Thursday, 4 February 2016

War Memorials of Norton in Hertfordshire

Norton is a small village in Hertfordshire, one of the three original villages which were absorbed into Letchworth Garden City, the other two being Willian and Old Letchworth. The village is known to have existed by 1007, with remains of the medieval settlement visible as earthworks in a field beside the church. However, the history of the village goes back even further than that. Archaeological excavations in Norton have revealed evidence of human activity in the area going back to before around 3000 BC. People lived at different sites in the village during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, with continuity into the Roman period. Anglo-Saxon occupation is evident from a small cemetery discovered at Blackhorse Road in 1957 and a settlement discovered at Kristiansand Way in 1989, thought to be the lost site of Rodenhanger. It was during this latter period that the first written evidence about Norton appeared. A charter relating to Norton dating from AD 1007 is the earliest document to survive, recording its donation to the Abbey of St Albans and claiming that it had originally been given by Offa, King of Mercia, in the eighth century, together with Rodenhanger, a lost site said to lie together with Norton. The manor appeared in the Domesday Book of 1086, when it was listed among the lands belonging to the Abbots of St Albans. The records of the manorial courts, which date from AD 1244, give an extensive overview of the life of Norton's villagers during the medieval period. Following the Dissolution of St Albans Abbey in 1539 the manor of Norton passed into private hands, but its manorial courts continued to record the activities of its villagers until 1916. [1]

St Nicholas, Norton, Hertfordshire
The village church, dating back to the early twelfth century AD, is dedicated to St Nicholas, and has eight light bells hung for change ringing. Since the construction in the same parish of the much larger St George's church in the town, St Nicholas's has become a chapel of ease [2]. It is still used regularly from Easter to October, and is very popular for wedding ceremonies. [3]

St Nicholas Memorial Lychgate

Lychgate Memorial Inscription
X Erected by villagers of Norton and friends
in reverence of God and in memory of George James
Pierson vicar for 68 years - Also in proud remembrance
of men of this village who fell in the war 1914-19
George Smith 1st. Class Petty Officer R.N.

and as a thankoffering for
the safe return of sixteen
other men of the village X
George Sherwood Pte 1st. Herts Regt.
Arthur Sherwood Pte. Royal Berks
Charles Deverill Cnr. R.F.A.

Bernard Gibbons

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [4]
Per Ardua Ad Astra
Gibbons, Bernard
1625259 Sergeant
Rank: Sergeant
B. Gibbons
Trade: Pilot
Service No: 1625259
Royal Air Force
Date of Death: 09/04/1945
9th April 1945  Age 21
Age: 21
Not Goodbye, My Darling
Only Goodnight
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 630 Sqdn.

Grave Reference: N.E. of Church.

Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas) Churchyard

Additional Information: Foster son of Raymond Cyril Gray and Florence Beatrice Gray, of Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

Kenneth Ronald Halliday

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [5]
Per Ardua Ad Astra
Halliday, Kenneth Ronald
1335256 Sergeant
Rank: Sergeant
K. R. Halliday
Trade: W.Op./Air Gnr.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
Service No: 1335256
Royal Air Force
Date of Death: 18/12/1943
18th December 1943  Age 33
Age: 33
At the going downof the sun
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
and in the morning
Grave Reference: N.E. of Church.
we will remember them
Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas) Churchyard

Additional Information: Son of Louis and Helen Halliday; husband of Launa Halliday, of Letchworth.

Richard Charles Shoebridge

Vera Shoebridge

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [6]
Shoebridge, Richard Charles
Loving Memory
Rank: Sapper
Service No: 33047
Sapper R. C. Shoebridge,
Date of Death: 11/06/1915
B. Co. R. E.
Age: 21
Died at Chatham 11th June 1915,
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers "B" Coy.
Aged 21 Years
Grave Reference: South of Church.
"For Thee, O Dear, Dear Country"
Also of
Vera, (sister)
Died 15th Jan. 1921.
Additional Information: Son of Richard and Amelia Shoebridge, of 171, Baldock Rd., Letchworth, Herts.
"Peace, Perfect Peace"

Louis Joseph Ledoux

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [7]
Ledoux, Louis Joseph
Louis J. Ledoux
Rank: Korporaal mil
Date of Death: 02/12/1917
Regiment/Service: Belgian Army
Pour La
Grave Reference: North East of Church.
Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas) Churchyard

Alphonse Francois Dumont

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [8]
Dumont, Alphonse Francois
Alphonse - F.
Rank: Soldaat 2 kl OV
Soldat V. D. G.
Date of Death: 19/03/1916
5e Regiment de Ligne
Regiment/Service: Belgian Army
Ne a Croix (Fr.)
Grave Reference: North East of Church.
Le 4 Janvier 1895
Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas) Churchyard
Mort Pour La Belgique

Le 19 Mars 1916

Sylvain Armand Sortet

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [9]
Sortet, Sylvain Armand
Sylvain A.
Rank: Soldaat 2 kl V.M.P.
Date of Death: 05/06/1918
1er Regt de Grenadiers
Regiment/Service: Belgian Army
Ne a Lodelinsart
Grave Reference: North East of Church.
Le 27 Octobre 1883
Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas)
Mort Pour La Belgique
Le 5 Juin 1918

Denis Thonissen

Monumental Inscription
CWGC Record [10]
Thonissen, Denis
Rank: Soldaat 2 kl mil
Date of Death: 20/01/1918
13e Linieregiment
Regiment/Service: Belgian Army
Geboren Te Asch
Grave Reference: North East of Church.
Den 23 April 1879
Cemetery: Norton (St. Nicholas)
Stierf voor Belgiƫ
Den 20 Januari 1916

[1] Wikipedia (,_Hertfordshire)
[2] A chapel of ease is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently. Some chapels of ease are buildings which used to be the main parish church until a larger building was constructed for that purpose. For example, the small village of Norton, Hertfordshire, contains the mediaeval church of St Nicholas, which served it adequately for centuries; but when the large new town of Letchworth was built, partly within the parish, St Nicholas's became too small to serve the increased population. This led to the building of a new main church building for the parish, and St Nicholas's became a chapel of ease. (
[3] Wikipedia (,_Hertfordshire)
[4] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20BERNARD)
[5] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20KENNETH%20RONALD)
[6] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20RICHARD%20CHARLES)
[7]  Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20LOUIS%20JOSEPH)
[8] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20ALPHONSE%20FRANCOIS)
[9] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20SYLVAIN%20ARMAND)
[10] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20DENIS)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

War Grave and Roll of Honour for Holwell, Hertfordshire

Holwell is a small village and a civil parish two miles north of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England, near the Bedfordshire border. The church is unusual and, although largely rebuilt, retains some perpendicular features and an interesting brass to Rector Robert Wodehouse. The school, almshouses, and rectory are all in a similar Tudor style erected in the 1830s, but are no longer in use and have been converted into housing. Fragments of early wall paintings and wooden mullioned windows have been discovered in the mediaeval timber-framed Church Farmhouse. [1]

St Peter's Holwell, Hertfordshire

There is a single Commonwealth War Grave in the church cemetery to Lance Corporal Silas Dennis.

106322 Lance Cpl.
S. Dennis
Labour Corps
and Oxford & Bucks. Light Inf.
13th February 1919

Further information is available from the Commonwealth War Graves website:

Dennis, S
Rank: Private
Service No: 3434
Date of Death: 13/02/1919
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry transf. to (Lce. Cpl. 106322) Labour Corps Grave Reference: South-West of Church. 
Cemetery: Holwell (St. Peter) Churchyard [2]

these Men of the
Parish of Holwell
who gave their lives in the
Two World Wars

1914 - 1918
Herbert Baines
Hedley Burr
Stanley Burr
Ernest Harvey
William Kilbey
Charles Reynolds
John Titmus
Hubert Wauton

1939 - 1945
Arthur Hope

Grant them, O Lord Eternal Rest

L. Denton Sayers, scripsit [3], 1949

Plaque to Augustus Richard Davies

To the memory of
Augustus Richard Davies
Captain in HMS 22nd Regt.
and of the Mardy, Merthyr Tydfil,
Born November 11 AD 1846,
Died All Saints Day AD 1878,
Aged 32.
This window is dedicated by his widow.

Window dedicated to Augustus Richard Davies

The church has had 59 rectors [4] since 1224.

Rectors of St Peter's Holwell

Rectors of St Peter's Holwell

1224 ◊ Geoffrey de Berkinges - Patron: Lady Alice de Holewell
?1636 ◊ Charles Lawrence - Pastor [5]
1903 ◊ A S Wauton
1274 ◊ Richard de Bray
?16-- ◊ Goddard Scoufeild
1916 ◊ J F Llewellyn
1289 ◊ Robert le Band
1687 ◊ John Pechay
1929 ◊ Charles Edward Wager
1294 ◊ Adam de Everdon
1690 ◊ Thomas Hassell
1935 ◊ Francis H Jeayes
1330 ◊ Adam de Braunfeld
1695 ◊ Roger Wyker
1939 ◊ Thomas Parry
1333 ◊ Thomas de Baunfeld
1700 ◊ Thomas Heton
1947 ◊ Eric Paton Hindley
1340 ◊ John de Teppyngham
1719 ◊ Edward Cupper
1952 ◊ Thomas Francis William Wright
1340 ◊ Nicholas Spencer
1720 ◊ Samual Sirle
1958 ◊ Alfred Ronald Thompson - Curate in charge
1355 ◊ William Miclar de Cetleworth
1721 ◊ Edward Edwards
1960 ◊ Garnet George Stapylton Kenyon
1361 ◊ William Marschall
1725 ◊ Bernard Nould
1962 ◊ Cecil Toll
1401 ◊ John Halelyp
1735 ◊ Mark Hillerly - Bishop of Soder& Man
1963 ◊ Harry Hildyard Bloomfield - formerly Archdeacon
1401 ◊ Edmund Walker
1767 ◊ Gerues Jones
1968 ◊ Edward J Bennett
1454 ◊ Edmund Norton
1784 ◊ Thomas Dove
1970 ◊ James Alexander Holden
1477 ◊ Edwardus Peyton
1808 ◊ Joseph Parsons
1980 ◊ Robin Ian Oakley - united benefice with Ickleford
1478 ◊ Thomas Hundens
1813 ◊ T Gregory
2003 ◊ John Andrew Somerset Payne Cook - now also with Pirton
1503 ◊ Robert Wodehouse - see brasses in the church
1816 ◊ R Lucas - Curate [6]
2011 ◊ James Macaulay Robertson
1515 ◊ Peter Stele
1829 ◊ Thelwalk Salisbury

1521 ◊ John Wyret
1830 ◊ Charles Delme-Radcliffe

1524 ◊ John Nage
1866 ◊ F Boyd

1543 ◊ Richard Parre
1875 ◊ Arthur Delme-Radcliffe - rebuilt the church 1879

1560 ◊ Richard Fage
1884 ◊ F Bathurst - Archdeacon [7]

1585 ◊ John Henley

[1] Wikipedia (,_Hertfordshire)
[2] Commonwealth War Graves Commission (,%20S)
[3] Scripsit - (he or she) wrote (it): placed after the author's name as on a manuscript. (
[4]  Rector - In the Church of England, the incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent. (
[5] Pastor - A minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation, especially in some non-episcopal churches. (
[6] A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish. In this sense "curate" correctly means a parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term curate is commonly used to describe clergy who are assistants to the parish priest. The duties or office of a curate are called a curacy. (
[7] An archdeacon is a senior clergyman, appointed by the bishop, whose duty it is to supervise his fellow clergy and to administer part of a diocese, hence his/her territorial designation. As well as pastoral duties, archdeacons are in charge of the fabric of parish churches and their contents. (

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

War Memorials of Radwell in Hertfordshire

Radwell is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England. It is situated close to the A1 a little to the north of Baldock and Letchworth Garden City and is in the district of North Hertfordshire. [1]

"The parish of Radwell lies in the extreme northwest of the county on the borders of Bedfordshire. It is very small, containing only about 743 acres, of which the greater part is arable land and about one ninth permanent grass. There are only 3½ acres of woodland. The village lies in the south-west of the parish between the road to Biggleswade and the River Ivel, and along a lane which runs westward from the main road to the river." . . . "On the north side of this lane are the church and rectory; a little to the west are the corn mill and mill pond, probably occupying the site of the mill mentioned in the Domesday Survey. Radwell House, the manor-house, and Bury Farm are on the south side of the lane. These buildings form the greater part of the village, which has always been very small, the population in 1428 being only seven inhabitants. In 1656 the people of Radwell petitioned that they might be assisted in the repairing of the Great North Road, which was then in great decay, as the soil was so poor that the winter devoured whatever they were able to lay on in the summer, and the parish was so small that it had only two teams." [2]

All Saints Church, Radwell, Hertfordshire

"The church of All Saints consists of a chancel 20 ft. by 13 ft. 6 in., north vestry 14 ft. by 7 ft., nave 35 ft. by 16 ft. 6 in., and south porch 8 ft. 6 in. by 8 ft. The walls are of flint rubble covered with cement, the roofs are tiled. The chancel arch is the only structural feature in the church which shows detail of an earlier date than the 15th century, and it is mid-14th-century work; the walling may belong to that or an earlier period, but all early detail has been lost in the repairs of the 15th century. The vestry and south porch were added in 1882, when the whole building was re-roofed and thoroughly repaired." [3]

Special Grave Memorial to
Private E. G. Stockham RAVC
Stockham, Elias George
Rank: Private
Service No: 22864
Date of Death: 19/03/1919
Regiment/Service: Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Grave Reference:
Cemetery: Radwell (All Saints) Churchyard
Type of memorial: Special grave memorial with granite cross and kerb

Wording of Special Grave Memorial to
Private E. G. Stockham RAVC
In Memory of
Jack E. G. Stockham,
Who died 19th March 1919.
Julie Stockham
Who died 15th Feb. 1929.
Peace Perfect Peace

Radwell Roll of Honour
In memory of the men
of this Parish
Who sacrificed their lives in
The service of their country

Sergt. Joseph Spicer,
Royal Field Artillery
Pte. Albert Carter,
Bedfordshire Regt.
Pte. Frank Gentle,
Bedfordshire Regt.
Pte. Wilfred Kitchener,
Hertfordshire Regt. (T.F.)
Pte. Eric Pratt,
Lincolnshire Regt.
Pte. Arthur Smith,
Manchester Regt.
Pte. Frank Underhill,
Hertfordshire Regt. (T.F.)

[1] Wikipedia (,_Hertfordshire)
[2] 'Parishes: Radwell.' A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1912. 244-247. British History Online. Web. 19 December 2015. (
[3] 'Parishes: Radwell.' A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Ed. William Page. London: Victoria County History, 1912. 244-247. British History Online. Web. 19 December 2015. (

Monday, 21 December 2015

Clothall War Memorial

Clothall is a village in the civil parish of Clothall and Luffenhall in Hertfordshire, England with a population of 358. It is situated 2.25 miles (3.62 km) south-east of Baldock, and is in the district of North Hertfordshire. The village contains the Church of St Mary the Virgin, which was built of flint and stone around 1350–70, though parts of the church are older, dating to the 12th century. The author Thomas Stanley was born in Clothall in 1625 and is buried in the church. [1]

St Mary the Virgin, Clothall, Hertfordshire

St Mary the Virgin, Clothall, Hertfordshire

In loving memory of the men
Of this parish who made the
Supreme sacrifice in the service
Of their Country during the
Great War 1914-1919.

Maurice Barnes.
Albert Presland.
Harry Hollingsworth.
East Surrey
William Lacey.

And in thanksgiving to God
For sailors and soldiers
Brought home in safety
This tablet is erected by their
Fellow parishioners and friends

Digswell and Harmer Green War Memorial

Digswell is an ancient village in the English county of Hertfordshire which is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. The present Digswell residential area centred on Welwyn North station has a population of about 1600, with a shop or two, and a pub called the Cowper Arms. Notable past residents here include Kenneth Allsop, Alan Brazil, Graham Richard James, the police reformer Sir Arthur Young, H.G. Wells and American actor Barry Chapman. [1]

Harmer Green And Digswell Memorial

The memorial comprises a tall plain celtic cross on a square plinth with an incised inscription and two stepped base.

The memorial is located on Harmer Village Green, Harmer Green La, Harmer Green, Welwyn Hatfield.

Wheel of the Cross
The dates of WW1 are shown in relief in the wheel of the cross.

To the
Glorious memory
Of the men
Who gave their
Lives in
The Great War
1914 – 1919

Victor Cadwell
Bedfordshire Regiment
Lieutenant C.H.Dixon
Royal Field Artillery
L.Corp.W. W. Edwards
East Kent Regiment
CSM E.T.Ephgrave
Bedfordshire Regiment
Albert F. Knapp
Royal W Kent Regiment
James Mardell
Bedfordshire Regiment
Capt. Herbert F. Miles
K.O.Scottish Borderer
Sub-Lieut.Owen Philip Powell RN
Capt. David Russell
London Regiment (P.O.Rifles)
Lieut. Lawrence Russell
West Riding Regiment
Sergt. Edward Shadbolt
Bedfordshire Regiment
L.Corp.Frank Underhill
Hertfordshire Regiment
Capt. J. H.L.Yorke M.C.
Pembroke I.Y.Attd Welch Regiment

1939 – 1945
C.P.O John Walker Royal Navy

[1] Wikipedia (