SERVING KING & COUNTRY I
  Leverstock Green Men Who served their country in the Great War of 1914~1918 
SURNAMES A-O
Leverstock Gren's War Memorial in its original position; errected to honour the memory of those who died within the village during the 1914~1918 war. The photos to the left & below shows some of the flowers which addorned it following its unveiling on 1921.
from The Hemel Hempstead Gazette Feb. 12th 1916:

MILITARY CROSS FOR VICAR'S SON

The Military cross has been awarded to Temporary Second Lieutenant Arthur Michael Durrant, 8th Battalion Royal North Lancashire  Regiment (attached to 171st Tunnelling Company) as described in the London Gazette: "For conspicuous gallantry and resource near Frellingheim on 23rd December 1915  When a charge placed by our miners in a German gallery had only partially exploded and warned the enemy; Second Lieutenant Durrant, with two other officers, succeeded and placing a second charge which demolished the enemy's gallery.  There was imminent danger throughout of the Germans exploding a mine.  For several months Second Lieutenant Durrant has been carrying out dangerous work in almost constant contact with the enemy, and has set a fine example of coolness and determination." Lieut. A M Durrant is the son of Rev Arthur Durrant, vicar of Leverstock Gree
From the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, October 14 1916:

A PROUD RECORD

The Military Cross has been awarded to  Second Lieutenant J Bessant son of Mr & Mrs Bessant of Leverstock Green .  Out of four officers who live in this village, three have been at the front and all three have won the MC this year.  Leverstock Green is certainly trying to do its bit.  Over 80 our of a population of 750 having joined the colours, voluntarily and 7 have laid down their lives for their country.  They are W Johnson, B Oakley, Sergeant Smith, G de Beggar, H G Biswell, G Goodenough and T Aldenham.  Several others have been wounded and two have been discharged from ill health contracted  whilst in the army.  We regret to hear that private  J Bisnell whose brother  H G Bisnell was killed in action, has been missing for some weeks.

The women of the village have tried their best to help; the output of one of the working parties is 800 articles the other is also responsible for a large number.  A war savings collection has been started, and about 50 cards have been taken up.  The neighbouring farmers have been very pleased with the way the  women have helped them on the land about 24 have enrolled since ? Easter, when required three girls have taken up dairy, poultry and general farm work permanently and are doing well.  27 women have earned the green armlet which is given for 30 days work on the farm,  and can be obtained through the District Secretaries of the Herts Woman's War Agricultural Council.  This is a good record for women, by far the greater number of whom have never worked in the field before.
Harry & Jack Biswell (their name is misspelt on this Gazette extract) were both to die within  five months of their photographs appearing in the Gazette's Roll of Honour.
Private Oakley, (centre, below) from Leverstock Green died of wounds on the 4th December 1915, one of the first LG casualties of the war..
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KEY TO INDIVIDUAL ENTRIES:

For each entry I shall give if available:
  • Surname
  • Initials or names
  • rank on enlisting if known
  • Regiment on enlisting if known
  • Date of enlistmen/conscription if known
  • Regiment on death/discharge together with rank.
  • Current Memorial(s)&/or Where Buried (school Memorial sadly no longer to be found - see right)
  • Additional Information
Aldenham,F
  • Kitchener's Army
  • by Feb 1915
Aldenham, Thomas
  • at death: 32nd Royal Fusiliers. (Lance/Corporal) Private ,
  • "Memorials: Leverstock Green Hemel Hempstead, Marlowes Baptist Chapel, St. Paul's Church HH, Dartmoor Cemetery 
  • KIA  at the Somme 15.9.1916
IMPORTANT NOTICE: 
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N.B. MUCH OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE COMES FROM CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, AND THESE HAVE BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN ERRORS. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY ERRORS & CAN CORRECT THEM , OR CAN ADD TO THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. 
Atkins, R
  • Territorial
  • by October 1914
Bennett
  • Royal Field Artilery
  • by October 1914
Bennett,H G
  • New Army
  • by October 1914
Bessant,Howard Cormack (Corrie)
  • London Scottish (see photo)
  • by Feb 1915
  • Bessant family lived at Tile Kiln House
Bessant,B
  • anti aircraft
  • by Feb 1915
  • Bessant family lived at Tile Kiln House.
Howard Cormack Bessant (Corrie).  
This photo was taken in France sometime during WW1
Bessant,J A
  • Artists Corps
  • by October 1914
  • 2nd Lieutenant,a warded Military Cross 1916 ( see Gazette item)
  • Bessant family lived at Tile Kiln Farm
Biswell, Harry George
  • by October 1914
  • Died of Wounds, 6.5.1916 after being hit by a sniper when returning bak to his trench at Ypres,aged 20, 
  • Private, 5358, 11th Essex Regiment
  • buried Essex Farm Cemetary
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green,  Hemel Hempstead.
  • Lived in Belconey area.
  • In Pict. Roll of Honour Gazette  Feb 12th 1916"
Biswell, John (Jack)
  • 1st Bedfordshire Regiment
  • KIA 27.6.1916, Private
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead 
  • Thiepval Cemetary
  • "Wounded at Hill 60 
  • In Pict Roll of Honour Gazette Feb 12th 1916"
  • Lived in Belconey area of Leverstock Green
Briggs, Benjamin Grant
  • 2nd Batallion Royal Fusilliers/Colour Sergeant/ Company Quartermaster Sergeant
  • K.I.A. March 11th 1915, aged 34
  • Served in the Boer War
  • Attended LG School from 6.10.1891-10.14.1893 - see log entry below 
  • Lived at Boxmoor/relatives still in village
  • Son of Benjamin and Gertrude Mary Briggs. Born in Lincolnshire.
  • Buried  ESTAIRES COMMUNAL CEMETERY AND EXTENSION
  • Memorials: On LG School memorial, Hemel Hempstead
Brinklow
  • Kitcheners Army
  • by 6th May 1915
Brinklow, W
  • 1st Herts
  • by 15th May 1915
Brown,George
  • Royal West Surrey Regiment
  • the begining of 1917 (had been in service only abut a year)
  • 110th Labour Corps of Pimlico
  • K.I.A. at Paschendale 16.2.1918/ Private aged 41
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead ,Tyne Cot Memorial
  • Born in Dedbourne Northamptonshire, 
  • husband of Elizabeth, and a family of eight children
  • 16th March 1918 - THE ROLL OF HONOUR 
Carlton,J
  • Navy Brigade
  • by March 1916
Charge,H
  • New Army
  • by 1914
Charge, Frederick
  • Kitcheners Army
  • by Feb 1915
  • K.I.A. at Warlencourt, France
  • 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
  • Warlencroft British Cemetary
Charles,Thomas
  • by Dec. 1917
  • known to be on leave January 1918 [Gazette.]
Childs,William 
  • New Army
  • by 1914
  • known to be in Koln 1919 with the army pf occupation.  
  • Photo shows he was an NCO - Lance- Corporal"
  • Uncertain as to whether part of Childs family from Northend Farm, close friend of Steers family.
Childs,Thomas
  • 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment
  • Private, K.I.A. 1.7.1918, AGED 34
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, Pozieres 
  • eldest son of Thomas Childs of Northend Farm
  • lived 2 Alban Cottages. 
  • Born in London Colney. 
  • Husband of Lizzie
Chisman,Alfred
  • enlisted with old regiment - became instructor at Colchester 1914
  • 10th Royal Fusiliers
  • "Posted to France July 1915. 
  • Wounded in France May 1916, invalided home.
  • Discharged from army (as Sergeant) August 1916.  
  • Formerly employed as porter at the Isolation Hospital Highfield Lane, then became Master of new Isolation Hospital in Bennetts End following discharge (his wife Harriot was Matron), and later School Attendance Officer.  
  • Died of pneumonia 26th March 1919 aged 50. 
Christmas,E J
  • 2nd Lieutenant, 
  • known to be home on leave January 1918
Cull,G
  • Kitchener's Army
  • by Feb 1915
DeBegar; S,
  • Kitcheners Army
  • by May 1915
DeBeger,George
  • Norfolk Regiment 
  • by May 1915
  • discharged from 5th Northants Regiment
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
  • Died of wounds in France 17 August 1915 aged 30
  • Cite Bonjean Military Cemetary   grave IX B 24
  • Died of wounds in France 17 August 1915, aged 30.  Bornn in Notting Hill.  
  • Husband of Minnie (Woodward) 
  •  Banns record November 1914 
  • (Gaz Oct 14th 1916)  Holy Trinity Church Banns book
PERCY DELL having survived the war relatively unscathed, this picture shows Percy Dell at his wedding in Leverstock green shortly after the war. 
Dell, Percy
  • 1st Hertfordshire Regiment
  • by May 1915
Durrant,Arthur Michael - known as Michael
  • enlisted Royal Fusiliers start of war 1914
  • Captain, Royal Engineers
  • Transferred to the North Lancashire Regiment after Christmas 1914. Attached to RA tunneling section.  He was in charge of a mining party which accidentally broke into a German mine about to explode. He prevented the Germans from exploding their min by exploding his own first. 
  • Awarded Military Cross 1916. 
  • Died of wounds in France Dec 5th 1916 
  • Pont-du-Hem Military cemetary
  • Memorial:Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, Oak screen Leverstock Green Church.
  • Son of Rev. A Durrant.  
  • Husband of Jemima. (nee Wilson) 
  • Formerley employed as an artist and architect.
NOTE: If anyone knows the whereabouts of the MIlitary Crosses won by Michael Durrant, John Bessant and H R Secretan, or any surviving members of their families, please let me know.
NOTE: If anyone knows the whereabouts of the MIlitary Crosses won by Michael Durrant, John Bessant and H R Secretan, or any surviving members of their families, please let me know.
ABOVE:Design for a Ewer for Holy Trinity Church by Michael Durrant, the only known surviving peice of his work other than his architectural work.
LEFT: Broadstairs Church, renovated by Michael Durrant.
Eames,Fred
  • 15903, 1st Bn., Hampshire Regiment
  • KIA 31 July 1915 aged 19
  • Son of Walter Eames, of 8, South Hill Rd., Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
  • Memorials: Hemel Hempstead, HAMEL MILITARY CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL, on original Leverstock Green school memorial
Fitjohn,A
  • Bedfordshire Regiment
  • by May 1915

Ford,A B
  • British Red Cross
  • by Feb 1915
Freeman,(Frederick) Frank
  • enlisted Royal Navy
  • by May 1915
  • died 28.4.1917/ Lance- Corporal, aged 
  • PO/172(S) 2nd R.M. Bn. Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry
  • Royal Navy
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, Arras Memorial.
  • (son of William & Sarah Freeman, Westwick Row (1901 census)
Freeman,Harry William
  • enlisted Northants Regiment
  • KIA poziers on 24 March 1918 aged 20
  • Royal Irish Rifles/Rifleman
  • Memorials:Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, St. Mary's Apsley,Two Waters Methodist CHurch,Pozieres Memorial
  • Son of James & Louisa, of Fireman's Cottages Apsley Mills
Unmarked photograph from Steers family album.  Possibly Frank Freeman in naval uniform.  I had at first assumed it to be Freeman brothers, thinking the two Freemen who died were brothers, however, I realise now this is not the case, and the two Freeemans were more likley to be cousins. Could this possibly be Frank Freeman and his younger brother William who would have been about 17 in 1914? Frank would have been 26 in 1914.  They both look too young really!  If anyone can shed light on who these young men were, please contact me.
French,F
  • Bedfordshire Regiment
  • by May 1915
French, W
  • enlisted East Surrey Regiment 
  • by May 1915
  • known to be wounded by May 1915
Glazier, 
  • Lance Corporal
  • reservist
  • enlisted before 1915

Goodenough,Edward George
  • New Army
  • Known as George
  • enlisted 1914
  • 2nd Royal Berkshire regiment
  • KIA at the Somme 1st July 1916 aged 24.
  • Thiepval Cemetary,Private.
  • From Bennetts End (i.e Tile Kiln Lane area)
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, John Dickinsons
  • Son of Frank & Emma.  
  • Formerly employed at Apsley Mills.
Goodman,L
  • Reservist
  • enlisted 1914
Grimwood, Herbert
  • enlisted by 8th May 1915
  • joined Artists Rifles on enlistment
  • noted as Lieutenant in Manchester regiment by 15th May 
  • on demobilisation held rank of Captain.
  • In civiliam life was a well known stage and silent film star.  He used his connections with many other famous stars to help raise funds for the Parish Hall in 1919.  Unsure when he left Leverstock Green, but his increasing importance as a film star led to his being buried in the cemetary at Holywood after his death, even though he actually died in the UK. (1929)

Herbert Grimwood in "When the Clouds Roll By" with Douglas Fairbanks, 1919
Haggar, A
  • Army Service Corps
  • by May 1915
Hall, E D
  • 9th Bedfordshire
  • enlisted by March 1916

Hall, L
  • 5th Bedfordshire
  • enlisted by March 1916
Hallet, James Edwin
  • enlisted in Hertfordshire Regiment, April 1915
  • Private, Transferred to the Sussex Regiment in /August 1916.  
  • He was wounded in November 1916
  • returned to the front in February 1917, 
  • transferred to the 15th Welsh Regiment. 
  • KIA 31.7.1918, St. Julien aged 19, Private
  • Buried Artillery Wood Cemetary
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead & Holy Trinity Churchyard
  • Born in Hunslett Yorkshire, Son of James & Kate who ran the village Post Office.  
  • Formerly employed as an apprentice to Mr Chennells, grocer.
Harrowell, Fred
  • enlisted early in war, probably 1914 
  • Hertfordshire Yeomanry
  • Died in Palestine 3rd October 1918, Private
  • aged 24
  • Buried Ramleh Cemetary
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, Holy Trinity Churchyard
ABOVE LEFT: Fred Harrowell as a Boy Scout in about 1908. ABOVE CENTRE: believed to be Private F Harrowell in Palastine shortly before his death, from a photo (click on thumnail to enlarge) taken afteR April 1918 in Palastine as one of the men is wearing the Royal Air FORCE ensignia.
ABOVE RIGHT: Harrowell headstone in Holy Trinity Churchyard on which Fred is also remembered: Fred Harrowell who died in Palestine Oct 3rd 1918 aged 24 years. (Son of Alfred & Lizzie)
LEFT : With Tom Parkins and probably another LG lad, with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry.
Dell,W
Army Service Corps
enlisted by March 1916
Hill, W
  • Royal Filed Artillery
  • enlisted by May 1915
Hill, W
  • Third Hampshire Regiment
  • enlisted by March 1916
NB This may possibly be the same Private as the previous entry, who was moved to the 3rd Hampshire's prior to March 1916 - both sets of information come from the Gazette items listing those who were with the troops.
Hoare
  • Kitcheners Army
  • enlisted by Feb 1915
Ingham,C
  • Queens Westminster Rifles
  • enlisted whilst billeted in village 1914
Johnson,Frederick Joseph Thomas
  • Kitcheners Army
  • enlisted by Feb 1915
  • 1st Bedfordshire Regiment
  • KIA Ypres 16 April 1915
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, John Dickinsons,Ypres ( Menin Gate) Memorial
  • Born in Tring.

The Poziers Memorial Inscription to the Bedfordshire Regiment.
Johnson,W
  • mentioned as having died whilst in service (Gaz Oct 14th 1916) - probably FJT Johnson above
Knox Hart,  James
  • London Rifle Brigade 
  • enlisted by March 1916
  • Rifleman, KIA 31.10.1917, aged 26. 
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead, Tyne Cot Memorial
  • Son of James & Christine ( Leverstock Green Farm)
Little,G
  • Sergent Major
  • 1st Herts Regiment/Herts Yeomanry
  • enlisted by May 1915
Newland, Eric  
  • reported wounded at end of  the war.
  • married in 1925
  • according to his son, is supposed to have enlisted whilst still under-age, lying about his age.
Oakley,Benjamin George
  • enlisted August 1914
  • 6th Bedfordshire Regiment
  • Private, Died of Wounds, 4th Dec 1915
  • Memorials: Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead
  • Buried:Humbercamps Communal Cemetery Extension
  • Pict. Roll of Honour, Gazette Jan 15th 1916. 
  • Born in St. Pancras
TOP: Postcard of Koln (Cologne) Cathedral, BOTTOM LEFT: Will Childs, 
BOTTOM RIGHT, Reverse of the postcard above.
Victor Perkins as a Boy Scout 
about 1908.
Hallett headstone inscribed: Ann Hallet died Sept 12th 1915 aged 74 years, also of James Edwin Hallett dearly beloved son of James & Kate Hallett "Post Office Leverstock Green", killed in action in the battle of St. Julien in France July 31st 1917 aged 19 years, also of George Hallett who died Decmber 1924 aged 74 years.
IF YOU CAN ADD TO THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE, PARTICULALY WITH PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MEN & WOMEN CONCERNED, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
SERVING KING & COUNTRY II 
- the Women who served in WW1
Freeman,  Frank,
  • 31149, 34th Bn., Royal Fusiliers of Watford
  • transf. to (60133) Pte 101st Coy, labour Corps
  • Died of wounds from a gas shell in France on 23 May 1918. 
  • Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension
  • (Son of William of Westwick Row. Born in Harpenden.) 
WHICH FRANK FREEMAN?

Our war memorial lists an F Freeman amongst the war dead of WW1.  William & Sarah Freeman of Westwick Row were listed in the 1901 census as having a son caled Frederick.  The HH Gazette in July 1915 lists F Freeman as having joined the Royal Navy from Leverstock Green.
There is no further mention of him in the Gazette other than in the final list onthe war memorial.  There is no memorialinteh church or churchyard.  A previous curator of DHT decided from CWG evidence etc. that the Frank Freeman in question was the one who died right at the end of the war, whilst in the Labour Corps ( see grey entry to left).  I have checked with the CWGC and they do not mention parents on either entry, so I presume the entry on DHT's website re william of Westwick Row is based on census information I gave them.
I therefore feel that given the 1915 evidence re the Royal Navy that my initial supposition of Lance-Corporal Freeman being "our man" the most likley, thoughnot conclusive.
Finch, William Henry, 
  • Private 7th Norfolk Regiment, 
  • of Lovetts End Farm
  • related to Finch's of Corner Farm
  •  Killed by a shell whilst sheltering in a dug-out at Cambrai on 22 November 1917
  •  Age 32. Son of William and Annie. 
  • Memorials:  Hemel Hempstead, Cambrai Memorial., and Holy Trinity Churchyard (NOT LG MEMORIAL)
Private James Hallett
(from the Herts Advertiser)
ABOVE: Arthur  Michael Durrant MC, this photo was taken when he was a Second Lieut. at the time of his award.
THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE
an in-depth history of one village in Hertfordshire UK.
This page was last updated: April 8, 2015
MILITARY CROSS RECIPIENTS
Mattews, (Charles) William
  • Lived in Belconey Cottages and later Blacksmiths Row L.G.
  • Known to have been in army by April 1917
  • Believed to have been a sniper at the Somme
  • Injured and inmate at No 47 General, Hospital Le Treport in April 1917
  • Private in Royal West Kent Regiment, No 18930
  • Died 1965 aged 79
ABOVE LEFT: Private Matthews. ABOVE RIGHT: Notification of Private Matthews hospitalization. BELOW: Photo of William Matthews and his wife in later years at Blacksmith's Row, and postcards etc. sent home from France during the war.
Charles William Matthews and his wife Nellie are both buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard marked by a wooden cross.  This obituary (R) was in the WI album for 1965, and was in the section for October.  and listed in the registers for October/November in the parsih magazine.
Conscription during First World War began when the British government passed the Military Service Act in 1916. The act specified that single men aged 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of a religion. There was a system of Military Service Tribunals to adjudicate upon claims for exemption upon the grounds of performing civilian work of national importance, domestic hardship, health, and conscientious objection. The law went through several changes before the war ended. Married men were exempt in the original Act, although this was changed in June 1916. The age limit was also eventually raised to 51 years old. Recognition of work of national importance also diminished, and in the last year of the war there was some support for the conscription of clergy.Conscription lasted until mid-1919. [Taken from entry in Wikipedia]