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an in-depth history of one village in Hertfordshire UK.
Photographs © Barbara Le Tallec
                                                                                       An Act of Remembrance

At 7.20 am on Friday July 1st a Service of Remembrance was held at the War Memorial in Leverstock Green to commemorate the centenary of the start of the battle of the Somme. The Revd Lizzie Hood, vicar of Holy Trinity Church, led a moving service for the fallen, remembering particularly the men of the regiments who were billeted in Leverstock Green and locally.

 As 7.30am approached the crowd of more than 70 fell silent for two minutes in an act of remembrance for the many thousands that died. Mr Jamie Kendall, a lone piper, played Flowers of the Forest to commence the two minute silence then Johnny Cope, a reveille, to signal the end. Mr Darren O'Brien, an ex-serviceman who had taken a major role in the planning of the event, laid a wreath along with 10 of his colleagues from the London regiments, our local MP Mike Penning, and other local representatives. Servicemen were also involved in reading the roll of honour and war poetry.

Coffee was then available at Holy Trinity Church where an exhibition of memorabilia, posters, photos and poignant stories from Leverstock Green during the First World War, including letters home from serving soldiers at that time, was on display around the Church.

There was a further act of remembrance at the Boxmoor War Memorial on the Saturday at 11am which was organised by the Royal British Legion.

Click above to go to the BBC History site's animated map of the Battle of the Somme
After the service a chance to see the memorabilia and exhibitions in church and the Trinity Room.
Battles of the Somme, 1916
    First phase: 1–17 July 1916
First day on the Somme, 1 July
        Battle of Albert, 1–13 July
        Battle of Bazentin Ridge, 14–17 July
        Battle of Fromelles, 19–20 July
Second phase: July–September 1916
        Battle of Delville Wood, 14 July – 15 September
         Battle of Pozières, 23 July – 7 August
         Battle of Guillemont, 3–6 September
         Battle of Ginchy, 9 September
Third phase: September–November, 1916
         Battle of Flers–Courcelette, 15–22 September
         Battle of Morval, 25–28 September
         Battle of the Transloy Ridges, 1 October – 11 November
         Battle of Thiepval Ridge, 26–28 September
         Battle of the Ancre Heights, 1 October – 11 November
         Battle of the Ancre, 13–18 November
Unlike many villages in the UK, Leverstock Green was lucky comparatively in the number of young men we lost to the Battles of WW1.  Although many of our young men were in the Hertfordshire Regiment (Territorials) and already on their annual camp and maneuvers when war was declared, they were soon dispersed to other regiments and so were not fighting together as a group of "pals". 

Over 100 young men left leverstock Green to fight on the Battlefields of WW1 - that is about 1/5 of the population of the village at that time. Twenty-nine altogether died as a result of the hostilities; but of these, remarkably only two were killed during the Battle of the Somme.

Full details of ALL the Leverstock Green losses can be found by clicking on the three blue boxes at the top left of this page. Below are just those two young men who lost their lives in the Somme region in 1916.  If anyone can add to the information I have, or provide photographs of these young men, please contact me.  Thankyou. Barbara Chapman
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
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.