1914 - A new Isolation Hospital was built at Bennetts End, just outside the boundary of our study area. [ S19 ][See also various entries through 1910 & 1911]
1914 - A member of the Leverstock Green Cricket Club has seen a press cutting from 1914 of a game of cricket between the Leverstock Green Club and Cotterells Club in Hemel. Exactly when the club was founded is unsure. [S102 ]
January 10th 1914 - The question of the building of workmen's cottages at Leverstock Green has been shelved for the present by Watford Rural District Council pending the consideration by the County Council of the question of the erection by them of cottages for their road men. The decision was arrived at a t a special meeting of the Hemel District Council after consideration of a report by the Surveyor on the subject. [Gazette January 10th 1914]
Saturday January 17th 1914 - The 1st Leverstock Green Baden Powell Girl Guides held a very successful concert and play in the school. "The programme opened with an address by Mrs.. TD Cox. Piano solos were given by Miss Hart, violin solos by Miss A Hart and Mrs.. Gamble, songs by Mr. W Dell Guide 6 and recitations by Mr.. Wright. "Cinderella" was performed by: Prince E M Durrant, Mulgy, L Martin, Baroness S Seabrook; sisters H Write & O Seabrook, ; Cinderella Miss Cox; Lords R patty & G Woolmer, Ladies L Steer & D Turner, Attendant W. Sharp. The children were admirably trained by Miss Secretan and Captain Cox to whom much praise is due. Mr. Michael Durrant announced the items and Mrs. TD Cox played suitable music during the play. The absence, through indisposition of the vicar & Mrs. Durrant was much regretted." [Gazette January 24th 1914]
July 1914 - Documents held at HALS show a Specification drawn up by Robinson & Mead Architects and surveyors Hemel Hempstead, for Sir Arthur J Evans, for the erection and completion of 4 cottages at Leverstock Green. The detailed typed (carbon) spec was dated July 1914. The drawing which accompanied this specification had been made earlier ( being dated 4th March) and showed a terraced block of 4 cottages, to be sited off Bedmond Road in what is now Bunkers Park at approximately the same place as the present entrance to the BOAT from Bunkers Lane. These cottages were never built presumably because of the outbreak of WW1.
[D/Emd/73 – Architects drawings for cottages at Leverstock Green 1914]
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE
This page was last updated on: February 27, 2014
1914 – An updated version of Kelley’s Directory was published. (See photo below)
Of particular interest was the fact that we now had no fewer than three Magistrates in the village, Col. Duncombe at Orchard Lea, Viscount Grimston, the Earl of Verulam’s heir, who had built himself a residence on the edge of the village called Pancake. It was situated where Bartel Close is today. The third J.P. was Thomas Toovey who lived at Well farm. He had presumably taken over the farm from the Sl. Golden Umbravillle who was listed in the 1912. As well as being a J.P. Mr Toovey was a County Councillor, and a local Councillor for Kings Langley. He was however, perhaps better know as one of the major employers in Kings Langley. His Family had for over a century been “mealmen” in Kings Langley, and owned and ran Kings Langley Mill. This Thomas Toovey was also a pioneer of intensive poultry keeping and was already using the term 'battery' early in 20th century in his prolific writings. He established his poultry farm at Rectory Farm, where egg production was carried on on a prolific scale.
August 1914 - According to the editorial in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette following the declaration of war in August 1914, war in Europe had come as a complete surprise. However despite this, following the usual write up in the Gazette of 1st August of the annual Territorial Army camp, it had included a “late news” report headed THE EUROPEAN CRISIS. It stated that Lord Hampden, the commanding officer of the Hertfordshire Regiment, had made a hurried visit to London, and as a result of a “warning” some of the special service men at the camp had been called out on parade and had left the camp within the hour.
In addition the news had just reached the paper as it went to press on Friday 31st July that the London Stock Exchange had closed. On 3rd August the camp was completely disbanded and troops sent home to await their orders. The Military Tattoo planned for August 4th was cancelled. War was declared on August 4th, so the Territorials didn’t have long to wait to receive their orders, and by the next day many men from Hemel and the surrounding area, including Leverstock Green, packed up their kit bags and left for War Service. They didn’t know if they would ever see their home and families again.
1 August 1914 – The annual Territorail Camp at Ashridge was cut short. [S241]
3rd August 1914 - The tattoo, planned for the1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regimen at Ashridge Park was cancelled, and the orders to strike camp were given. “F” Company Soldiers returned to their homes to await further orders. [S241]
August 4th 1914 - War with Germany was declared. "F" Company were given their marching oprders.
The First World War 1914 - 1918 - The years of the First World War. The men of Leverstock Green, like those throughout the rest of the country, rallied to defend their country. Many never came back. Their names are remembered on the memorial in the village ( click on button at top of page to view more details.), then at the junction of Leverstock Green Road and Bedmond Road. It reads as follows:
T. Alderman H.Biswell
G.Brown F. Charge
A. Chisman T. Childs
G. De Beger A.M. Durrant
H. Freeman F. Freeman
G. Goodenough J. Hallett
F. Harrowell J. Knox Hart
F. Johnson B. Oakley
W. Parkins V. Perkins
W.W. Sears R.H.Secretan
H.Smith F. Taylor
E. Thorn G. Timson
W.Webb H. Woodwards
H. Waubruell B.W. Wright
This comment was made in "Hertfordshire, Within Living Memory"
"During the war soldiers from the Westminster Rifles were billeted in Leverstock Green. One lady's mother made meat pies and sold them to the families visiting the soldiers." [ S25 p.177 ]
However, these were not the only men - and women - to serve their country during World War 1. A seperate webpage dedicted to the men and women of the village who faught in the armed forces, acted as nurses, became land girls or knitted garments for the troops at the front etc. cna be found by clicking here. This page is inevitably incomplete, and includes as many photographs as possible. IF YOU HAVE FAMILY PHOTOS ETC. RELATING TOLEVERSTOCK GREEN AT THIS TIME, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.
August 17th 1914 - The 1st Battalion Queen's Westminster Rifles arrived at their war station in Leverstock Green, having been sent to the St. Albans area as part of the 2nd London Division of the Territorial Army. The Division had assembled in Hyde Park the day before, and marched 12 miles down the Edgeware Road where it had bivouacked for the night; marching a further 10 miles on to its final destination on the Monday (17th). The weather was exceptionally hot and the men were carrying full packs Click here for full details.
On arrival the Battalion's Headquarters were established in the village school, and the headquarters mess at a house called "Pancake" ( roughly where Bartel Close is today,) then the home of Viscount Verulam. The companies were billeted in various farms in the neighbourhood as follows:
A & B - Bunkers Farm.
(C - Westridge Farm & Potters Crouch Farm.)
D - Westwick Hall Farm.
E - Well Farm.
F - Leverstock Green Farm.
G - Corner Farm.
H - Westwick Row Farm
A systematic course of hard training followed both day and night. A minimum of seven hours training was carried out every day, with a rest on Sundays and a half-day on Saturdays. It was usual for the men to carry full packs, and during the earlier part of the training 250 rounds of ammunition were also carried.
Previously working at sedentary occupations the effect of hard exercise and open air caused the men to grow out of their uniforms which burst at the seams.
Major Henriques noted in his book that " Time at Leverstock Green passed happily and rapidly, the days were fully occupied, the weather was uniformly fine, and the health of the troops was excellent. The kindness and hospitality shown by the local residents was unstinting and will never be forgotten, and it is hoped that they knew how deeply their actions were appreciated." [ S27 ] For Photographs and further information about the QWR click here.
19th July - "Village Veteran" and stalwart of the Baptist Chapel Isaac Squires died. [Gaz 22nd August]
28th August 1914 - Bernard Joseph Brooks, along with others who had enlisted after the outbreak of war, arrived in Leverstock Green, and as part of E company was given quarters at Well Farm. His journey was easier than the rest of the Battalion, having travelled to Boxmoor on the train. He kept a war journal which is now kept on microfilm in the Imperial War Museum. [ S106 ]
30th August 1914 - Bernard Joseph Brooks wrote in his diary: " The next day being a Sunday, the Catholics paraded in undress uniform and marched to Church at Boxmoor, and as it was a quiet day and we had no equipment, we quite enjoyed the journey." [ S106 ]
September 1914 - Brookes wrote: "About this time the village Post Office found that they could not cope with the extra work the influx of troops had occasioned, and it fell to the signallers to take over the work connected with telegrams, and tender messages to sweethearts and wives had to be left at the mercy of the Signal Service Section." [S106 ] Brookes was by now a signaller himself.
On the wall of The Plough in Leverstock Green Road, there still hangs a photograph of some of the Battalion taken on the Green that September.
7th September 1914 - Mr. Ford, the headmaster at the school, reported in the log book " Reassembled after Harvest Holidays in the Baptist Chapel as the School is being used as an Orderly Room and Stores for the Queen's Westminster Rifles." [S73]
29th September 1914 - The 2nd London Division, of which the Queen's Westminster Rifles were part of the troops who were inspected at Gorhambury by Lord Kitchener. Brookes wrote in his journal: " Instructions were received during the night and we had an early breakfast, parading on the Green at 7.0am." ( It is worth remembering that at this time the Green was nothing like the size it is today.) "We marched, accompanied by the band, to a park near St. Albans." [S106, S27 ; Gazette 3rd October 1914]
October 1914 - There was a 2nd scheme drawn up by Robinson & Mears for Sir Arthur Evans, this time of 2 sets of two semi-detatched cottages but no map/plan to go with it. These look very similar to those which are today to be found on the same side of the road as the barn. I have as yet been unable to establish from maps whether or not these are the same cottages, or whether they were intended to mirror the existing cottages. [D/Emd/73 – Architects drawings for cottages at Leverstock Green 1914
These photographs of HALS document: D/Emd/73 are reproduced here with the kind permission and under licence from Hertfordhsire Archives & Local Studies.
July 18th The Gazette published a sketch of the new isolation hospital at Bennetts End [Gazette 18th July 1914]
1st October 1914 - Brookes spent three days at shooting practice. A miniature firing range had been made in the garden of "The Dells" off Tile Kiln Lane, owned by Herbert Secretan - probably on what had at one time been the brickfield.[ S27, S106 ]
These photographs of HALS document: D/Emd/73 are reproduced here with the kind permission and under licence from Hertfordhsire Archives & Local Studies.
7th October 1914 - The Battalion paraded on the Green at 1.40am. prior to marching to Kings Langley Station supposedly to entrain for France. However, when they reached the station it was to find themselves ordered back to Leverstock Green, it being a mere exercise. [ S27 ]
10th October 1914 : The Gazette carried the following patriotic information:
LEVERSTOCK GREEN - SERVING THEIR COUNTRY:
The men of Leverstock Green have responded well to the call of their King & country. The following is a list of those men who are serving:
R Atkins - territorial
Bennett - Royal Field Artillery
JA Bessant - artists corp.
H G Bennett - new Army
Child - New army
H Charge - new army
M Durrant - new army
L Goodman - reservist
E GOODENOUGH - NEW ARMY
T Ingham - Territorials
BJ Oakley - new army
WF Randell - RN Flying Corp.
HR Secretan - new army
RH Secretan - attached to Flying Corp.
Shadbolt - new army
MJ Simonds - new army
Colour Sergeant Smith - Oxford & Bucks Regiment
E Thorne - new army
Lance Corporal Turner - Royal Fusiliers.
10th October 1914 - Bernard Brookes noted in his journal that "the signallers," (of whom Brookes was now one), " were moved into a farm by themselves.... It was very comfortable, and the quarters were better than those in which we had been."
He continued, "The country around was very pretty, and we had many day's outings ( pardon Battalion and Brigade Field day) when we had to cook our own dinner. On the whole we enjoyed them immensely, especially the signallers with their bicycles who somehow or other often managed to get lost, but they could usually be found in the local pub." [S106]
26th October 1914 - The school log recorded that Florence Biswell was knocked down by a cyclist on her way to school, and was later sent home as "she developed symptoms that might require medical attention".[S73]
28th October 1914: The Gazette carried the following report:
On Wednesday Colour Sergeant Macnamara of the Queens Westminster Rifles presented with musical honours before and on behalf of F company a very elegant and substantial tea tray to Mr. & Mrs.. Knox Hart & family o Leverstock Green as a memento of their very pleasant stay at they had had at the farm. Mr. Knox Hrat replied on behalf of Mrs.. Knox Hart and family thanking the subscribers thanking the subscribers for their unexpected and handsome present and spoke of their high standard of their behaviour and the regret they felt that duty called them to go abroad hoping for their safe return home and to Leverstock Green Farm. [Gazette 28th October 1914]
1st November 1914 - The 1st Battalion Queen's Westminster Rifles finally left Leverstock Green en route for France. Orders had come that they should have left the previous day, but an exchange of transport vehicles for wagons and limbers of Government pattern, and new water carts, didn't arrive until the 31st itself. The entry in Brookes journal reads as follows:
"We were all up early on Sunday 1st November for we had plenty to do. Of course the village turned out to wish us "Good-bye. The Battalion went in two part, the right half under the Colonel, and the left half under Major J.W. Cohen at 10.30am. The Band struck up "Auld Lang Syne" as the left hand battalion moved off. Only the signallers were left, and we dismissed for a short time and entered the "Tuck Shop", and at 11.00am. left Leverstock Green on our bicycles for Watford." [S27, S106]
Major Enriques noted in his book that the battalion numbered 892 when they left for France.[S27]
9th November 1914 - The Headmaster, Mr. Ford, noted that the school "Resumed work in our own building." [S73]
12th December 1914 - The Gazette carried a long article headed "Dearth of Cottages at Leverstock Green - Local Government Board Inquiry at Abbots Langley" [Gazette 12th December 1914]
The Dells, the home of the Secretan family.
Click to link to principle LG Chronicle web pages.