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The Leverstock Green ChronicleLG Chronicle in the 20th Century

Local War GravesQWR in Leverstock GreenServing King & Country (Servicemen from LG, WWI)
1916 - There was a severe outbreak of diptheria in the Hemel area, which may well have affected some of the children who lived in Leverstock Green, although there was no mention in the school log for this year of any cases of diptheria.[ S19, S73, numerous reports in the Gazette]

15th January 1916 - The Gazette's Pictorial roll of honour showed  Private Oakley who had been killed in action.  He was one of the many from Leverstock Green who had enlisted - he had died at the end of December 1915.  [Gazette 15th January 1916]

12th February 1916 - The Gazette featured three of Leverstock Green's enlisted soldiers.  The two Bisnell (or Biswell brothers were in the Pictorial Roll of Honour: Private  HG Biswell 9th Essex Regiment of Leverstock Green He was wounded at Loos in 4 places, but has now recovered, and Private J Biswell  1st Beds regiment of Leverstock Green wounded at Hill 60; and Michael Durrant:


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.  Lieu /am Durrant is the son of Rev Arthur Durrant, vicar of Leverstock Green. [Gazette 12th February 1916]

23rd February 1916 - - The Gazette reported on the setting up of the Land Army in Leverstock Green


A public meeting was held in the schools Leverstock Green  on February 23rd to explain the scheme of the Herts County Council for organising women's labour on the land, which is that there shall be a canvas of all women between the ages of 17 and 60, in every rural parish in the county, and a register formed of all those willing to give some help if needed, even if only one morning or afternoon a week.  Each village will have its own register of helpers for the neighbouring farmers to refer to if they wish.. Mrs Durrant, who took the chair expressed great sympathy with the scheme and  hoped there would be a good response on behalf of the women.  Mrs Hart made a most interesting speach...............Mrs Secretan read a paper in which she said let no one think they wanted the rearing of children neglected...........................In recognition of the patriotic spirit of those women who undertook work on the land the Board of Agriculture propose to grant a certificate, emblazoned with the Royal Arms in colours to such women workers.  A cheap and sensible uniform will also be on view in each district shortly and can be bought complete or in part...............and armlet will probably be issued to genuine women workers.   [Gazette 4th March 1916]

23rd - 25th February 1916 - Heavy snow caused poor attendance at the village school. [S273]

4th March 1916 – James Seabrook, herdsman from Leverstock Green was given exemption from conscription. [Gazette 4th March 1916]

18th March 1916 - From the Gazette:


Our correspondent sends a further list of those serving King & Country from the village making 71 in all.  Many on this list have joined some considerable time ago  J Calton, Navy Brigade; W Dell ASC; ED Hall 9th Beds; L Hall 5th Beds; J Hart London Rifle Brigade; W Hill 3rd Herts; J Timson Beds, W Parkins ASC; 1st Herts; C Parkins Royal Engineers; V Parkins  Beds; A Rumsey...; W W Sears, Royal Engineers; H Stock Royal Garrison Artillery; B Wright 2nd Royal Fusiliers [Gazette 18 March 1916]

George Parradine from Little Cox Pond farm was given exemption from conscription. [Gazette 18 March 1916]

25th March 1916 -  John Gilbert TROTT, a dairyman from Bennetts End, was given 6 months exemption from conscription. [Gazette 25th March 1916]

28th and 29th March 1916 - Yet more heavy snow causing poor attendance at the village school. [S73]

Monday 1st May  1916 -   The  HT Vestry meeting was held with the   Rev Durrant in the chair, Messrs A. Seabrook and WC Child were churchwardens. Others present were J Bailey Snr; W Parkins, W Dell; F Dell; W Wright & W Cook.  Mr WC Child presented the accounts.......Vicar said Mr Seabrook his warden wished to retire from office and he  appointed Lord Grimston as his warden (Earl of Verulam's son) for the ensuing year. He cordially thanked Mr Seabrook for the help that he had been to him over the past fourteen years - Mr Child was re-elected Parish warden, with thanks for past services. The sidesmen were also re-elected en bloc.  Mr W. Dell was chosen to represent the parish at the  Rural-Decanal conference.  Mr Parkins asked that the clock might be made to strike during the ....hours of the day and that churchwardens.......... [Gazette 6th May 1916- microfilm unclear at bottom of page]

17th June 1916 – Gazette reported that James Gray, machinist from Leverstock Green, was given exeption from conscription. [Gazette 17 June 1916]

24th June 1916 - The Gazette printed the following:


Mrs Bisnell1 (?Biswell) Balcony Villas, whose son Private HG Bisnell 11th Essex was killed on May 6th has just received a letter from the acting Adjutant in which he said - "Your son was always a keen and good soldier and willing to help his comrades in need; his officer was proud to have him in his platoon  and the whole company sadly regret his loss.  You may rest assured that he did his duty both to his king & country.   Private Bisnell enlisted in Sept. 1914, he was five months in France and twice previously wounded, he had only returned to the front a few weeks when he was killed by a sniper on his way back from the trenches. Much sympathy has been expressed for Mr & Mrs Bisnell In.......... 2 [Gazette 24th June 1916]

15th July 1916 – Gazette reported that Henry Briggs of the Hemel Brick Co. was exempted from conscription. [Gazette 15 July 1916]

29th July 1916 – Gazette reported that Frederick Boatwright, farmer from the Plough PH, was exempted from conscription.[Gazette 29th July 1916]

19th August 1916 -  The Gazette reported the following:


The death has occurred of Mr Harry Woodward of 2, Brunswick Crescent, New Southgate, N…who was native of Leverstock Green , and a brother of Mrs DeBeger, also of the same village.  Deceased was employed at the London County Asylum for ten years and having formerly served in the 1st Grenadier Guards, was called up for service at the beginning of the war and spent some time in France.  He was taken seriously ill out there and had to be sent home to hospital, being subsequently invalided out of the Army, and in due course resumed his occupation at the asylum.  He fell ill again however, and died after a long and painful illness.  The funeral took place at Leverstock Green  with Military honours, among those present being five representatives of the asylum staff. A rather pretty and touching scene was enacted at the funeral when the children of the village school were placed in rows, the little ones n front and the taller behind, while the cortege was processing into the church.  [Gazette 19th August 1916.

NB Harry Woodwards died on 13th July, his death certificate gave Chronic nephritis as the cause of death.
16th December 1916 - The Gazette carried the report of Michael Durrant's death whilst fighting at the front.  The article read as follows:

"We regret to record the fact that the name of Captain A.M. Durrant, M.C. R.E., son of the Rev. Arthur Durrant, vicar of Leverstock Green , figured in the list of officers killed, published on Wednesday.
The gallant young officer is one of three from the patriotic village of Leverstock Green  who have won the military Cross in the present war.  He enlisted in the ranks shortly after the outbreak of war, joining a London Fusilier Battalion.  After Christmas 1914, he transferred to the Loyal North Lancashires, with whom he crossed the channel. Obtaining a commission he was attached to a tunnelling section of the Royal Engineers, and it was while on this dangerous duty that he gained the Military Cross.  Second Lieutenant Durrant ( as he was then) was in charge of a mining party which accidentally broke into a German mine just about to explode.  The situation was full of possibilities, but  they young officer kept his head and prevented the Germans from exploding their mine by exploding his own first and blowing the enemy party to fragments.  He has been home twice on leave, and on one of these occasions married Miss Jemima Wilson, a daughter of the late Captain Belford Randolph Wilson, 19th Hussars, of Grey  Wells Hants.

Before enlisting Captain Durrant was practising as an architect, being a member of the firm of Mooresmith & Durrant, E.C. He showed unusual aptitude for his work, gained his A.R.I.B.A. And specialised in church building, and practically re-built the Parish Church at Broadstairs."  [Gazette  16th December 1916]
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6th August 1916 - Leverstock Green again featured in the Gazette's Pictorial Roll of Honour: Sergt H E Chisman 10th Royal fusiliers. Wounded May 31st, discharged from army and was this week welcomed back to his duties as Master of the Isolation Hospital BE.  The Gazette also reported that: Mrs Secretan of Leverstock Green has been appointed a member of the St. Albans Tribunal for Conscription. [Gazette 26th August 1916]

9th September 1916  -  Percy Garret Gardner, from Leverstock Green , was reported as having exemption from conscription at the local tribunal. [Gazette 9 Sept 1916]

14th October 1916 - Leverstock Green correspondant (? Rev. Durrant) was feeling very pleased with his village:


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 e 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.

28th October 1916 -  Gazette reported that A J Dean from Westwick Farm was exempted from conscription. [Gazette 28th October 1916]

31st October 1916 - There was no school on this day as the Infants' Gallery was removed. [S73]

1st November 1916 - The records of Horn & Co, Undertakers from Marlowes show the following entry:
Deceased : Stevens, Harriet
DATE OF DEATH: 1.11.1916
NOTE: She was 72 years old and buried at the cemetery on 6th November 1916.
Husband: Stevens, Joseph
ADDRESS: Orchard Lea, Tile Kiln Lane, Bennetts End
[DCHT Undertaker's Records, Horn & Co ]

3rd November 1916

The death occurred on November 3rd of Walter Parkins of Westwick Row who passed away rather suddenly at the West Herts hospital at the age of 54 years.  Mr Parkins had spent his life in Leverstock Green's parish, and carried on the business of fruit and fish dealer.  He always took a great interest in the parish church, of which he had been a sidesman for many years.  He leaves a widow and 8 children to morn his loss.  Four of his sons are serving with the colours. [Gazette 18th November 1916] Below can be seen a photograph of his grave and a picture taken showing Walter (bearded) with his son Thomas (R) on their fish rounds. [Photographs courtesy Jill Ray, his granddaughter.]