remained in the Hospital. - A long list of gifts were acknowledged from Lord Rothschild. Lady Rothschild, Mr. Williams, the Rev. H. Francis, and others. - The Clerk reported that ho had again written to the military authorities as to accommodation for infectious cases. Finally the War Office agreed to erect two pavilions for infectious diseases in the hospital grounds, and pay 6s. per day per patient. They asked if the Council would prepared to take over the pavilions at the end of the war at valuation. The Council agreed to the terms, but could not see their way to take over the pavilions.

Pond in Grove Park. - Mr. Herbert Grange wrote that he must hold the Council responsible for any damage to his cattle from the contamination of the pond. As Council had cleaned out the pond he would withdraw his claim for out-of-pocket expenses and for damage to his cattle, but should look to the Council to protect him from damage in future.- This was considered satisfactory the Council.

Tenders for Tar. - The following tenders for the supply of tar (about 12,000 gallons) were received:- Thomas Clayton. 37/8d. per gallon: W. H. Brown and Co.. 3¾d per gallon ; E. Catchpole and Son, 37/8|d.: Forbes. Abbott, and Co.. 3¾d.; T. Crowe and Sons. 3½d.: Grindley and Co.. 4¾d. lt was decided to accept the tender of Messrs. T. Crowe and Sons, if the Surveyor's inquiries proved satisfactory: if not, to get the tar from Messrs. Forbes, Abbott, and Co. Proposed Mr. Cook, seconded by Mr. Hedges.

Motor Service. - The Aylesbury Motor Car Company wrote informing the Council that on the return of the troops to camp they proposed to start a motor service between Aylesbury and Tring, Aylesbury and Wendover, and Tring and Aylesbury, via Halton. The Council took no action in the matter.

Private Streets Work.- The Clerk reported that of the three frontagers who had not paid their apportionments, one had promised to pay in January, and just before Christmas a second frontager had made a similar promise. Prom the third they had heard nothing. lt was decided to let the matter stand over to see if the two paid as promised, as it would be more convenient to take all the proceedings at the same time.

Canal. Boat Inspector's Report. - The Surveyor made his annual report as inspector of canal boats. He had inspected 53 boats during the year, and found two Infringements of the Acts and regulations. He had received certificates from other canal inspectors that the causes of complaint had been removed. There had been no prosecutions during the year, and no cases of infectious disease. The total number of boats on the register was 36, and two new boats had been registered.

Veterinary Inspector's Report. - The Veterinary Inspector reported that he had made his quarterly inspection of dairy farms in the district, and found all the cattle free from symptoms of tuberculosis of the udder.

Slaughter-Houses. -  The Inspector reported that he had inspected the slaughter-houses. They had been lime-washed, and were all in a satisfactory condition.

Volunteer Training Corps. The Clerk reported that Mr. William Smith had informed him that there had been no further response to the invitation to men to join this corps. The reason appeared to be that considerable doubt existed as to the terms under which training corps could joined. If these doubts were removed there would probably be a better response. It was decided to take no further action in the matter at present.



... ...Fox Terriers: ... Bitches Maiden Class, Maritarm," Mr. J Gander, Tring, Herts; ... ... Limit class, "Champion Kitty Sparks," Mr. F. W. Bright, Tring ... ...

Birmingham Daily Post 21 January 1915


January 2015


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