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. (