1917 - Kelly's Directory for this year was only a little changed from that for 1912. It was, however, noted that Arthur Evans had been knighted, and was now Sir Arthur Evans.M.A.  Interestingly it gave the 1911 population figure as 697, as opposed to 649 quoted for 1911 in 1912! The police force was represented by Constable William Thomas Bedford. The lists of residents were given as follows:            

                        Private Residents.

Joseph Bailey, Chambersbury             William Beecham, Wood Lane End
Charles Bessant, Tile Kiln             William Charles Child,Hill Side
Thomas Daniel Cox, Hill Farm             Col. Chas. Wm. Enst. Duncombe. J.P. , Orchard Lea
Rev. Arthur Durrant, Vicarage
John McOustra, Hill House  George Secker, Cox Pond
Herbert Secretan, The Dells              Percy Webster, Sibleys Orchard

Jsph. Bailey, farmer, Chambersbury       Mary Ann Barnes (Mrs) beer retailer,   Bennetts End
Fred. Chas. Boatwright,beer retailer    Thos. Childs, frmr, North End Farm
Walter Stephen Cook, shoe maker         Miss Beryl Dell, dress maker
Albert Edwards, dairyman                 Percy Garratt, beer retailer
Morse & Mortimer Grimwood, market gardeners, French gardens
George, Albert & Herbert Finch, farmers, Corner Farm
George Hallett ,beer retailer            James Hallett, grocer & post office
James Knox Hart, frmr, LG. Farm         William Henry How, farmer
Mrs. Lilly Jackson, frmr, Ben. End.Ho.   Arthur George Mears, R.S.S. smith
Harry Parradine, dairyman. L.Coxpond Fm   Tom Perkins, beer retailer
Arthur Seabrook, Leather Bottle P.H.    Arthur Geo. Seabrook, boot/shoe maker
Reuben Seabrook, hay dlr. Tile Kiln La.  William Walter Sears, builder
Mrs. Eliz. Timson, Red Lion P.H.         Thos. Wm. Toovey J.P. farmer
David Walters, farmer, Westwick        Robert William Wright, wheelwright

It is interesting to note that there are now two magistrates in the village, that the village now has an official dressmaker, but that the biggest innovation - especially when you consider that it was wartime, was that there are now market gardeners in Morse and Mortimer Grimwood, who also made French gardens. (Does anyone know what they are?) (See also entry for 3rd May 1918) [ S 27 ]

19th January 1917  - A heavy fall of snow prevented many of the local children from attending school. [S73]

also "Arthur and Tom Perkins unable to attend owing to an older brother having diptheria."  [S73]

Saturday 29th January  1917   A small fire in the village got itself in to the following week's newspaper:


A small fire occurred on Saturday afternoon at the house of  Mr W Sears near Leverstock Green Church.  Mr Hill Sec of the Hemel Hempstead fire brigade received the alarm by telephone at 2.5 PM and the hose cart was immediately sent away under Foreman Williams.  The engine was made ready to follow but ten minutes later a message was received  stating that the services of the fire brigade were not required.  The hose cart however went to the scene and those in charge saw that matters were safe. It appeared that the outbreak occurred under the stairs, which were badly burnt but the fire was extinguished by the prompt action of some soldiers.[ Gazette Feb 5th1917]

6th February 1917 - Mr. Ford recorded the sudden death of 12 year old Mary Brown. No particulars are given as to cause of death. [S73]

9th February 1917 - Heavy falls of snow caused Mr. Ford to record that the local roads were almost impassable. [S73]

12th February 1917 - Mr Ford recorded that:

March 3rd 1917- A report in the Gazette of an inquest into a local girl stated that:


There existing a doubt as to the cause of a Leverstock Green girls death so the body was removed to the mortuary at the direction of the coroner Mr JT Broad and there a post mortem examination was conducted by Dr Hartill of Abbots Langley.  The full facts were revealed at the inquest when Harriot Brown, wife of William brown a ploughman of Blacksmiths Row Leverstock Green stated that her daughter told her she had fallen down on a slide and had hurt her shoulders.  Remedies were applied but as she became worse the parish nurse was sent for and the doctor was summoned.  District Nurse Mary Carter of Leverstock Green  said the child told her she had a pain between her shoulders and suddenly exclaimed "Oh my poor head."  Later on she became unconscious in a fit.  Dr Sidney Harthill practising at Abbots Langley said that he came to the conclusion that the child was suffering from cerebrospinal meningitis, and she died quite suddenly in his presence.  By the instruction of the coroner he conducted a post-mortem examination and sent some of the pus to London  and his suspicions had been confirmed.    This was a particularly severe case.  Every person who had been in the house had since been under observation, and in the event of ht discovery of a microbe the patient was isolated.   It was impossible to say where the contagion had come from.  The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes - cerebrospinal meningitis. [Gazette  March 3rd 1917]

5th May  1917 - The following appeared in the Gazette:

WOMEN ON THE LAND  There are about 16 women willing to work on the land when required by the farmers for weeding etc.
ALLOTMENTS   The need for more allotments having been brought to the notice of the Parish Council  5 acres of field most conveniently situated in the centre of the village was promptly secured by the council.  The allotments were all taken up at once and several of the holders are women.  A ton of seed potatoes was ordered by smallholders and cottagers from the County Council.  Leverstock Green expects to be self supporting in vegetables and have a surplus to sell.
WAR SAVINGS A war savings association was started here in war savings week and is proving a great success.  Collectors call regularly once a week and the result is average taking of about £4.  Considering that many of the young people of the village subscribe to the association at the mills this is very good for such a small place. The committee are also trying to do what they can in the food economy campaign, leaflets are being left at every house, and it is hoped a speaker may be procured for a public meeting shortly.

18th May 1917 A successful meeting was held at the schools Leverstock Green on May 18th in respect to War time  Food Conservation Programme   The vicar, Arthur Durant was chairman and a large number attended.  A full report on what was said at the meeting appeared in the Gazette for 26th May. [Gazette 26 May 1917.]

11th June 1917 - Miss Lorna Milicent Durrant (Vicar's elder daughter) was noted  in the school log book as being a certificated supply teacher, who was covering for Mrs. Ford who was unable to attend to her duties. Lorna would have been nearly 31 years old at this time. [S73]

31st July 1917 - Two Leverstock Green soldiers serving at the front, were killed at St. Julien : Lieutenant Reginald Herbert Secretan & Private J E Hallett.  The following appeared in the Gazette:


We regret to hear  the news has been received of the death in action of  the son of Mr & Mrs Secretan of Bennetts End, Leverstock Green.  The gallant young officer was one of three from Leverstock Green who won the Military Cross.  The other two were Captain Durrant, son of the Vicar of Leverstock Green, and Lieut.. Bessant.  Capt. Durrant met his death some time ago. [Gazette August 11 1917]

2nd Lieut. R H SECRETAN

The son of Mr & Mrs Secretan whose death was announced last week, was the youngest son, and not the one who was awarded the MC.  The following notice appeared in "The Times":

Second Lieutenant R H Secretan, the Hertfordshire Regiment, killed in action July 31st, aged 22; youngest son of Mr & Mrs Herbert Secretan of Leverstock Green  near Hemel Hempstead and nephew of  the late Henry Richardson of  Marlborough.  He was educated at Hildersham House Broadstairs, and Oundle School.    On the outbreak of war, having just left school, he tried 8 times to enlist, but was rejected for short sight.  Finally he was accepted for the M.T.A.S.C. and went to the front in December 1914.  After serving 18 months in France as Motor Driver and dispatch rider, he came home in August 1916 to take up a commission.  He joined his regiment at the front in January 1917.  The Commanding Officer writes: n He was killed instantaneously while leading his platoon against our final objective.  His men tell me that nothing could have been more gallant than the way in which he led them.  He was always so cheerful and ready to do everything that he was a great favourite with everyone.  There was no braver boy in the whole army.

A friend writing to his parents says: "I shall never forget your boy in the first days of the war, dashing about the country on his motor bike, entreating to be enlisted anywhere and in any regiment."  Second Lieutenant R H Secretan was Captain of his house and his housemaster had a "vast regard" for him.  He was very keen on all games, at many of which he excelled.  In his last letter home on his way up to the front he says: "I am awfully bucked with life, I have been given a good job and the men could not have been better.  One of his men said he always took any shelling like a football match.  He loved his men and they loved him.  "A splendid lot" he called them.  The Chaplain writes: One of his men tells me that he rallied his men to the attack on our final objective shouting "Come on No 8" and was instantly shot.  [Gazette August 18th 1917]


Private James E J Hallett of the Welsh Regiment, who was killed at St. Julien on July 31, was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs James Hallett, of Leverstock Green Post Office, and nineteen years of age.  Before joining the Hertfordshire  Regiment in April 1915 he was an apprentice with Mr Chennelle, Grocer of Hemel Hempstead.  He went to France and was transferred to the Sussex regiment in August 1916, and was wounded on November 5th 1916, and was returned to France last February, when he was attached to the Welsh Regiment. [Gazette August 18th 1917]
Click here to link to site re local war graves.

1st September 1917  - Obviously Leverstock Green residents were feeling a little miffed at the modest amount collected for the Hertfordshire Regiment as The Gazette reported :


The results of the Flag Day collection for comforts for the Hertfordshire Reg. amounted to £5 8s including the sale of some fruit and old clothes.  The amount would have been more had not collectors from other districts overrun the village. [Gazette September 1st 1917]

Tuesday 18th September 1917 - The wedding of the Secretan's elder daughter took place.  The Gazette carried the following report:

WEDDING --At St Michaels Church Chester Square on Tuesday, the marriage took place of Miss Marjorie Secretan, elder daughter of Mr & Mrs Herbert E Secretan of Bennetts End to Major Charles Herbert Fair DSO assistant master at Hazeleybury College.  The Rev R.H. Fair, father of the bridegroom officiated, assisted by the Rev M H Watham, vicar of Woodford Green, Essex.  [Gazette September 22nd 1917]

22nd September 1917 - A soldier from Leverstock Green  was wounded in battle:

Sergeant F J Smith, youngest son of the late Mr John /smith of Leverstock Green  was wounded at the Towe Hamlet Ridge Battle on September 22 and is now in hospital at Northampton.  This makes the second time the sergeant is wounded. [Gazette 6th October 1917]

Friday 5th October 1917- A farm sale took place at Hill Farm. The Gazette had carried the following advert during previous week:

On Friday next
Hill End Farm, St. Michaels, St. Albans
Sale of Live & Dead farming stock & pedigree pigs

Mr William Young is instructed by Mr.  J R Aries who is giving up the farm, to sell by auction on Friday  October 5th 1917 at 11 o'clock punctually the whole of the above live and dead farming stock on the farm comprising:-

8 Jersey Cows & heifers, pedigree Jersey bull 2 years old
3 shorthorn steer
4 shorthorn heifers
2 cart horses
17 pedigree large white Yorkshire sows and yelts entered or eligible for the herd book
Do boar
50 head of poultry
Several litters of pigs and the excellent implements mostly nearly new including elevator, corn drill, pig & sheep float, Binder by Massey Harris, Harrow, ploughs, horse hoes, iron rolls, swathe turner, mowing machine,  fowl homes, pig troughs, cake crusher, turnip pulpers, harness, carts and a quantity of dairy utensils.

4 ricks of hay and a few lots of surplus furniture. [Gazette 29 Sept 1917]xt.
Click to link to the following:

The Leverstock Green ChronicleLG Chronicle in the 20th Century

Local War GravesQWR in Leverstock GreenServing King & Country (Servicemen from LG, WWI)
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