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Allotments


Oddments


How big is an allotment? (www.nsalg.org.uk/allotment-info/
)
An allotment is traditionally measured in rods (perches or poles), an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.

1841 Tithe map
Cut Throat Lane – field belonged to Freeborns farm that is now allotments.

1841
ERO Accession A5404. ‘Bramston scrapbooks’, Book 1, greenish cover, page 19 of notes
Poster
‘To the Poor Inhabitants of Witham. Notice is hereby given that it is intended to divide a Field, near Chipping Hill Bridge, called Knee Field, into allotments of garden ground not exceeding 20 rods. Any person wishing to hire an Allotment of 10 or 20 rods is requested to apply immediately to Mr Wade at the National School, who will set down the applicant’s name, and give him information   ‘ [information not specified]. Occupation on 1 November next .John Bramston, Oct 1841.
Pro-forma
‘Witham Field Gardens. Allotment no —, — Rods of Ground. Yearly Rent —s —d  and one Potato’.
Conditions, include:
‘No Work … On Lords Day or Christmas Day or Good Friday’
Not to under-let without permission.
No buildings or trees allowed.
Keep neat.
No ploughing.
Not more than half of ground to have potatoes.
Gates kept locked.
No children except to work. Damages ‘by them to be made good by the Parent’.
If dishonest or injury to other tenant, or convicted of any offence against law, or reach rules, landlord can take possession.
To be signed and witnessed.

1842-72
Surrey History Centre: Earls of Onslow of Clandon Park, Estate Papers
Earls of Onslow of Clandon Park, West Clandon: Estate papers of the 4th and 5th Earls of Onslow
Catalogue Ref.1320
Allotment hiring card for Witham Field Gardens, with conditions and record of lettings 1847-1872 – ref.1320/418/5? – date: [c1887]
From web site of A2A, Access to Archives: Http://www.a2a.pro.gov.uk/search/docframe.asp?styletype=xsl&i=110&filename=xsl\A2A_com.xsl&com=1

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, in Essex Record Office
Saturday, November 12 1842, ERO D/DU 1639

Corn Markets higher, but the Cattle fair to day at Chelmsford was dull indeed, but very few sales at very low prices, but probably not so low as they seem likely to settle down to. I find that in North Essex the farmers are determined to keep pace in lowering poor mens wages with the Cattle and Corn. Labour there is now 14d per day! Being 8/ per week!! And the allotments let to labourers (being prohibited in many instances from growing ??? straw crops) is charge to them 6d per rod or £4 per acre. The farmers who underlet in this way giving for the same land 25/ or 30/ per acre! Our labour here is paid at the rate of 11/ per week by the day with small beer. By the by some of my neighbours lay claim to an excessive amount of charity in letting out these allotments to Agricultural labourers. Our Vicar the Reverend Mr. Bramston held his rent audit in his Coach House last Friday evening. The Entertainment consisted of roast mutton (alias baked), plum-puddings, ale and Bacca. The number of Tenants 70 (or about that). Bramston presided with his Curate Mr. Fagun as vice. The quantity of land in each holding is ?  rods for which these poor people pay 8d per rod!! Which is at the rate of £5:6.8 per acre!!! The Landlord paying Tithe Rate and other outgoings. The parson in taking his charity garment out of this affair will have but a thin covering for his sins!

In his predecessors time 6 years ago this land was let to a farmer for 30/ per acre.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Sunday September 14th, 1845, ERO D/DU 1639

The accounts from all quarters state the potato crop to be most destructively diseased. I have taken up one piece of Pink eyed Kidneys and not one in ten are sound. I have some I hope much better but some which were taken up a fortnight since supposed to be unaffected are beginning to decay and I have great apprehensions that the failure will be much greater than is feared. This must prove a heavy calamity to the Poor as the potato crop in the allotment gardens is to them of much moment.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday September 24th, 1845, ERO D/DU 1639

Weather yesterday & today fine with sharp frosts in the morning which has cut down the potatoes when they were not previously destroyed by the murrains – I have determined not to take up mine for some time. I think they will be riper in the ground, such of them as are not rotten. In the allotments or field gardens of the poor I calculate that two thirds of the crop is destroyed and I very much fear that those which appear sound are not so and that they will rot in a few weeks. The new varieties appear to me to suffer least. Some of our old sorts have entirely perished from the disease or murrain. At present if well steamed with a little salt they agree with my sows & pigs but they hardly eat them raw. It is now said that this disease made its appearances in some districts last year and that it may prove fatal in following years.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Thursday October 9th, 1845, ERO D/DU 1639

Rain at intervals during the day, which being our ploughing match & meeting for prizes for cottage gardens, allotments etc. dampened the proceedings in the field at Mr Hutley. But few ladies could attend. We dined afterwards at White Hart Lord Raleigh in the Chair. A smart speaking  conversation on farming & matters connected with the society followed in the evening. Quite enough talkers. Farmers can make speeches such as their ancestors little dreamed of.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday January 7th, 1846, ERO D/DU 1639

This has been a mild, cheerful day like April, the winds of December quite hushed – not so the political world. Meetings in favour of Corn Laws continue to be held in various places but the high tone of the actors in them is fast coming down & meetings for a repeal (total) gain strength & power every day. At a village in Wiltshire a meeting in the evening of the labourers has been held of which a full report in the Times of this day. They assembled in the road & a labourer was called to the Chair. Resolutions were moved & seconded in a regular manner with speeches by labourers & if the Tale they told be true a more monstrous system of oppression is not to be found in History. One circumstance particularly requires notice namely that allotments let to the poor pay at least double rents to the same land let to common tenants. The same occurs here our Vicar Mr Bramston let land to the poor at the rate of £5 per acre!! By our previous vicar this land was let to a farmer for 30/. Lord Rayleigh also lets a field in this parish to the poor for upwards of £5 per acre. This is called charity forsooth!! I wonder if the Parson can find a passage in the Bible to sanction this.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday, March 10, 1847

A very sharp frost this morning and all the drain pipes made these two last days frozen & destroyed, & my men today have suspended work. The spring vegetables Brocoli lettuce &c are fast perishing under this severe weather which added to the potato failure presses heavily upon the poor labourer who cultivates his allotment piece & for wh. here he commonly pays a double rent to the Landlord, that is double what a tenant farmer pays. Wheaten bread is now well nigh our only resource for food.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Friday, April 30, 1847

Corn Markets at Chelmsford today firm. I sold one parcel of red wheat at 84/- & another at 83/-. Our labourers almost literally live upon bread. No potatoes are left & cold late spring has destroyed much of the Cabbage tribe in their garden allotments. Many are hungry & half fed. This has however been a favorable week although not warm for the growth of vegetation. Moderate showers are more suitable to vegetation than hasty & heavy rains.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Sunday, September 26, 1847

The Anniversarys of the Agricultural Societys are now being held in this & other counties.  In some cases their meetings are entirely devoted to a public distribution of prizes to labourers & servants embracing every variety of farming & domestic engagements. & for the cultivation of garden allotments &c. In others prizes to farmers for best roots, cattle &c. Any common object which brings the different classes of society has a beneficial tendency but it unfortunately happens that Landlord & Tenants frequently meet only on these occasions in a Social Manner for many Landlords employ agents to make bargains for occupying land as well as to take rents getting away as much as possible from all intercourse with the parties with whose interests they are so much complicated & then again farmers keep as much aloof from their labourers & thus all parties try to break asunder the links which ought to bind them together.

 

 

UDC Building Committee, 21 March 1911, page 33 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/1)

Mr Blood be asked to name price for part of the former allotment field at Chipping Hill [this for building cottages].

 

UDC Building Committee, 24 March 1911, page 34 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/1)

Mr Blood offered frontage of the old allotment field in Church Street at £75 per acre. [this for building cottages].

 

30 January 1917, page 768, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book

Council has considered extension of land for cultivation. Society’s field Pains Haven is suitable Do Society intend to cultivate it?

To Mr F Simpson, Secretary, Witham Co-op.

 

UDC 25 June 1917 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 389. To get two sprayers for potatoes to prevent disease, for use of allotment holders. Invite applications for spraying at 3d per rod.

 

UDC 28 January 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 431. Letter from Essex War Agricultural Committee re ‘cultivation of as much land as possible in allotments’. No action necessary.

 

Essex Weekly News, 1 February 1918

page 4, col 3. Witham Urban District Council meeting.

Allotments. Captain Abrey proposed Council should use land purchased for cemetery, for allotments. Cemetery not required for years. Mr Garrett seconded. Chairman said notice required.

 

Essex Weekly News, 22 February 1918

page 6, col 3. Potato spraying. Mr F Griffiths from Food Production Department. Address in Congregational schoolroom. Mr E Smith presided. Recommended allotment holders etc to spray crops. Great increase in production would ensue.

 

UDC, 25 February 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

pages 437-38. Discussion how best to cultivate cemetery field, e.g. allotments. Decided to ask ‘Messrs Crittall if they would let their field in Braintree Road to the Council for purposes of allotments for duration of the war’.

 

Essex Weekly News, 1 March 1918

page 5, col 5. Witham Urban District Council Meeting, Mr P Hutley in chair.

Allotments. Mr Abrey moved rescinding decision not to use three acres of cemetery land for allotments. He approached by men who wanted allotments, and thought they should be encouraged. Mr W Taber seconded. Mr W Pinkham against – thought wrong to let – better to cultivate it themselves. Mr J E Smith agreed. Resolution defeated by chairman’s casting vote. Mr Pinkham proposed Committee appointed to cultivate the field . Carried by same vote. Re allotments, decided to ask Crittall Manufacturing Co to allow their building site at Chipping Hill to be used. Pinkham, Taber and Smith appointed as Allotment Committee.

 

UDC 25 March 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 445. ‘Read letter from Mr W Gardner of 12th inst. as to 7 acres of land of the Crittall Manufacturing Company Limited which was available for allotments.’ Ask press to record facts in their reports.

 

UDC 29 April 1918, Annual Meeting (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 452. Allotments. Interview with Mr Jacques Inspector of allotments from Food Production Department, Whitehall, and ‘inspection of Pans Haven field. Mr Gardner (agent for Messrs Crittall, the owners) also attended and stated that Messrs Crittall had received permission of the Government to commence building on the field at any time and he had received instructions to provide storage in the neighbourhood for the machinery etc which was ready. Also that arrangements had been made with the Great Eastern Railway Company to construct a Railway Siding’. Agreed that to explain to Mr J that Council willing to hire but would have to be short notice.

 

30 April 1918, page 963, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book, 30 April 1918, page 963, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book

To ‘Inspector Food Production Dept, Ipswich.’

Have seen Messrs Crittall’s agent (‘Mr Walter Gardner of this town’). Confirmed Messrs Crittall have Government permit to proceed with building on field, ‘which they may be obliged to exercise at any time, and that the Great Eastern Railway have undertaken to construct a siding from their line into the Works immediately Messrs Crittall request them to do so. He also stated that the plant and machinery, and a good part of the joinery, were already completed for erection’. He has tried to let it without much success, a few allotments only. Council willing to hire it if felt right to cultivate.

To ‘Inspector Food Production Dept, Ipswich.’

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 13 February 1920, page 30 [first one of this Committee noticed] (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Application by resident in Chipping Hill for allotments. Mr H T Isted, representative of Lord Rayleigh, attended. Allotment Holders deputation of five also attended. They had named part of Moat Farm. They refused pieces in Highfields Road and near the Cemetery field. Deputation insisted on Council acquiring Moat Fm land under compulsory powers. Mr Isted suggested Mr J E Smith and his son Mr L E Smith should attend at Terling tomorrow at 10 a.m. to confer with Hon E G Strutt.

[continued on p 34] Application of residents in Maldon Road for allotments considered. Mr Bawtree willing to sell his field in Maldon Road now occupied by Mr Sorrell for £500. This considered excessive. Mr Pinkham to meet him.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 24 February 1920, page 32 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Letter from Mr H F Bawtree. After consultation with brother would sell field for £420, and if Council accepted would give Mr Sorrell notice. Agreed to accept if purchase price not more that £400.

Letter from Mr Isted. Mr Smith agreed to release the part of Moat farm required for allotments, ‘leaving it to the generosity of Mr Strutt in some way to make it up to him’. But Mr Smith said hadn’t had offer. Clerk to write to Lord Rayleigh about alternative land for Mr Smith.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 27 February 1920, page 35 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Mr Bawtree agreed to sell Maldon Road land for £400 and Mr Sorrell would relinquish. Agreed to purchase.

Re Chipping Hill, Mr L E Smith had letter; Mr Strutt would let him have Lenny’s Field if he would give up field at Moat Farm for allotments. But would have to wait till Michaelmas because Mr Strutt wanted to take crop at Lenny’s. But places in hands of council subject to compensation, and fence against cattle on either side of plot.

Chairman directed to see Housing Commissioner to urge confirmation of Compulsory Order re part of Cocks Farm as soon as possible, to enable Council to offer part of that to Committee.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 24 March 1920, page 42 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Maldon Road. Resolved to plough and disk harrow it. Then mark it up in 10 rod plots. No person to have more than one plot at present. Rent to be 8d a rod. Notice in Maldon Road to invite applications. Letter read from ‘the Witham and District Allotments Society’ suggesting field in Maldon Road be taken over by Society from Council  Decided not to entertain it.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 23 July 1920, page 56 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Complaints about cattle which ‘run into the Maldon Road allotment field from the road’. Gate and fence recommended.

Mr Pinkham had seen Mr S C Mayhew, Secretary of Witham and District Allotments Society, who said his Society required further land for allotments. Resolved to negotiate with Mr W Taber re field adjoining Cemetery field.

 

UDC Finance Committee, 29 May 1922, page 144 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Some moneys written off, i.e. owed for use of ambulance and for allotments.

 

UDC Roads Committee, 25 January 1924, page 274 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Allotment holders offered picked stones. Resolved to buy them for improving road leading to Brown’s Maltings. But don’t pay the holders whose rents are in arrears.

Adopted

 

UDC Estates Committee, 27 June 1924, page 321 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Some of Maldon Rd allotment land not used. A B Aldham offered to take on lease, at back of his premises, or to offer. Agreed to offer lease.

Adopted except for lease of allotment land, referred back

 

UDC Estates Committee, 22 January 1930 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/4)

page 322 Looking for allotment land to make up for what taken for housing in Guithavon Road. Mr Isted for Strutt and Parker would let 4 or 5 acres being part of field used as allotments next to Bridge Home, at back of and adjoining their field at present used for allotments. Negotiate.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 31 January 1930, page 4

Urban District Council:

Guithavon Road estate. Mr Hodges wanted to buy his piece of allotment. Can’t because would interrupt building but would sell him ‘the spare piece of ground containing a disused gravel pit’.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 February 1930 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/4)

Don’t continue with hiring of land referred to before for allotments.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 18 February 1931 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/5)

page 142. Letter received re offering reduced prices for allotments to unemployed. To discuss with Witham Allotments Association. Mr F G Royce the secretary.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 17 January 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/6)

Disposal of Household refuse. Met Mr Collier and Mr Dudley of Messrs Collier and Co of Marks Tey brick manufacturers, re their possibly taking all District House refuse. Says could definitely do it November to March but not interested in summer. Various arrangements considered. If necessary to dump temporarily, then would have to be the ‘old dump in the allotment field at Maldon Road’ where hopper could be put up. Adjourn to show them it.

 

UDC Finance and General Purposes Committee, 26 March 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 1. Tree at Maldon Road allotment field belonging to UDC, fell on Mr Loveday’s property. Surveyor got ‘certain unemployed men’ to take top of tree. Nothing offered for trunk by Mr A E Gaymer, timber merchant, or by Mr Loveday. So tell Mr Loveday he can have it if he repairs the fence.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 September 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 133. Bungalows for aged persons. OK to appropriate part of old cemetery site now used as allotments for this, ‘the proposed appropriation of the half acre of the Rickstones Road Recreation Ground not being practicable’ [this became Homefield Road]. Report what accommodation can be got ‘on the land at the top of the cemetery, recently hired to Mr G F Thompson’.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 9 November 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 175. Met at allotments part of Cocks Farm. Has been suggested that they be put into gardens of houses on side of Cressing Road nearest railway. Can’t recommend.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 November 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 205. Allotments. Preparations now to move holders of allotments at cemetery site to land adjoining cemetery site ‘recently occupied by Mr G F Thompson.’

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 17 December 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

pages 212-213. Collection of house refuse, re July report. Choose scheme 1 and buy a Ford vehicle. Maldon Road tip. Old gravel tip in the allotment field, Maldon Road, rapidly filling. Only another 4 months available. Investigate others.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 December 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 229. Of the 29 allotment holders to be displaced from old cemetery field because of Aged persons bungalows [Homefield Road], 13 have asked for alternative plots, and 2 new applications. Ask tenants on Cressing Road if they want any.

200 sheep strayed onto the Maldon Road allotments from adjoining meadow. Extensive damage to ‘green-stuff’ of holders. Ask tenants to approach Clerk to take action.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 16 January 1936 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 249. Allotments Maldon Road. Mr A J Horner’s sheep were the ones that strayed. He complained about Clerk’s officious letter. Committee support the Clerk.

page 250. More on numbers of people for allotments in Rickstones Road.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 13 February 1936 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 290. Layout for 18 allotments adjoining Cemetery submitted. Ask for another layout for 24, with gate to Recreation Ground.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 15 December 1936

pages 619-620. Allotments. Certificates from Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Schedule of existing allotments, i.e.

Little Elms, part allotments, part arable, 3.36 acres

Braintree Road, 3.42 acres

Maldon Road, 5.48 acres, part allotments, part gravel pit now being worked.

Hoo Hall Rivenhall, 1.40 acres

Another list of land reserved for allotments:

Cuppers Farm to replace temporary ones at Bridge Home, 4.2 acres

Bridge Homes, existing temporary ones, 3.79 acres

Maldon Road, arable, to replace existing temporary allotments, 7.47 acres

Chipping Hill, existing temporary allotments 1.8 acres.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 March 1937 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 716. Allotments. Strutt and Parker agree to small portion of land next Bridge Home being reserved for permanent allotments.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 18 March 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 268] To offer vacant plots in Maldon Road to military as allotments on rent free basis.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 22 April 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 278] Church Street housing site. Undeveloped land adjoining Glebe Crescent. Some let for allotments but 4 acres left and Council obliged to cultivate it. To let to Mr L D Blake of Spring Lodge.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 September 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 379] Allotments at Maldon Road. Some not used. Offer for keeping chickens if they are ‘properly fenced in’.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 11 January 1941 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 458] Sewer damaged, near river in Powers Hall Road allotment field. Broken by enemy action. Excavate by crater. To be repaired.

 

UDC 26 May 1941 page 523 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

(page 524) Re unsatisfied demand for allotments, Ministry of Agriculture has authorised entrance upon land in Collingwood Road belonging to Mrs Peecock. Managed to persuade Mr Morgan to release additional land at Rickstones Road allotment field (Mr M is a market gardener).

 

12 Jun 1941, message Braintree Report Centre to Essex County Control, 05.38/05.42 (ERO C/W/1/2/8)

Further to my Situation report of 05.15 hours, Witham report searched Towers [Powers] Hall End Blunts Hall. No more craters found. Later, further crater on allotments at back of Fyfield [Highfield] Road. [Added in different hand:] ‘?Highfield’

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 6 November 1941 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 668] Completed inspecting railings and recommend the following for inclusion [the table is quoted exactly in these notes].

Cemetery Witham UDC Division fence between cemetery and allotments. Cemetery entrance gates not to be removed

 

UDC Housing Committee, 17 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

‘Witham and Rivenhall End Allotment Holders and Garden Society’ complain of damage from cattle, people using the allotments as public footpath, and children climbing fences. Find out if there is a public footpath from Cherry Tree Crossing over the field to Faulkbourne.

 

UDC, 30 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Estates Committee adopted except to alter to read three dead elm trees at far side of Maldon Road allotments instead of at the entrance.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 30 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 107] Circular from Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries about allotments. Committee consider Witham is doing all it can.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 14 December 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 114] ‘Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Society’ have asked to use Maldon Road Recreation Ground on August Monday next year for ‘Fruit and Vegetable Show and possibly a Fun Fair’. OK subject to conditions.

 

UDC Holidays at Home Week Committee, 9 March 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 148] Agreed to have it Aug 2 to 7. Fruit and Vegetable show to be held on August Monday by the Society and also the Essex Federation of Allotment Societies joining in. Also ‘the local Rabbit Society’ is staging a show, and various other attractions. Large crowd expected. Dance in Public Hall on August Monday evening. Long list of people co-opted onto committee including Mrs S Eccleston, Mrs R Turner, Mrs C De Trense, Miss L Croxall, Mrs V Grape. Clerk to communicate with Messrs Keith Prowse Ltd ‘as to Entertainers and Variety Shows available during the Week’.

 

Finance and General Purposes Committee, 16 March 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 161] ‘Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society. They asked for financial assistance for show on Aug Monday. It is to be some magnitude as Essex Federation of Allotment Societies with over 70 branches and 26,000 members is taking part. Essex Institute of Agriculture also supports, and prominent members of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will also be present. Also Witham Rabbit Society to have a show ‘open to the Country’ and Essex Garden Produce Committee require space for demonstration, and ditto Ministry of Food. If they have bad weather they could lose money. Agree to support if Ministry says OK.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 June 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 202] Allotments generally well cultivated. A few partly uncultivated; consult the owners. Entrance to Maldon Road field and ‘the vacant land immediately adjoining thereto which was formerly used for gravel excavations needs scything’. To be done when possible but ‘the majority of the labour is still engaged out of the district’.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 6 September 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 220] Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society want to hire hall for day on September 25th re ‘Victory Garden and Produce show’. Proceeds to Red Cross Agriculture fund. Just charge overheads.

[page 221] Wartime allotments, Collingwood Road. Mr C W Hodges already occupies one plot by arrangement with Mrs Peecock, has also occupied adjoining piece ‘the subject of part of the Council’s requisition’. Mr Hodges also ‘allowing his fowls to run upon the chase-way leading to the allotments’. Also blocked up top of chaseway though has left room for barrows. Chairman to inspect.

 

UDC Finance and General Purposes Committee, 14 September 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 235] Thanks from Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society for interest in show on 2 August. Quite successful so no need for Council to cover loss.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 3 November 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 258] Land adjoining the Peculiar People’s Chapel. In September, Committee recommended willow trees on river bank and agreed. Also consideration re use for allotments but decided too much trouble.

Maldon Road allotments. Inspected because of complaint about cattle ‘straying and eating the produce thereon’. Justified. The cattle had broken the fence. Has been repaired with ‘second hand barbed wire’.

Church Street allotments to be inspected. Formerly in very bad state.

 

UDC 7 December 1943, in Committee (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Town and Country Planning. ‘The Council at this meeting considered generally the planning of the Urban District, and in particular Witham Town and Silver End. A report of the Surveyor on the Subject was taken into consideration’. Resolved …

(c) ‘In providing for future housing estates of any description proper zones be marked to ensure of recreational and allotment facilities’.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 February 1944 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 326] Surveyor’s report. Post War Housing Schemes. Enough land in Church Street and Glebe Crescent already in possession of Council for about 100 houses and 16 bungalows. Normally this would be enough for at least one year’s programme. Rate of building after War uncertain though Government has said ‘four million houses will be required in the 12 years after the War’. But how much at beginning not known. Cost will be higher than before. Unless Local Authorities get help, the rentals will have to be higher than present rentals. Re sewers and water mains, already there at Glebe Crescent and Church Street which would just need extending. Can’t be done just now because land used for agriculture and allotments. If the latter are taken away, alternative allotments will be needed probably.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 13 March 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 504] Church Street allotments. Site may be needed for housing any time. So terminate agreement with the allotment holders and with Mr L D Blake at end of September. Can then be cultivated free by them until needed for housing.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 13 March 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

Allotments, cemetery site. Mr T W Morgan of 147 Cressing Road wishes to give up part of land he hires there. Arrangements for Mr Hugh Page to farm it not yet made because of Mr Morgan’s illness, but hope to arrange shortly.

 

UDC 26 March 1945, page 729 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Housing Committee, item re. Church Street allotments referred back.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 May 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 524] Church Street allotments. Agreements not terminated as agreed before because land not anticipated to be needed before September next.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 15 May 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 527] Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Society want the Recreation Ground and Park on 14 July for Flower and Vet Show. Agreed.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 24 September 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 587] Church Street housing. Give notice to quit to allotment holders and the agricultural tenant.

 

John Newnan

John said that in his day at the station (1950s) the station allotments were called ‘Canada’, people would say they were going to Canada. But this probably applied to some on the other side of the line, near the maltings.

 

Ordnance Survey Six Inch Maps, early 1950s

Include “allotment gardens” at:

Between Cemetery, Manor Road in south, and Elm Farm in north (now part of Rickstones playing field)

At the end of Homefield Road

Powershall End, what is now Saxon Drive

At west end of Powershall End, behind the houses on the south.

Hatfield Road, small, next to Bridge Home

Hatfield Road, small, behind houses opposite Bridge Home

Hatfield Road, small, behind Ivy Chimneys

Maldon Road, west side, behind houses, now the southern Sports ground.

 

NB Cut Throat Lane not named as allotments

 

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 6 January 1955

Ringing old year out at parish church; allotment dinner (from Maurice Smith index)

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 23 December 1965

Allotments, lack of interest (from Maurice Smith index, I don’t have any more info.)

 

1980s

O.S. 1:2500 map, nothing marked at the site of  the Cut Throat Lane allotments – it could just have been omitted. Didn’t look at other sites.

 

1990s

O.S. 1:2500 map, Cut Throat Allotments marked as allotments. Didn’t look at other sites.

 

 

Photos

 

Ref Date of photo Description Source
M605 April 1957 Part of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes parts of Powershall End, Chipping Hill, the railway, Guithavon Valley, Collingwood Road and The Avenue, the fields later the Moat farm estate, and the allotments later the site of Saxon Drive. See also M1559-M1568. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1559 April 1957 Part 1 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes top of Highfields Road including Highfields farm, and part of Powershall End including Spa Place, and part of the allotments which are now the site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1560 April 1957 Part 2 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes fields now part of Moat farm housing estate, and part of the allotments which are now the site of Saxon Drive, between Highfields Road and the railway. Also part of the railway viaduct. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1564 April 1957 Part 6 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes Chipping bridge, 26 Chipping Hill, 28 Chipping Hill, 30 Chipping Hill, and church hall, west and of Powershall End including mill and Spring Lodge and 6 Powershall End, track to Faulkbourne, and part of allotments later site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1565 April 1957 Part 7 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes Chippimg bridge, west side of Chipping Hill including Earlsmead and Pinkham’s glove factory, Moat farm chase including the farm and the bridge, the railway, river, and part of the allotments later site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1787 1954 View from back of 128 Highfields Road to Chipping Hill, including house garden. The house at 128 was built the year before, in 1953, on an empty plot, for the Lepper family. Includes allotments in foreground behind garden fence. On extreme left, seen through window, is Spring Lodge (3 Powershall End). Left of centre in middle distance are the semi-detached houses at 6 Powershall End and 8 Powershall End, with Chipping bridge in centre. Just below horizon, towards the left perhaps 7 Church Street, left of centre the Vicarage, right of centre, parish church, to right of that, 26 Chipping Hill (left side of green), then on far right, 24 Chipping Hill and 22 Chipping Hill. Lepper, Helen and Alfred
M1788 1954 View from back of 128 Highfields Road to Chipping Hill, including house garden. The house at 128 was built the year before, in 1953, on an empty plot, for the Lepper family. Includes allotments in foreground behind garden fence. On extreme left are the semi-detached houses at 6 Powershall End and 8 Powershall End, with Chipping bridge in centre. On horizon, towards the left the Vicarage, above the bridge, parish church, to right of that, 26 Chipping Hill (left side of green), 24 Chipping Hill and 22 Chipping Hill (behind the green), end wall of 55 Chipping Hill on right hand side of road, and to right backs of houses at Chipping Hill. Extreme right is Moat farm house. Lepper, Helen and Alfred
M1819 24th September 1966 Opening of new Fire Station, Hatfield Road. Seen from top of tower, looking down on back of fire station. Allotments in background. By table on left are Alderman G E Rose, chairman of County Fire Brigade Committee (standing) and Councillor Ted Smith, chairman of Witham Urban District Council (with chain, in middle). Seated in second row from front, 4th from right, is Frank Ager (just to right of lady with hat sitting behind him). See also photo M390. Colin Ager via Brian Knight.
M2239 1954-1965 St Nicholas church and Chipping Hill, seen from the allotments where Saxon Drive has since been built. Houses visible to right of tall trees are what is now 28 Chipping Hill (formerly Mole End), 26 Chipping Hill, and end of 55 Chipping Hill (bare). See link 1 for information about numbering, dating, etc. Scott-Mason, John

 

 

References to allotments in oral history interviews.

 

Mrs Edith Brown, born 1895

Tape 5

Q:        What, did he grow vegetables and things more or ….?

Mrs Brown:  Yea, well, we had a big allotment and he used to grow his celery at home (Q:  Yea.) erm, used to have a flower garden all the way down, wide piece, and round like that, both sides (Q:  Yea.) and then at the back of the, then he had tall chrysanths, then at the back he used to have a celery, two celery trenches, one either side, then he used to grow white and pink celery, they used to be them days, that was lovely.  Course, we had, course we had to take all our celery up weekends, then he had the allotment for all the vegetables he grew, you know, grew all his own vegetables, I forget where the allotment was then, been so many years ago.  (Mrs S:  Wasn’t it down where Mr North ….)  Down Maldon Road somewhere.  (Mrs S: Not North, Mr ….the shoe, the shoemaker, Horrocks[?].) [Hollick]  Down there somewhere, Grace, couldn’t tell you exactly where it was now, I forget, but I know we had a big allotment, (Mrs S:  Yes.) used to grow stuff for all the winter, (Mrs S:  Course there’s so many houses down there isn’t there?) and store it all.  Hey?  (Mrs S:  So many houses built down there now.)  Mm, he used to clamp all his erm, oh, dear, (Mrs S:  Potatoes.) no, not potatoes (Mrs S:  Beetroot.) yes, beetroot and parsnips, used to clamp all them up with straw and earth (Q:  Yea, yea.) and then you just got ‘em out when you want ‘em.

Q:        So you wouldn’t have to buy much then?

Mrs Brown:  Mother, I don’t think my mother had to buy, we didn’t, did we?  (Mrs S:  No, not really [???].)  My husband, we had (Mrs S:  [???], Church Street.) we erm, we never bought a thing hardly, now and again we’d buy a swede wouldn’t we?  (Mrs S:  No[?] swede.)  But otherwise we never bought no potatoes or onions and everything used to be, you know, kept and, my husband used to go Sunday mornings cut the greens for the dinner all fresh.  We had Brussels sprouts or, all sorts and Mr Springett done the same.

Tape 6

Mrs Brown:  No, not really, not a lot. He don’t like gardening. (Q: Oh, yes.) Had a great big allotment and he had a lovely garden at the house, we had a big piece each side, a lovely flower garden, so much flower garden and so much at the back, he used to grow all, grow celery and that at the back of the flowers, he used to have, like high chrysanths all the way round and then that, about that space was all sorts of flowers, we had some lovely [???] didn’t we and he used to have all crocuses and all sorts, lilies, my mum had them coloured lilies with the spots on (Mrs S: Tiger lilies weren’t they called?.) yea, lovely they were, she loved her flowers and little rose trees and he used to do all the gardening and he had a big allotment as well (Q: Mm, That would take lot [???].) grow, he used to grow, he used to do all our shoe mending. (Q: Oh, did he?) Mm, dad did, yes, my husband did too, he ….

 

Mrs Edith Raven, born 1893

Tape 10

Mrs Raven:  Yes, and I was praying all the way down that wall, that somebody’d give me a ha’penny. But they didn’t. So I took these beans back and I said, Mrs Doole said they’d be ‘Another ha’penny, dear’, so I said ‘Well, may I bring that in the morning?’ Because she knew us, you see, so she said ‘Yes, dear, on your way to school’. So when I got, I could see Father coming off that garden field where those houses are now. Up that hill, you know? You know where the Community …. ? [garden field was allotments where Saxon Drive now is].

Q:        Oh, I think I know, yes. Where the allotments were, yes.

Mrs R: Yes. They were the allotments. Well, we had forty rod on there.

Q:        That’s opposite the Community Centre you mean. (Mrs R: Yes) Yes.

Tape 13

Mrs Raven   Pop had got a bit of allotment over there and there was a man digging his bit next door. So this man said to Pop. He said ‘There’s a funeral on today.’ So Pop said ‘Oh is there?’ So Pop said ‘I wonder who that is?’ So this man said ‘That’s Herbert from the Labour [Exchange]’ So Pop said ‘I hope he’s got his cards with him!’ [Both laugh] I never forgot that, I thought that was dreadful.

Mrs Raven: And there was a pond up in this, um, up in this place where they’ve built those houses and that allotments, there [Saxon Drive, probably]. And he fell in there once or twice. They’d throw their bits and pieces. They knew he was soft enough to go and try and get ‘em, and go on the ice and he’d go. He’s dead and gone now. But you ….

 

Miss Ada Smith, born 1897

Tape 14

Q:         Did they used to grow vegetables and things?

Miss Smith: Oh, yes. (Q: In the garden?) In the allotment too, yes, I remember all the vegetables.

Q:         It must have been hard work, where did you have the allotment?

Miss Smith: Over the rail, by the railway, each side of the railway, main line railway, the allotments.

 

Mrs Elsie Hammond, born c.1900

Tape 23

Mrs Hammond:      Oh well, that’s funny thing, but my mother used to lay on a big meal, in a way. Make a pot of tea. Have cups of tea. There might be soused mackerel. This time of year, there’d be salads and, I, I think that was her best meal of the day because she’d been busy in the daytime. I’ve always thought that. But or, beetroot and cheese, all that sort of thing. We used to live alright like that. You see, but that’d probably be produce really from the garden, or the allotment.

Q:       You had an allotment, did you?

Mrs Hammond:      My father had an allotment, yes. That was a railway allotment. It was a piece of ground, it’s still there; it’s derelict. It’s the other side of the main line. We used to have to go over there to do it.

Q:       Did you have to help him?

Mrs Hammond:      I wasn’t, I was never, only to pick the stuff. Pick the beans, and pick up potatoes, or drop them, drop the potatoes in the first place. He used to have the long, rows and we used to drop them in, you see. And then that was bean picking, or, he didn’t grow peas cause we used to go pea picking. And they used to wangle enough home, so we didn’t used to. [laughing] Used to put some in the bucket with a coat on the top. [laughing] So they never had to grow peas, but all the other vegetables, cause they couldn’t really buy them, you see. Couldn’t afford to buy them. That’s how, people used to work their sets, you see. Potatoes, they used to do an exchange. People didn’t, couldn’t pay out a lot, they use to exchange, one with another. So they’d have a change of seed. It was the only way to work it.

 

Bert (Jim) Godfrey, born 1906

Tape 27

They had quite a big garden down Bridge Street, yes. Running up the back there, quite a long way. And then, where the fire station is, that was all an allotment field. He used to have a plot on there as well. Where he’d spend –he’d spend a lot of his spare time there.

 

Lucy Croxall, born 1903 and Eva Hayes, born 1893

Tape 29

Eva Hayes:   No, we had an allotment.

Lucy Croxall:         Our allotment, Father’s and your allotment was where Podsbrook is. All that belonged to Blyths the millers.

Eva Hayes:   Where the chapel is, there was a mill there. (LC: A flourmill) A flour mill, you see and of course where Alan McKirdy lived, that was their house, private house (LC: Lovely, it was) and all Podsbrook, all that piece was their garden. And Bernard the son lived where they live now, Peyton/Payton, lived over at Peyton. Bernard lived there and he didn’t want all that extra land so he let Father, Superintendent Lennon, (LC: The policeman) Mr Edwards at the White Hart and Mr Howlett, the organist, all had a piece (LC: (talking over) All four had that garden between them). I planted, I was going to say thousands, hundreds of bulbs in that field.

Lucy Croxall:         So now we say if any flowers come up at Podsbrook we believe they all belong to us. (Q laughs) Lovely garden wasn’t it?

 

Mrs Annie Ralling, born 1900

Tape 36

Q:       What about vegetables ?

Mrs Ralling  Well people had their own garden fields didn’t they. In those days everybody used to grown their own garden things. Like up Hatfield Road you know where the Fire Station is that was all allotments.

Q:       Usually it was the mother that did the shopping ?

Mrs Ralling: Yes, mostly, or they’d send the children. As I was saying, they used to have their own allotments, didn’t they, and gardens and they’d grow all their own vegetables often and that sort of thing. Funnily enough it is only just about a week ago there used to be two little men, you know I used to think they were like the dwarfs, they used to live in the town and they had a garden field or an allotment up Hatfield Road and I used to take their surplus [in her shop} and only about a fortnight ago I heard that the sister died. The two little men they used to have like a box on wheels, a barrow and they’d bring their marrows and cabbages and things like that. (Another voice ?) Of course they’ve built on them allotments now haven’t they. Yes all those houses up Hatfield Road.

 

Mr Maurice Greatrex, born 1903

Tape 49

Mr Greatrex:          No, father didn’t have time to do that. Grandfather wanted him to do the work here. (Q: I see, yes.) My father, he worked all the hours that he could in that business. Really worked hard all the time. When he wasn’t working in the business he was trying to run an allotment where all these houses are just down the road here. That glebe land that was sold by the Church [Saxon Drive]. Well we had an allotment on that, 20 foot[rod?] allotment on there which father used to keep going as well and, ‘cos there were eight of us in the family you see (Q: Quite.) and wages weren’t very high. They weren’t anything like they are nowadays. And so he had a job to keep things going.

 

Mr and Mrs Baxter,

Tape 80

Mrs B: We had several bombs drop about here, you know. Because up there – now where is it? Powershall Road – along Powershall Road because …
Mr B: Yes, I had an allotment up there.

Mrs B: That was all allotments.

Mr B: There was two bombs – they made a – they reckoned they were fastened together with a chain. There was a hole like that and a hole – you could put a house in them. In the two holes. Right in the allotments.

Mrs B: And that was our allotment and our neighbour’s allotment.

Mr Walter Peirce, born 1908

Tape 92

Mr Peirce:    …. [see picture 1] Highfields Road. Well, this was where the running pump, the running pump was, and back there was the dam, was the ramp that used to supply Blunts Hall and Highfields farm, up here. Well, they’re all gone now, ain’t they? (Q: Yes) See, well, that was all fields when I was a boy. This was the allotment. That’s all built upon [Saxon Drive]. (Q: That’s right) And then, um. there’s some houses, up here, Mr Richards the builder bought that one, and then there was, and then, then there was a couple of small little houses, and then you come into, um, well, Spa, Highfields Road, ’cos Spa Road has been built alongside, ain‘t it? (Q: Yeah). You still got the old Highfields Road, but that was always there but then um, when I um ….

Mr Peirce:    Now this may be interesting or may not [looking at photo, see picture 2]. That was when Crittall’s was built [Crittall’s window factory, Braintree Road]. (Q: Really). They were the workmen for Crittalls when that was built. ’Cos that used to be an allotment belonged to the Co-op. (Q: Oh did it? I see). Yes, if it hadn’t have been for the Co-op Crittall’s wouldn’t have been in Witham. (Q: Really, why’s that?) The Co-op sold the, well, Mrs Susannah Vaux, Bawtrees, and one or two of the …. noble, general, gentry people of Witham, they tried to keep Crittall’s out. They didn’t want no fact– didn’t want no factory in Witham at all. There was Pinkham’s factory. You know, the gentry people of Witham, they tried to keep Crittall’s out. They didn’t want no fact– didn’t want no factory in Witham at all. There was Pinkham’s factory. You know, the glove making factory. But they didn’t want no factory. But unfortunately, or fortunately, the Co-op sold the allotment to Crittall’s and that’s how Crittall’s started ….

Q:       Why the, was the Co-op very active – did it have a lot of land then, the Co-op?

Mr P Peirce: No, it only had that (Q: Oh, I see) that, all that allotment what run right up the back where the Co-op, that little Co-op, there was a little Co-op shop, wasn’t there [62 Braintree Road]? (Q: Yes). Well, all that land, right down to, to um, Albert Road. Matter of fact some of them houses in Albert, them houses in Albert Road belonged to the Co-op till the people bought them.

Mr Peirce:    Nineteen ten. Now this is my father on the wagon [see picture 6]. Now this (Q: Is it really?) Well I, I worked there for a little while in nineteen twenty six, or sev- yes, in nineteen sev, in nineteen twenty seven. I used to go round there with the horse and cart and I used to work at Bulford mill and all that. You see, well now, that’s the water mill and that’s the power mill, steam mill. (Q: Oh, I see). You see, now, that’s where the Evangelic church is, isn’t it? Now this here, was the allotment belonged to them, er, beehives and all that. Er, That’s where all the flats or something are built down there, ain’t they? [Podsbrook] Maisonettes. Ain’t they? (Q: I think, yes) Where you come ….

Mr Peirce:    Well, that, the other houses that side back on to it. Well, that used to be the cart lodge for Canon Ingles and Canon [i.e. present Church hall] (Q: Was it) And then where the, opposite the Spring Community Centre (Q: Yes) was allotments [now Saxon Drive]. Five shillings a year, my father used to have it. Twenty rod. Well, you paid the five shillings, and a potato. And you had a little bit of supper, all the, um, holders of the allotment. (Q: Oh I see,) You know, I told you (Q: Yes, yes,) where the footpath went through that allotment, and you went and paid it, Mr Hodges was the man, that took the money . He lived right, the other side of the railway line, near the Witham Creamery is, but a bomb dropped on it during the War, didn’t it? Blew it all to pieces. But they’ve rebuilt a new house, didn’t they [probably 20 Highfields Road]. Well, that was the man who used to take the money.

 

Mrs Hicks

Tape 99

Q: What did you used to make them with?

Mrs H: Great big stone bottles with a handle on the side. We used to make rhubarb but I don’t like that, and dandelion. Ooh that was lovely. Better than any whisky if you keep it a year. I made some of that once and blackberry, damson, all sorts I used to make. I don’t like, that used to be rhubarb, really, because they grew that on the allotment, and you see that didn’t cost anything. Only just the sugar, well the sugar wasn’t only about sixpence a pound then. You could do what you liked.
Ted Mott

Tape 103

Mr M: I used to have a piece of an allotment down Maldon Road when they had allotments down there, from up here. Because it was a family piece of allotment. A good piece you see. I used to trundle off down there with Keith on the front on a Saturday morning, stay down there till dinner time and come home. Just have an early breakfast and go down. He used to do a Sunday paper round, go up the shop here. I used to help him down as far as where the allotments were and then do the allotment. He used to come back up there.
Walter Peirce

Tape 110

Well, I used to go to the matinee, Saturday afternoon, three ha’pence. And this was after the war, after the First War, of course. And there was a lot of horses about then, see. And there was a big goods yard then, ain’t got that now, used to be a big goods yard wound by Cooper Tabers, seed merchants. Well, my father had this allotment and he said he’d give me a ha’penny for a barrow-load of horse manure. Well, we used to have Tate & Lyle sugar boxes, that’s what they were then. Used to get them at the grocer’s on a pair of perambulator wheels. With two handles on the side, that was [???]. Then we used to go along the road with a shovel and brush and fill it up. Well, I know I used to take it up the allotment and push it on a heap. So Father used to say ‘‘How many loads you took today, boy?’ ‘Oh, three of them’. ‘Three?’ ‘Yes, three’. That was three ha’pence. I could go to the pictures couldn’t I?

Tape 125

And then you come round the bend and that is Cressing Road. Well, all that field belonged to John Brown. So the Witham Council bought it, didn’t they? And they bought all that field and then they bought this field here, what’s called Homefield. That was my allotment. I had two bits of allotment there. That was our allotment, you see and that’s called Homefield. Well, all that used to belong to John Brown and the Council bought it all.
Mr Ken Miller

Tape 187

Well Henry’s father was a great poacher, well not poacher, but rabbiter and lived by the gun sort of thing, and there was a hare that used to elude him in the garden fields, of course the allotment holders wanted it caught because of the damage it was doing. And down opposite Spring Lodge, there was a five bar wooden gate, I can see it now, and, into the allotments, and this gate was always open for people coming and going on their bikes and trolleys and what have you. And this hare always got away across the road, cause it was, it was all fields across the road then, and the hare’d get away. So one day he shut the gate, and the hare ran full belt into the gate, and he got it, killed it. And Henry always used to spin this tale, and how his father got that, cause he was a great big tall bloke, and as I can remember he used to call on his bike, and, he was a bricklayer for Crittall’s, and I used to sharpen his chisels for him.

 

 

 

Mr John Newman

Tape 191

[re Station Maltings]

For some reason that little bit of ground was always known as Canada (Questioner: Known as what?) Canada. Yes, that piece of ground just there was always known as Canada. There were some allotments there as well. ‘Oh’, he says, ‘I’ve got an allotment on Canada’, so you knew where his allotment was.

 

 

 

http://www.inbrief.co.uk/neighbour-disputes/allotments.htm

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/10774314/Allotments-being-sold-off-for-development-despite-government-pledges.html

 

 

Email from Richard Pilbrow

richardpilbrow+allot-sec

 

Dear Janet,

 

It has been suggested that you may be able to help us in our research concerning how and when the Cut Throat Lane Allotment site was set up, by whom, and whether or not it directly replaced much older allotments on the other side of the main railway line which we believe were statutory allotments.

 

If you are willing and able to assist us it will be very much appreciated.  Our enquiry arises because Braintree District Council in their efforts to drive down operating costs are encouraging us to self-manage the Cut Throat Lane allotments on a long lease.  That is fine in principle, but they state that the site is currently classified as “temporary allotments” and they intend to refer to the allotments in the lease as “Community Land”.  They include a clause that allows them to take back the land after giving us 12 months notice, and excludes any obligation on the Council’s part to seek to find us an alternative site should they do so.  We believe that the Cut Throat Lane allotments, by their historical associations, are statutory allotments and should be referred to in the lease as “allotment gardens” and not as “community Land”.  Should we be able to prove that the allotments are “statutory” not “temporary”, whilst the Council can still take back the land by giving 12 months notice, it becomes under an obligation to try to find a suitable alternative land for use as allotments (which is commonly now achieved via section 106 planning agreements when new housing estates are developed).

 

We are very wary of entering into the contract as proposed since we believe that if we should do so, the land could quite easily be appropriated for any alternative use that the Council can demonstrate serves a “community purpose”, and deplete even further the land that has been lost to development in the Witham area.

 

Certainly the Cut Throat Lane site replaced others in Witham, including the old site on the opposite side of the railway which was almost certainly statutory allotment land.  We do know that what is now Cut Throat Lane Allotments was previously a seed trials ground occupied by Thomas Cullen & Sons.  Cullens closed their Witham operation (after mergers or takeovers) in 1983.  However it appears that allotment gardens use of the land that is now Cut Throat Lane allotments commenced before that year as Ordnance Survey maps show the area as “allotment gardens” in 1978 (but it was still seemingly Cullens seed trial fields in 1971).

 

 

We would like to be able to read Council Minutes dating back to the time the old allotments on the opposite side of the railway were taken back by the Council to be developed for industrial/commercial use (what is now part of Eastways Industrial Estate).  This may have been under Witham Council control, or under Braintree District Council (following the Local Government Act 1972 when Town Council land holdings transferred to District Councils).  We also would like to be able to read contemporary Council Minutes from the time the Cut Throat Lane site was appropriated for allotment use.  It appears to have been part of a development deal for the whole portion of former agricultural land that now forms the housing estate bordered by Conrad Road, Forest Road, Cut Throat Lane and the Branch railway line from Witham to Braintree.

 

If you do feel you can help us with some dates to narrow down our search through Council Minutes it will be so much appreciated.  If there is evidence in your possession that we could photograph or photocopy that would be even better.

 

We have not met but I am more than happy to come and meet you if discussion would be the best way forward.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard Pilbrow

 

Secretary, Witham Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association.

 

Copy addressees are our Chairman, Richard Playle, and Treasurer, David Youngman

 

 

Allotments

 

Oddments

 

How big is an allotment? (www.nsalg.org.uk/allotment-info/ )

An allotment is traditionally measured in rods (perches or poles), an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.

 

1841 Tithe map

Cut Throat Lane – field belonged to Freeborns farm that is now allotments.

 

1841

ERO Accession A5404. ‘Bramston scrapbooks’, Book 1, greenish cover, page 19 of notes

Poster

‘To the Poor Inhabitants of Witham. Notice is hereby given that it is intended to divide a Field, near Chipping Hill Bridge, called Knee Field, into allotments of garden ground not exceeding 20 rods. Any person wishing to hire an Allotment of 10 or 20 rods is requested to apply immediately to Mr Wade at the National School, who will set down the applicant’s name, and give him information   ‘ [information not specified]. Occupation on 1 November next .John Bramston, Oct 1841.

Pro-forma

‘Witham Field Gardens. Allotment no —, — Rods of Ground. Yearly Rent —s —d  and one Potato’.

Conditions, include:

‘No Work … On Lords Day or Christmas Day or Good Friday’

Not to under-let without permission.

No buildings or trees allowed.

Keep neat.

No ploughing.

Not more than half of ground to have potatoes.

Gates kept locked.

No children except to work. Damages ‘by them to be made good by the Parent’.

If dishonest or injury to other tenant, or convicted of any offence against law, or reach rules, landlord can take possession.

To be signed and witnessed.

 

1842-72

Surrey History Centre: Earls of Onslow of Clandon Park, Estate Papers

Earls of Onslow of Clandon Park, West Clandon: Estate papers of the 4th and 5th Earls of Onslow

Catalogue Ref.1320

Allotment hiring card for Witham Field Gardens, with conditions and record of lettings 1847-1872 – ref.1320/418/5? – date: [c1887]
From web site of A2A, Access to Archives: Http://www.a2a.pro.gov.uk/search/docframe.asp?styletype=xsl&i=110&filename=xsl\A2A_com.xsl&com=1

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Saturday, November 12 1842

Corn Markets higher, but the Cattle fair to day at Chelmsford was dull indeed, but very few sales at very low prices, but probably not so low as they seem likely to settle down to. I find that in North Essex the farmers are determined to keep pace in lowering poor mens wages with the Cattle and Corn. Labour there is now 14d per day! Being 8/ per week!! And the allotments let to labourers (being prohibited in many instances from growing ??? straw crops) is charge to them 6d per rod or £4 per acre. The farmers who underlet in this way giving for the same land 25/ or 30/ per acre! Our labour here is paid at the rate of 11/ per week by the day with small beer. By the by some of my neighbours lay claim to an excessive amount of charity in letting out these allotments to Agricultural labourers. Our Vicar the Reverend Mr. Bramston held his rent audit in his Coach House last Friday evening. The Entertainment consisted of roast mutton (alias baked), plum-puddings, ale and Bacca. The number of Tenants 70 (or about that). Bramston presided with his Curate Mr. Fagun as vice. The quantity of land in each holding is ?  rods for which these poor people pay 8d per rod!! Which is at the rate of £5:6.8 per acre!!! The Landlord paying Tithe Rate and other outgoings. The parson in taking his charity garment out of this affair will have but a thin covering for his sins!

In his predecessors time 6 years ago this land was let to a farmer for 30/ per acre.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Sunday September 14th, 1845

The accounts from all quarters state the potato crop to be most destructively diseased. I have taken up one piece of Pink eyed Kidneys and not one in ten are sound. I have some I hope much better but some which were taken up a fortnight since supposed to be unaffected are beginning to decay and I have great apprehensions that the failure will be much greater than is feared. This must prove a heavy calamity to the Poor as the potato crop in the allotment gardens is to them of much moment.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday September 24th, 1845

Weather yesterday & today fine with sharp frosts in the morning which has cut down the potatoes when they were not previously destroyed by the murrains – I have determined not to take up mine for some time. I think they will be riper in the ground, such of them as are not rotten. In the allotments or field gardens of the poor I calculate that two thirds of the crop is destroyed and I very much fear that those which appear sound are not so and that they will rot in a few weeks. The new varieties appear to me to suffer least. Some of our old sorts have entirely perished from the disease or murrain. At present if well steamed with a little salt they agree with my sows & pigs but they hardly eat them raw. It is now said that this disease made its appearances in some districts last year and that it may prove fatal in following years.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Thursday October 9th, 1845

Rain at intervals during the day, which being our ploughing match & meeting for prizes for cottage gardens, allotments etc. dampened the proceedings in the field at Mr Hutley. But few ladies could attend. We dined afterwards at White Hart Lord Raleigh in the Chair. A smart speaking  conversation on farming & matters connected with the society followed in the evening. Quite enough talkers. Farmers can make speeches such as their ancestors little dreamed of.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday January 7th, 1846

This has been a mild, cheerful day like April, the winds of December quite hushed – not so the political world. Meetings in favour of Corn Laws continue to be held in various places but the high tone of the actors in them is fast coming down & meetings for a repeal (total) gain strength & power every day. At a village in Wiltshire a meeting in the evening of the labourers has been held of which a full report in the Times of this day. They assembled in the road & a labourer was called to the Chair. Resolutions were moved & seconded in a regular manner with speeches by labourers & if the Tale they told be true a more monstrous system of oppression is not to be found in History. One circumstance particularly requires notice namely that allotments let to the poor pay at least double rents to the same land let to common tenants. The same occurs here our Vicar Mr Bramston let land to the poor at the rate of £5 per acre!! By our previous vicar this land was let to a farmer for 30/. Lord Rayleigh also lets a field in this parish to the poor for upwards of £5 per acre. This is called charity forsooth!! I wonder if the Parson can find a passage in the Bible to sanction this.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Wednesday, March 10, 1847

A very sharp frost this morning and all the drain pipes made these two last days frozen & destroyed, & my men today have suspended work. The spring vegetables Brocoli lettuce &c are fast perishing under this severe weather which added to the potato failure presses heavily upon the poor labourer who cultivates his allotment piece & for wh. here he commonly pays a double rent to the Landlord, that is double what a tenant farmer pays. Wheaten bread is now well nigh our only resource for food.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Friday, April 30, 1847

Corn Markets at Chelmsford today firm. I sold one parcel of red wheat at 84/- & another at 83/-. Our labourers almost literally live upon bread. No potatoes are left & cold late spring has destroyed much of the Cabbage tribe in their garden allotments. Many are hungry & half fed. This has however been a favorable week although not warm for the growth of vegetation. Moderate showers are more suitable to vegetation than hasty & heavy rains.

 

Dr Dixon’s diary, Sunday, September 26, 1847

The Anniversarys of the Agricultural Societys are now being held in this & other counties.  In some cases their meetings are entirely devoted to a public distribution of prizes to labourers & servants embracing every variety of farming & domestic engagements. & for the cultivation of garden allotments &c. In others prizes to farmers for best roots, cattle &c. Any common object which brings the different classes of society has a beneficial tendency but it unfortunately happens that Landlord & Tenants frequently meet only on these occasions in a Social Manner for many Landlords employ agents to make bargains for occupying land as well as to take rents getting away as much as possible from all intercourse with the parties with whose interests they are so much complicated & then again farmers keep as much aloof from their labourers & thus all parties try to break asunder the links which ought to bind them together.

 

 

UDC Building Committee, 21 March 1911, page 33 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/1)

Mr Blood be asked to name price for part of the former allotment field at Chipping Hill [this for building cottages].

 

UDC Building Committee, 24 March 1911, page 34 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/1)

Mr Blood offered frontage of the old allotment field in Church Street at £75 per acre. [this for building cottages].

 

30 January 1917, page 768, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book

Council has considered extension of land for cultivation. Society’s field Pains Haven is suitable Do Society intend to cultivate it?

To Mr F Simpson, Secretary, Witham Co-op.

 

UDC 25 June 1917 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 389. To get two sprayers for potatoes to prevent disease, for use of allotment holders. Invite applications for spraying at 3d per rod.

 

UDC 28 January 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 431. Letter from Essex War Agricultural Committee re ‘cultivation of as much land as possible in allotments’. No action necessary.

 

Essex Weekly News, 1 February 1918

page 4, col 3. Witham Urban District Council meeting.

Allotments. Captain Abrey proposed Council should use land purchased for cemetery, for allotments. Cemetery not required for years. Mr Garrett seconded. Chairman said notice required.

 

Essex Weekly News, 22 February 1918

page 6, col 3. Potato spraying. Mr F Griffiths from Food Production Department. Address in Congregational schoolroom. Mr E Smith presided. Recommended allotment holders etc to spray crops. Great increase in production would ensue.

 

UDC, 25 February 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

pages 437-38. Discussion how best to cultivate cemetery field, e.g. allotments. Decided to ask ‘Messrs Crittall if they would let their field in Braintree Road to the Council for purposes of allotments for duration of the war’.

 

Essex Weekly News, 1 March 1918

page 5, col 5. Witham Urban District Council Meeting, Mr P Hutley in chair.

Allotments. Mr Abrey moved rescinding decision not to use three acres of cemetery land for allotments. He approached by men who wanted allotments, and thought they should be encouraged. Mr W Taber seconded. Mr W Pinkham against – thought wrong to let – better to cultivate it themselves. Mr J E Smith agreed. Resolution defeated by chairman’s casting vote. Mr Pinkham proposed Committee appointed to cultivate the field . Carried by same vote. Re allotments, decided to ask Crittall Manufacturing Co to allow their building site at Chipping Hill to be used. Pinkham, Taber and Smith appointed as Allotment Committee.

 

UDC 25 March 1918 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 445. ‘Read letter from Mr W Gardner of 12th inst. as to 7 acres of land of the Crittall Manufacturing Company Limited which was available for allotments.’ Ask press to record facts in their reports.

 

UDC 29 April 1918, Annual Meeting (ERO D/UWi 1/1/3)

page 452. Allotments. Interview with Mr Jacques Inspector of allotments from Food Production Department, Whitehall, and ‘inspection of Pans Haven field. Mr Gardner (agent for Messrs Crittall, the owners) also attended and stated that Messrs Crittall had received permission of the Government to commence building on the field at any time and he had received instructions to provide storage in the neighbourhood for the machinery etc which was ready. Also that arrangements had been made with the Great Eastern Railway Company to construct a Railway Siding’. Agreed that to explain to Mr J that Council willing to hire but would have to be short notice.

 

30 April 1918, page 963, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book, 30 April 1918, page 963, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book

To ‘Inspector Food Production Dept, Ipswich.’

Have seen Messrs Crittall’s agent (‘Mr Walter Gardner of this town’). Confirmed Messrs Crittall have Government permit to proceed with building on field, ‘which they may be obliged to exercise at any time, and that the Great Eastern Railway have undertaken to construct a siding from their line into the Works immediately Messrs Crittall request them to do so. He also stated that the plant and machinery, and a good part of the joinery, were already completed for erection’. He has tried to let it without much success, a few allotments only. Council willing to hire it if felt right to cultivate.

To ‘Inspector Food Production Dept, Ipswich.’

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 13 February 1920, page 30 [first one of this Committee noticed] (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Application by resident in Chipping Hill for allotments. Mr H T Isted, representative of Lord Rayleigh, attended. Allotment Holders deputation of five also attended. They had named part of Moat Farm. They refused pieces in Highfields Road and near the Cemetery field. Deputation insisted on Council acquiring Moat Fm land under compulsory powers. Mr Isted suggested Mr J E Smith and his son Mr L E Smith should attend at Terling tomorrow at 10 a.m. to confer with Hon E G Strutt.

[continued on p 34] Application of residents in Maldon Road for allotments considered. Mr Bawtree willing to sell his field in Maldon Road now occupied by Mr Sorrell for £500. This considered excessive. Mr Pinkham to meet him.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 24 February 1920, page 32 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Letter from Mr H F Bawtree. After consultation with brother would sell field for £420, and if Council accepted would give Mr Sorrell notice. Agreed to accept if purchase price not more that £400.

Letter from Mr Isted. Mr Smith agreed to release the part of Moat farm required for allotments, ‘leaving it to the generosity of Mr Strutt in some way to make it up to him’. But Mr Smith said hadn’t had offer. Clerk to write to Lord Rayleigh about alternative land for Mr Smith.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 27 February 1920, page 35 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Mr Bawtree agreed to sell Maldon Road land for £400 and Mr Sorrell would relinquish. Agreed to purchase.

Re Chipping Hill, Mr L E Smith had letter; Mr Strutt would let him have Lenny’s Field if he would give up field at Moat Farm for allotments. But would have to wait till Michaelmas because Mr Strutt wanted to take crop at Lenny’s. But places in hands of council subject to compensation, and fence against cattle on either side of plot.

Chairman directed to see Housing Commissioner to urge confirmation of Compulsory Order re part of Cocks Farm as soon as possible, to enable Council to offer part of that to Committee.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 24 March 1920, page 42 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Maldon Road. Resolved to plough and disk harrow it. Then mark it up in 10 rod plots. No person to have more than one plot at present. Rent to be 8d a rod. Notice in Maldon Road to invite applications. Letter read from ‘the Witham and District Allotments Society’ suggesting field in Maldon Road be taken over by Society from Council  Decided not to entertain it.

Adopted

 

UDC Allotments Committee, 23 July 1920, page 56 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Complaints about cattle which ‘run into the Maldon Road allotment field from the road’. Gate and fence recommended.

Mr Pinkham had seen Mr S C Mayhew, Secretary of Witham and District Allotments Society, who said his Society required further land for allotments. Resolved to negotiate with Mr W Taber re field adjoining Cemetery field.

 

UDC Finance Committee, 29 May 1922, page 144 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Some moneys written off, i.e. owed for use of ambulance and for allotments.

 

UDC Roads Committee, 25 January 1924, page 274 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Allotment holders offered picked stones. Resolved to buy them for improving road leading to Brown’s Maltings. But don’t pay the holders whose rents are in arrears.

Adopted

 

UDC Estates Committee, 27 June 1924, page 321 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/2)

Some of Maldon Rd allotment land not used. A B Aldham offered to take on lease, at back of his premises, or to offer. Agreed to offer lease.

Adopted except for lease of allotment land, referred back

 

UDC Estates Committee, 22 January 1930 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/4)

page 322 Looking for allotment land to make up for what taken for housing in Guithavon Road. Mr Isted for Strutt and Parker would let 4 or 5 acres being part of field used as allotments next to Bridge Home, at back of and adjoining their field at present used for allotments. Negotiate.

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 31 January 1930, page 4

Urban District Council:

Guithavon Road estate. Mr Hodges wanted to buy his piece of allotment. Can’t because would interrupt building but would sell him ‘the spare piece of ground containing a disused gravel pit’.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 February 1930 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/4)

Don’t continue with hiring of land referred to before for allotments.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 18 February 1931 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/5)

page 142. Letter received re offering reduced prices for allotments to unemployed. To discuss with Witham Allotments Association. Mr F G Royce the secretary.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 17 January 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/6)

Disposal of Household refuse. Met Mr Collier and Mr Dudley of Messrs Collier and Co of Marks Tey brick manufacturers, re their possibly taking all District House refuse. Says could definitely do it November to March but not interested in summer. Various arrangements considered. If necessary to dump temporarily, then would have to be the ‘old dump in the allotment field at Maldon Road’ where hopper could be put up. Adjourn to show them it.

 

UDC Finance and General Purposes Committee, 26 March 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 1. Tree at Maldon Road allotment field belonging to UDC, fell on Mr Loveday’s property. Surveyor got ‘certain unemployed men’ to take top of tree. Nothing offered for trunk by Mr A E Gaymer, timber merchant, or by Mr Loveday. So tell Mr Loveday he can have it if he repairs the fence.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 September 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 133. Bungalows for aged persons. OK to appropriate part of old cemetery site now used as allotments for this, ‘the proposed appropriation of the half acre of the Rickstones Road Recreation Ground not being practicable’ [this became Homefield Road]. Report what accommodation can be got ‘on the land at the top of the cemetery, recently hired to Mr G F Thompson’.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 9 November 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 175. Met at allotments part of Cocks Farm. Has been suggested that they be put into gardens of houses on side of Cressing Road nearest railway. Can’t recommend.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 November 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 205. Allotments. Preparations now to move holders of allotments at cemetery site to land adjoining cemetery site ‘recently occupied by Mr G F Thompson.’

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 17 December 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

pages 212-213. Collection of house refuse, re July report. Choose scheme 1 and buy a Ford vehicle. Maldon Road tip. Old gravel tip in the allotment field, Maldon Road, rapidly filling. Only another 4 months available. Investigate others.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 December 1935 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 229. Of the 29 allotment holders to be displaced from old cemetery field because of Aged persons bungalows [Homefield Road], 13 have asked for alternative plots, and 2 new applications. Ask tenants on Cressing Road if they want any.

200 sheep strayed onto the Maldon Road allotments from adjoining meadow. Extensive damage to ‘green-stuff’ of holders. Ask tenants to approach Clerk to take action.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 16 January 1936 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 249. Allotments Maldon Road. Mr A J Horner’s sheep were the ones that strayed. He complained about Clerk’s officious letter. Committee support the Clerk.

page 250. More on numbers of people for allotments in Rickstones Road.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 13 February 1936 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 290. Layout for 18 allotments adjoining Cemetery submitted. Ask for another layout for 24, with gate to Recreation Ground.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 15 December 1936

pages 619-620. Allotments. Certificates from Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Schedule of existing allotments, i.e.

Little Elms, part allotments, part arable, 3.36 acres

Braintree Road, 3.42 acres

Maldon Road, 5.48 acres, part allotments, part gravel pit now being worked.

Hoo Hall Rivenhall, 1.40 acres

Another list of land reserved for allotments:

Cuppers Farm to replace temporary ones at Bridge Home, 4.2 acres

Bridge Homes, existing temporary ones, 3.79 acres

Maldon Road, arable, to replace existing temporary allotments, 7.47 acres

Chipping Hill, existing temporary allotments 1.8 acres.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 March 1937 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/7)

page 716. Allotments. Strutt and Parker agree to small portion of land next Bridge Home being reserved for permanent allotments.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 18 March 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 268] To offer vacant plots in Maldon Road to military as allotments on rent free basis.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 22 April 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 278] Church Street housing site. Undeveloped land adjoining Glebe Crescent. Some let for allotments but 4 acres left and Council obliged to cultivate it. To let to Mr L D Blake of Spring Lodge.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 September 1940 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 379] Allotments at Maldon Road. Some not used. Offer for keeping chickens if they are ‘properly fenced in’.

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 11 January 1941 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 458] Sewer damaged, near river in Powers Hall Road allotment field. Broken by enemy action. Excavate by crater. To be repaired.

 

UDC 26 May 1941 page 523 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

(page 524) Re unsatisfied demand for allotments, Ministry of Agriculture has authorised entrance upon land in Collingwood Road belonging to Mrs Peecock. Managed to persuade Mr Morgan to release additional land at Rickstones Road allotment field (Mr M is a market gardener).

 

12 Jun 1941, message Braintree Report Centre to Essex County Control, 05.38/05.42 (ERO C/W/1/2/8)

Further to my Situation report of 05.15 hours, Witham report searched Towers [Powers] Hall End Blunts Hall. No more craters found. Later, further crater on allotments at back of Fyfield [Highfield] Road. [Added in different hand:] ‘?Highfield’

 

UDC Public Health Committee, 6 November 1941 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/9)

[page 668] Completed inspecting railings and recommend the following for inclusion [the table is quoted exactly in these notes].

Cemetery Witham UDC Division fence between cemetery and allotments. Cemetery entrance gates not to be removed

 

UDC Housing Committee, 17 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

‘Witham and Rivenhall End Allotment Holders and Garden Society’ complain of damage from cattle, people using the allotments as public footpath, and children climbing fences. Find out if there is a public footpath from Cherry Tree Crossing over the field to Faulkbourne.

 

UDC, 30 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Estates Committee adopted except to alter to read three dead elm trees at far side of Maldon Road allotments instead of at the entrance.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 30 November 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 107] Circular from Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries about allotments. Committee consider Witham is doing all it can.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 14 December 1942 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 114] ‘Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Society’ have asked to use Maldon Road Recreation Ground on August Monday next year for ‘Fruit and Vegetable Show and possibly a Fun Fair’. OK subject to conditions.

 

UDC Holidays at Home Week Committee, 9 March 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 148] Agreed to have it Aug 2 to 7. Fruit and Vegetable show to be held on August Monday by the Society and also the Essex Federation of Allotment Societies joining in. Also ‘the local Rabbit Society’ is staging a show, and various other attractions. Large crowd expected. Dance in Public Hall on August Monday evening. Long list of people co-opted onto committee including Mrs S Eccleston, Mrs R Turner, Mrs C De Trense, Miss L Croxall, Mrs V Grape. Clerk to communicate with Messrs Keith Prowse Ltd ‘as to Entertainers and Variety Shows available during the Week’.

 

Finance and General Purposes Committee, 16 March 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 161] ‘Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society. They asked for financial assistance for show on Aug Monday. It is to be some magnitude as Essex Federation of Allotment Societies with over 70 branches and 26,000 members is taking part. Essex Institute of Agriculture also supports, and prominent members of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will also be present. Also Witham Rabbit Society to have a show ‘open to the Country’ and Essex Garden Produce Committee require space for demonstration, and ditto Ministry of Food. If they have bad weather they could lose money. Agree to support if Ministry says OK.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 19 June 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 202] Allotments generally well cultivated. A few partly uncultivated; consult the owners. Entrance to Maldon Road field and ‘the vacant land immediately adjoining thereto which was formerly used for gravel excavations needs scything’. To be done when possible but ‘the majority of the labour is still engaged out of the district’.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 6 September 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 220] Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society want to hire hall for day on September 25th re ‘Victory Garden and Produce show’. Proceeds to Red Cross Agriculture fund. Just charge overheads.

[page 221] Wartime allotments, Collingwood Road. Mr C W Hodges already occupies one plot by arrangement with Mrs Peecock, has also occupied adjoining piece ‘the subject of part of the Council’s requisition’. Mr Hodges also ‘allowing his fowls to run upon the chase-way leading to the allotments’. Also blocked up top of chaseway though has left room for barrows. Chairman to inspect.

 

UDC Finance and General Purposes Committee, 14 September 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 235] Thanks from Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Holders Society for interest in show on 2 August. Quite successful so no need for Council to cover loss.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 3 November 1943 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 258] Land adjoining the Peculiar People’s Chapel. In September, Committee recommended willow trees on river bank and agreed. Also consideration re use for allotments but decided too much trouble.

Maldon Road allotments. Inspected because of complaint about cattle ‘straying and eating the produce thereon’. Justified. The cattle had broken the fence. Has been repaired with ‘second hand barbed wire’.

Church Street allotments to be inspected. Formerly in very bad state.

 

UDC 7 December 1943, in Committee (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Town and Country Planning. ‘The Council at this meeting considered generally the planning of the Urban District, and in particular Witham Town and Silver End. A report of the Surveyor on the Subject was taken into consideration’. Resolved …

(c) ‘In providing for future housing estates of any description proper zones be marked to ensure of recreational and allotment facilities’.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 February 1944 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 326] Surveyor’s report. Post War Housing Schemes. Enough land in Church Street and Glebe Crescent already in possession of Council for about 100 houses and 16 bungalows. Normally this would be enough for at least one year’s programme. Rate of building after War uncertain though Government has said ‘four million houses will be required in the 12 years after the War’. But how much at beginning not known. Cost will be higher than before. Unless Local Authorities get help, the rentals will have to be higher than present rentals. Re sewers and water mains, already there at Glebe Crescent and Church Street which would just need extending. Can’t be done just now because land used for agriculture and allotments. If the latter are taken away, alternative allotments will be needed probably.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 13 March 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 504] Church Street allotments. Site may be needed for housing any time. So terminate agreement with the allotment holders and with Mr L D Blake at end of September. Can then be cultivated free by them until needed for housing.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 13 March 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

Allotments, cemetery site. Mr T W Morgan of 147 Cressing Road wishes to give up part of land he hires there. Arrangements for Mr Hugh Page to farm it not yet made because of Mr Morgan’s illness, but hope to arrange shortly.

 

UDC 26 March 1945, page 729 (ERO D/UWi 1/1/5)

Housing Committee, item re. Church Street allotments referred back.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 15 May 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 524] Church Street allotments. Agreements not terminated as agreed before because land not anticipated to be needed before September next.

 

UDC Estates Committee, 15 May 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 527] Witham and Rivenhall End Garden and Allotment Society want the Recreation Ground and Park on 14 July for Flower and Vet Show. Agreed.

 

UDC Housing Committee, 24 September 1945 (ERO D/UWi 1/2/10)

[page 587] Church Street housing. Give notice to quit to allotment holders and the agricultural tenant.

 

John Newnan

John said that in his day at the station (1950s) the station allotments were called ‘Canada’, people would say they were going to Canada. But this probably applied to some on the other side of the line, near the maltings.

 

Ordnance Survey Six Inch Maps, early 1950s

Include “allotment gardens” at:

Between Cemetery, Manor Road in south, and Elm Farm in north (now part of Rickstones playing field)

At the end of Homefield Road

Powershall End, what is now Saxon Drive

At west end of Powershall End, behind the houses on the south.

Hatfield Road, small, next to Bridge Home

Hatfield Road, small, behind houses opposite Bridge Home

Hatfield Road, small, behind Ivy Chimneys

Maldon Road, west side, behind houses, now the southern Sports ground.

 

NB Cut Throat Lane not named as allotments

 

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 6 January 1955

Ringing old year out at parish church; allotment dinner (from Maurice Smith index)

 

Braintree and Witham Times, 23 December 1965

Allotments, lack of interest (from Maurice Smith index, I don’t have any more info.)

 

1980s

O.S. 1:2500 map, nothing marked at the site of  the Cut Throat Lane allotments – it could just have been omitted. Didn’t look at other sites.

 

1990s

O.S. 1:2500 map, Cut Throat Allotments marked as allotments. Didn’t look at other sites.

 

 

Photos

 

Ref Date of photo Description Source
M605 April 1957 Part of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes parts of Powershall End, Chipping Hill, the railway, Guithavon Valley, Collingwood Road and The Avenue, the fields later the Moat farm estate, and the allotments later the site of Saxon Drive. See also M1559-M1568. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1559 April 1957 Part 1 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes top of Highfields Road including Highfields farm, and part of Powershall End including Spa Place, and part of the allotments which are now the site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1560 April 1957 Part 2 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes fields now part of Moat farm housing estate, and part of the allotments which are now the site of Saxon Drive, between Highfields Road and the railway. Also part of the railway viaduct. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1564 April 1957 Part 6 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes Chipping bridge, 26 Chipping Hill, 28 Chipping Hill, 30 Chipping Hill, and church hall, west and of Powershall End including mill and Spring Lodge and 6 Powershall End, track to Faulkbourne, and part of allotments later site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1565 April 1957 Part 7 of air photo of Moat farm etc. taken from south-east. This part includes Chippimg bridge, west side of Chipping Hill including Earlsmead and Pinkham’s glove factory, Moat farm chase including the farm and the bridge, the railway, river, and part of the allotments later site of Saxon Drive. See also M605 and M606. See link for key map. Horner, Patrick
M1787 1954 View from back of 128 Highfields Road to Chipping Hill, including house garden. The house at 128 was built the year before, in 1953, on an empty plot, for the Lepper family. Includes allotments in foreground behind garden fence. On extreme left, seen through window, is Spring Lodge (3 Powershall End). Left of centre in middle distance are the semi-detached houses at 6 Powershall End and 8 Powershall End, with Chipping bridge in centre. Just below horizon, towards the left perhaps 7 Church Street, left of centre the Vicarage, right of centre, parish church, to right of that, 26 Chipping Hill (left side of green), then on far right, 24 Chipping Hill and 22 Chipping Hill. Lepper, Helen and Alfred
M1788 1954 View from back of 128 Highfields Road to Chipping Hill, including house garden. The house at 128 was built the year before, in 1953, on an empty plot, for the Lepper family. Includes allotments in foreground behind garden fence. On extreme left are the semi-detached houses at 6 Powershall End and 8 Powershall End, with Chipping bridge in centre. On horizon, towards the left the Vicarage, above the bridge, parish church, to right of that, 26 Chipping Hill (left side of green), 24 Chipping Hill and 22 Chipping Hill (behind the green), end wall of 55 Chipping Hill on right hand side of road, and to right backs of houses at Chipping Hill. Extreme right is Moat farm house. Lepper, Helen and Alfred
M1819 24th September 1966 Opening of new Fire Station, Hatfield Road. Seen from top of tower, looking down on back of fire station. Allotments in background. By table on left are Alderman G E Rose, chairman of County Fire Brigade Committee (standing) and Councillor Ted Smith, chairman of Witham Urban District Council (with chain, in middle). Seated in second row from front, 4th from right, is Frank Ager (just to right of lady with hat sitting behind him). See also photo M390. Colin Ager via Brian Knight.
M2239 1954-1965 St Nicholas church and Chipping Hill, seen from the allotments where Saxon Drive has since been built. Houses visible to right of tall trees are what is now 28 Chipping Hill (formerly Mole End), 26 Chipping Hill, and end of 55 Chipping Hill (bare). See link 1 for information about numbering, dating, etc. Scott-Mason, John

 

 

References to allotments in oral history interviews.

 

Mrs Edith Brown, born 1895

Tape 5

Q:        What, did he grow vegetables and things more or ….?

Mrs Brown:  Yea, well, we had a big allotment and he used to grow his celery at home (Q:  Yea.) erm, used to have a flower garden all the way down, wide piece, and round like that, both sides (Q:  Yea.) and then at the back of the, then he had tall chrysanths, then at the back he used to have a celery, two celery trenches, one either side, then he used to grow white and pink celery, they used to be them days, that was lovely.  Course, we had, course we had to take all our celery up weekends, then he had the allotment for all the vegetables he grew, you know, grew all his own vegetables, I forget where the allotment was then, been so many years ago.  (Mrs S:  Wasn’t it down where Mr North ….)  Down Maldon Road somewhere.  (Mrs S: Not North, Mr ….the shoe, the shoemaker, Horrocks[?].) [Hollick]  Down there somewhere, Grace, couldn’t tell you exactly where it was now, I forget, but I know we had a big allotment, (Mrs S:  Yes.) used to grow stuff for all the winter, (Mrs S:  Course there’s so many houses down there isn’t there?) and store it all.  Hey?  (Mrs S:  So many houses built down there now.)  Mm, he used to clamp all his erm, oh, dear, (Mrs S:  Potatoes.) no, not potatoes (Mrs S:  Beetroot.) yes, beetroot and parsnips, used to clamp all them up with straw and earth (Q:  Yea, yea.) and then you just got ‘em out when you want ‘em.

Q:        So you wouldn’t have to buy much then?

Mrs Brown:  Mother, I don’t think my mother had to buy, we didn’t, did we?  (Mrs S:  No, not really [???].)  My husband, we had (Mrs S:  [???], Church Street.) we erm, we never bought a thing hardly, now and again we’d buy a swede wouldn’t we?  (Mrs S:  No[?] swede.)  But otherwise we never bought no potatoes or onions and everything used to be, you know, kept and, my husband used to go Sunday mornings cut the greens for the dinner all fresh.  We had Brussels sprouts or, all sorts and Mr Springett done the same.

Tape 6

Mrs Brown:  No, not really, not a lot. He don’t like gardening. (Q: Oh, yes.) Had a great big allotment and he had a lovely garden at the house, we had a big piece each side, a lovely flower garden, so much flower garden and so much at the back, he used to grow all, grow celery and that at the back of the flowers, he used to have, like high chrysanths all the way round and then that, about that space was all sorts of flowers, we had some lovely [???] didn’t we and he used to have all crocuses and all sorts, lilies, my mum had them coloured lilies with the spots on (Mrs S: Tiger lilies weren’t they called?.) yea, lovely they were, she loved her flowers and little rose trees and he used to do all the gardening and he had a big allotment as well (Q: Mm, That would take lot [???].) grow, he used to grow, he used to do all our shoe mending. (Q: Oh, did he?) Mm, dad did, yes, my husband did too, he ….

 

Mrs Edith Raven, born 1893

Tape 10

Mrs Raven:  Yes, and I was praying all the way down that wall, that somebody’d give me a ha’penny. But they didn’t. So I took these beans back and I said, Mrs Doole said they’d be ‘Another ha’penny, dear’, so I said ‘Well, may I bring that in the morning?’ Because she knew us, you see, so she said ‘Yes, dear, on your way to school’. So when I got, I could see Father coming off that garden field where those houses are now. Up that hill, you know? You know where the Community …. ? [garden field was allotments where Saxon Drive now is].

Q:        Oh, I think I know, yes. Where the allotments were, yes.

Mrs R: Yes. They were the allotments. Well, we had forty rod on there.

Q:        That’s opposite the Community Centre you mean. (Mrs R: Yes) Yes.

Tape 13

Mrs Raven   Pop had got a bit of allotment over there and there was a man digging his bit next door. So this man said to Pop. He said ‘There’s a funeral on today.’ So Pop said ‘Oh is there?’ So Pop said ‘I wonder who that is?’ So this man said ‘That’s Herbert from the Labour [Exchange]’ So Pop said ‘I hope he’s got his cards with him!’ [Both laugh] I never forgot that, I thought that was dreadful.

Mrs Raven: And there was a pond up in this, um, up in this place where they’ve built those houses and that allotments, there [Saxon Drive, probably]. And he fell in there once or twice. They’d throw their bits and pieces. They knew he was soft enough to go and try and get ‘em, and go on the ice and he’d go. He’s dead and gone now. But you ….

 

Miss Ada Smith, born 1897

Tape 14

Q:         Did they used to grow vegetables and things?

Miss Smith: Oh, yes. (Q: In the garden?) In the allotment too, yes, I remember all the vegetables.

Q:         It must have been hard work, where did you have the allotment?

Miss Smith: Over the rail, by the railway, each side of the railway, main line railway, the allotments.

 

Mrs Elsie Hammond, born c.1900

Tape 23

Mrs Hammond:      Oh well, that’s funny thing, but my mother used to lay on a big meal, in a way. Make a pot of tea. Have cups of tea. There might be soused mackerel. This time of year, there’d be salads and, I, I think that was her best meal of the day because she’d been busy in the daytime. I’ve always thought that. But or, beetroot and cheese, all that sort of thing. We used to live alright like that. You see, but that’d probably be produce really from the garden, or the allotment.

Q:       You had an allotment, did you?

Mrs Hammond:      My father had an allotment, yes. That was a railway allotment. It was a piece of ground, it’s still there; it’s derelict. It’s the other side of the main line. We used to have to go over there to do it.

Q:       Did you have to help him?

Mrs Hammond:      I wasn’t, I was never, only to pick the stuff. Pick the beans, and pick up potatoes, or drop them, drop the potatoes in the first place. He used to have the long, rows and we used to drop them in, you see. And then that was bean picking, or, he didn’t grow peas cause we used to go pea picking. And they used to wangle enough home, so we didn’t used to. [laughing] Used to put some in the bucket with a coat on the top. [laughing] So they never had to grow peas, but all the other vegetables, cause they couldn’t really buy them, you see. Couldn’t afford to buy them. That’s how, people used to work their sets, you see. Potatoes, they used to do an exchange. People didn’t, couldn’t pay out a lot, they use to exchange, one with another. So they’d have a change of seed. It was the only way to work it.

 

Bert (Jim) Godfrey, born 1906

Tape 27

They had quite a big garden down Bridge Street, yes. Running up the back there, quite a long way. And then, where the fire station is, that was all an allotment field. He used to have a plot on there as well. Where he’d spend –he’d spend a lot of his spare time there.

 

Lucy Croxall, born 1903 and Eva Hayes, born 1893

Tape 29

Eva Hayes:   No, we had an allotment.

Lucy Croxall:         Our allotment, Father’s and your allotment was where Podsbrook is. All that belonged to Blyths the millers.

Eva Hayes:   Where the chapel is, there was a mill there. (LC: A flourmill) A flour mill, you see and of course where Alan McKirdy lived, that was their house, private house (LC: Lovely, it was) and all Podsbrook, all that piece was their garden. And Bernard the son lived where they live now, Peyton/Payton, lived over at Peyton. Bernard lived there and he didn’t want all that extra land so he let Father, Superintendent Lennon, (LC: The policeman) Mr Edwards at the White Hart and Mr Howlett, the organist, all had a piece (LC: (talking over) All four had that garden between them). I planted, I was going to say thousands, hundreds of bulbs in that field.

Lucy Croxall:         So now we say if any flowers come up at Podsbrook we believe they all belong to us. (Q laughs) Lovely garden wasn’t it?

 

Mrs Annie Ralling, born 1900

Tape 36

Q:       What about vegetables ?

Mrs Ralling  Well people had their own garden fields didn’t they. In those days everybody used to grown their own garden things. Like up Hatfield Road you know where the Fire Station is that was all allotments.

Q:       Usually it was the mother that did the shopping ?

Mrs Ralling: Yes, mostly, or they’d send the children. As I was saying, they used to have their own allotments, didn’t they, and gardens and they’d grow all their own vegetables often and that sort of thing. Funnily enough it is only just about a week ago there used to be two little men, you know I used to think they were like the dwarfs, they used to live in the town and they had a garden field or an allotment up Hatfield Road and I used to take their surplus [in her shop} and only about a fortnight ago I heard that the sister died. The two little men they used to have like a box on wheels, a barrow and they’d bring their marrows and cabbages and things like that. (Another voice ?) Of course they’ve built on them allotments now haven’t they. Yes all those houses up Hatfield Road.

 

Mr Maurice Greatrex, born 1903

Tape 49

Mr Greatrex:          No, father didn’t have time to do that. Grandfather wanted him to do the work here. (Q: I see, yes.) My father, he worked all the hours that he could in that business. Really worked hard all the time. When he wasn’t working in the business he was trying to run an allotment where all these houses are just down the road here. That glebe land that was sold by the Church [Saxon Drive]. Well we had an allotment on that, 20 foot[rod?] allotment on there which father used to keep going as well and, ‘cos there were eight of us in the family you see (Q: Quite.) and wages weren’t very high. They weren’t anything like they are nowadays. And so he had a job to keep things going.

 

Mr and Mrs Baxter,

Tape 80

Mrs B: We had several bombs drop about here, you know. Because up there – now where is it? Powershall Road – along Powershall Road because …
Mr B: Yes, I had an allotment up there.

Mrs B: That was all allotments.

Mr B: There was two bombs – they made a – they reckoned they were fastened together with a chain. There was a hole like that and a hole – you could put a house in them. In the two holes. Right in the allotments.

Mrs B: And that was our allotment and our neighbour’s allotment.

Mr Walter Peirce, born 1908

Tape 92

Mr Peirce:    …. [see picture 1] Highfields Road. Well, this was where the running pump, the running pump was, and back there was the dam, was the ramp that used to supply Blunts Hall and Highfields farm, up here. Well, they’re all gone now, ain’t they? (Q: Yes) See, well, that was all fields when I was a boy. This was the allotment. That’s all built upon [Saxon Drive]. (Q: That’s right) And then, um. there’s some houses, up here, Mr Richards the builder bought that one, and then there was, and then, then there was a couple of small little houses, and then you come into, um, well, Spa, Highfields Road, ’cos Spa Road has been built alongside, ain‘t it? (Q: Yeah). You still got the old Highfields Road, but that was always there but then um, when I um ….

Mr Peirce:    Now this may be interesting or may not [looking at photo, see picture 2]. That was when Crittall’s was built [Crittall’s window factory, Braintree Road]. (Q: Really). They were the workmen for Crittalls when that was built. ’Cos that used to be an allotment belonged to the Co-op. (Q: Oh did it? I see). Yes, if it hadn’t have been for the Co-op Crittall’s wouldn’t have been in Witham. (Q: Really, why’s that?) The Co-op sold the, well, Mrs Susannah Vaux, Bawtrees, and one or two of the …. noble, general, gentry people of Witham, they tried to keep Crittall’s out. They didn’t want no fact– didn’t want no factory in Witham at all. There was Pinkham’s factory. You know, the gentry people of Witham, they tried to keep Crittall’s out. They didn’t want no fact– didn’t want no factory in Witham at all. There was Pinkham’s factory. You know, the glove making factory. But they didn’t want no factory. But unfortunately, or fortunately, the Co-op sold the allotment to Crittall’s and that’s how Crittall’s started ….

Q:       Why the, was the Co-op very active – did it have a lot of land then, the Co-op?

Mr P Peirce: No, it only had that (Q: Oh, I see) that, all that allotment what run right up the back where the Co-op, that little Co-op, there was a little Co-op shop, wasn’t there [62 Braintree Road]? (Q: Yes). Well, all that land, right down to, to um, Albert Road. Matter of fact some of them houses in Albert, them houses in Albert Road belonged to the Co-op till the people bought them.

Mr Peirce:    Nineteen ten. Now this is my father on the wagon [see picture 6]. Now this (Q: Is it really?) Well I, I worked there for a little while in nineteen twenty six, or sev- yes, in nineteen sev, in nineteen twenty seven. I used to go round there with the horse and cart and I used to work at Bulford mill and all that. You see, well now, that’s the water mill and that’s the power mill, steam mill. (Q: Oh, I see). You see, now, that’s where the Evangelic church is, isn’t it? Now this here, was the allotment belonged to them, er, beehives and all that. Er, That’s where all the flats or something are built down there, ain’t they? [Podsbrook] Maisonettes. Ain’t they? (Q: I think, yes) Where you come ….

Mr Peirce:    Well, that, the other houses that side back on to it. Well, that used to be the cart lodge for Canon Ingles and Canon [i.e. present Church hall] (Q: Was it) And then where the, opposite the Spring Community Centre (Q: Yes) was allotments [now Saxon Drive]. Five shillings a year, my father used to have it. Twenty rod. Well, you paid the five shillings, and a potato. And you had a little bit of supper, all the, um, holders of the allotment. (Q: Oh I see,) You know, I told you (Q: Yes, yes,) where the footpath went through that allotment, and you went and paid it, Mr Hodges was the man, that took the money . He lived right, the other side of the railway line, near the Witham Creamery is, but a bomb dropped on it during the War, didn’t it? Blew it all to pieces. But they’ve rebuilt a new house, didn’t they [probably 20 Highfields Road]. Well, that was the man who used to take the money.

 

Mrs Hicks

Tape 99

Q: What did you used to make them with?

Mrs H: Great big stone bottles with a handle on the side. We used to make rhubarb but I don’t like that, and dandelion. Ooh that was lovely. Better than any whisky if you keep it a year. I made some of that once and blackberry, damson, all sorts I used to make. I don’t like, that used to be rhubarb, really, because they grew that on the allotment, and you see that didn’t cost anything. Only just the sugar, well the sugar wasn’t only about sixpence a pound then. You could do what you liked.
Ted Mott

Tape 103

Mr M: I used to have a piece of an allotment down Maldon Road when they had allotments down there, from up here. Because it was a family piece of allotment. A good piece you see. I used to trundle off down there with Keith on the front on a Saturday morning, stay down there till dinner time and come home. Just have an early breakfast and go down. He used to do a Sunday paper round, go up the shop here. I used to help him down as far as where the allotments were and then do the allotment. He used to come back up there.
Walter Peirce

Tape 110

Well, I used to go to the matinee, Saturday afternoon, three ha’pence. And this was after the war, after the First War, of course. And there was a lot of horses about then, see. And there was a big goods yard then, ain’t got that now, used to be a big goods yard wound by Cooper Tabers, seed merchants. Well, my father had this allotment and he said he’d give me a ha’penny for a barrow-load of horse manure. Well, we used to have Tate & Lyle sugar boxes, that’s what they were then. Used to get them at the grocer’s on a pair of perambulator wheels. With two handles on the side, that was [???]. Then we used to go along the road with a shovel and brush and fill it up. Well, I know I used to take it up the allotment and push it on a heap. So Father used to say ‘‘How many loads you took today, boy?’ ‘Oh, three of them’. ‘Three?’ ‘Yes, three’. That was three ha’pence. I could go to the pictures couldn’t I?

Tape 125

And then you come round the bend and that is Cressing Road. Well, all that field belonged to John Brown. So the Witham Council bought it, didn’t they? And they bought all that field and then they bought this field here, what’s called Homefield. That was my allotment. I had two bits of allotment there. That was our allotment, you see and that’s called Homefield. Well, all that used to belong to John Brown and the Council bought it all.
Mr Ken Miller

Tape 187

Well Henry’s father was a great poacher, well not poacher, but rabbiter and lived by the gun sort of thing, and there was a hare that used to elude him in the garden fields, of course the allotment holders wanted it caught because of the damage it was doing. And down opposite Spring Lodge, there was a five bar wooden gate, I can see it now, and, into the allotments, and this gate was always open for people coming and going on their bikes and trolleys and what have you. And this hare always got away across the road, cause it was, it was all fields across the road then, and the hare’d get away. So one day he shut the gate, and the hare ran full belt into the gate, and he got it, killed it. And Henry always used to spin this tale, and how his father got that, cause he was a great big tall bloke, and as I can remember he used to call on his bike, and, he was a bricklayer for Crittall’s, and I used to sharpen his chisels for him.

 

 

 

Mr John Newman

Tape 191

[re Station Maltings]

For some reason that little bit of ground was always known as Canada (Questioner: Known as what?) Canada. Yes, that piece of ground just there was always known as Canada. There were some allotments there as well. ‘Oh’, he says, ‘I’ve got an allotment on Canada’, so you knew where his allotment was.

 

 

 

http://www.inbrief.co.uk/neighbour-disputes/allotments.htm

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/10774314/Allotments-being-sold-off-for-development-despite-government-pledges.html

 

 

Email from Richard Pilbrow

richardpilbrow+allot-sec

 

Dear Janet,

 

It has been suggested that you may be able to help us in our research concerning how and when the Cut Throat Lane Allotment site was set up, by whom, and whether or not it directly replaced much older allotments on the other side of the main railway line which we believe were statutory allotments.

 

If you are willing and able to assist us it will be very much appreciated.  Our enquiry arises because Braintree District Council in their efforts to drive down operating costs are encouraging us to self-manage the Cut Throat Lane allotments on a long lease.  That is fine in principle, but they state that the site is currently classified as “temporary allotments” and they intend to refer to the allotments in the lease as “Community Land”.  They include a clause that allows them to take back the land after giving us 12 months notice, and excludes any obligation on the Council’s part to seek to find us an alternative site should they do so.  We believe that the Cut Throat Lane allotments, by their historical associations, are statutory allotments and should be referred to in the lease as “allotment gardens” and not as “community Land”.  Should we be able to prove that the allotments are “statutory” not “temporary”, whilst the Council can still take back the land by giving 12 months notice, it becomes under an obligation to try to find a suitable alternative land for use as allotments (which is commonly now achieved via section 106 planning agreements when new housing estates are developed).

 

We are very wary of entering into the contract as proposed since we believe that if we should do so, the land could quite easily be appropriated for any alternative use that the Council can demonstrate serves a “community purpose”, and deplete even further the land that has been lost to development in the Witham area.

 

Certainly the Cut Throat Lane site replaced others in Witham, including the old site on the opposite side of the railway which was almost certainly statutory allotment land.  We do know that what is now Cut Throat Lane Allotments was previously a seed trials ground occupied by Thomas Cullen & Sons.  Cullens closed their Witham operation (after mergers or takeovers) in 1983.  However it appears that allotment gardens use of the land that is now Cut Throat Lane allotments commenced before that year as Ordnance Survey maps show the area as “allotment gardens” in 1978 (but it was still seemingly Cullens seed trial fields in 1971).

 

 

We would like to be able to read Council Minutes dating back to the time the old allotments on the opposite side of the railway were taken back by the Council to be developed for industrial/commercial use (what is now part of Eastways Industrial Estate).  This may have been under Witham Council control, or under Braintree District Council (following the Local Government Act 1972 when Town Council land holdings transferred to District Councils).  We also would like to be able to read contemporary Council Minutes from the time the Cut Throat Lane site was appropriated for allotment use.  It appears to have been part of a development deal for the whole portion of former agricultural land that now forms the housing estate bordered by Conrad Road, Forest Road, Cut Throat Lane and the Branch railway line from Witham to Braintree.

 

If you do feel you can help us with some dates to narrow down our search through Council Minutes it will be so much appreciated.  If there is evidence in your possession that we could photograph or photocopy that would be even better.

 

We have not met but I am more than happy to come and meet you if discussion would be the best way forward.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard Pilbrow

 

Secretary, Witham Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association.

 

Copy addressees are our Chairman, Richard Playle, and Treasurer, David Youngman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Sayers’ Cottages, 22-26 Newland Street (Cocksmiths), and Mike Wadhams

 

The obituary and the article which are shown below appeared in Essex Archaeology and History News, number 111, in April 1991.

The three cottages were said in the 18th century to be “three tenements previously one”. They are known to have 15th-century timbers surviving. The grey-brick frontages were added in the 19th century – the three are all different.

Number 22 was known as Chantry Cottage.

Dorothy L Sayers was the well-known author who lived at number 24 (Sunnyside) from the early 1930s until her death in 1957. She also had a flat in London.

Cocksmiths was the old name of number 26, going back to at least the 1600s. At the time written about below, it was being used to describe the whole group of three.

Mike Wadhams was a gifted historian of timber-framed buildings who had recently died. He had helped to lead the Witham Archaeological Research Group, and went on to join the County Council’s Historic Building Section. He, and his colleagues there, had worked successfully to ensure that numbers 22-26 Newland Street were preserved, in spite of many difficulties.

The short first item below is an obituary of Mike by Paul Gilman. The second, longer, item, was written by myself in 1991. It is an account of my conversations with him about the cottages.


The front cover of the newsletter, with a drawing by Mike Wadhams of the frontage of 22-26 Newland Street.
____________________________

 

 

Above: an obituary of Mike Wadhams by Paul Gilman, newsletter editor

_____________________________________

 

 

 

 

Below: an article by Janet Gyford written in 1991, about Mike Wadhams and Dorothy Sayers Cottages, 22-26 Newland Street (Cocksmiths)

A cross section of numbers 22-26 drawn by Mike Wadhams

 

 

 

 

See also the following in the Essex Record Office:
T/P 198/3      Survey of Cocksmiths, 22-26 Newland St., Witham (15th-18th centuries with 18th and 19th century alterations)
Incl. plans, sections and elevations, photographs of garden houses, of roof structure and other interior details, drawings of Victorian internal fitments and summary of deeds 1876-1965.
T/P 198/12  Ditto.

The Spa at Witham

The Spa at Witham
Miscellaneous information


An account of the Spa from pages 37-38 of
A History of Witham by Janet Gyford

For a time a Spa helped to enhance Witham’s reputation for gentility. The spring was in a field north of Powershall End. A recent dowsing survey indicated that the remains of two large structures are hidden underground there (existing houses with ‘Spa’ names are all later).

There had been an unsuccessful attempt to tap the waters in about 1700, and then in November 1735 the business was properly established by a written agreement between four partners. They were Sir Edward and Lady Jane Southcott, Dr James Taverner, and Martin Carter. Sir Edward owned the field, which was part of his Witham Place estate. Dr Taverner, a Catholic like the Southcotts, was the medical man. And Mr Carter was a very rich gentleman and lawyer seeking a good investment. A few years later he had a six-year old ‘negro’ boy ‘belonging’ to him at his home (now Avenue House). The lad fell ill, was baptised with the name Scipio Africanus, and died shortly afterwards.

The agreement refers to the ‘profits and advantages’ to be gained from selling the water, admitting people to the field, and renting out shops and stalls. Expenses included ‘wages to servants or dippers’, and the purchase of bottles and flasks.

Tickets could be obtained at inns in the town, or at the ‘Little Room’ next to the ‘Pump’. The centre-piece was the Assembly Room, or ‘Long Room’, probably constructed from the remains of the great Hall at New Hall near Boreham.

Dr Taverner published a booklet in 1737, stressing that the water was ‘of so exceeding volatile a nature’ that it could not be transported, however well corked. So invalids needed to ‘come to the Spring, and take it upon the Spot’. He also mentioned the ‘serene wholesome air’.

I have not found any comments from people who took the Witham waters. But the Sussex man mentioned later as finding Witham ‘handsome’ wrote that the town was ‘universally known on account of the spa, which has two very agreeable walks about it’.

Advertisements in the newly founded Ipswich Journal tell us about its medical successes and its social life. Visiting patrons could be fetched from their lodgings. During the summer season there were regular gatherings where people could mingle or play cards. The highlights were monthly Assemblies, with a Ball, held in the Long Room.

‘Coffee and refreshments’ were served at Barnardiston House in Chipping Hill by Jacob Pattisson. In due course he obtained a quarter share in ‘the waters’, and probably continued to run the Spa after all four of the original partners died (the first being Dr Taverner in December 1747).

The advertisements ceased when Jacob also died in 1754, but a house to let in Terling in 1756 was promoted as being ‘about two miles from Witham Spa’, showing that the image was still valuable.

Above: Features of the Spa, on a modern base map.

Below: Possible traces of the Spa buildings in a dowsing survey


Spa events from Ipswich Journal

Year Dates Monthly Assemblies in Long Room at Spa Other events
1742 24 June, 22 July, 26 August, 4 October Assembly and Ball. At the ‘Long Room at Witham Spa. Tickets from White Hart or Red Lion in advance, or from ‘Little Room next the pump’ on day of assembly
1743 23 June, 22 July, 26 August, 4 October Assembly. Now on subscription so ‘certainty of meeting good company. Signify inclination at Spa, White Hart, or Red Lion. Conveyance from town. Weekly assemblies continue as formerly
1744 3 June, 16 July, 13 August, ?Sept, 8 October Assembly. Proper conveyance for those who lodge at a distance.

Subscription to exclude improper but genteel OK even though not sub (30 June)

Card assemblies twice a week as usual
1745 3 June, 5 August, 2 Sept, 30 Sept Assembly. ‘At the Long Room by the Spa’ Card assemblies every week as formerly (June), twice a week as usual (August, Sept)
1746 23 June, 21 July, 18 August, 15 Sept Assembly. Long Room at the Spa. With a Ball.
1747 8 June, 6 July, 10 Aug, 7 Sept Assembly and Ball. Genteel appearance admitted though not sub
1748 27 June, 25 July, 29 Aug, 26 Sept Assembly. By subscription at Long Room by the Spa. OK if Genteel appearance though not sub
1749 15 June, 13 July, 17 Aug, 14 Sept, 12 Oct (last if desired) Assembly. By sub at the long room by the spa. OK if genteel though not sub
1750 7 June, 5 July, 9 Aug, 6 Sept, 5 Oct (last if desired) Assembly and Ball. By sub at the long room by the spa. OK if genteel though not sub. September assembly ‘to be preceded by a concert of music’.
1751 27 June, 29 July (altered to 25?), 22 Aug, 26 Sept 25 Oct (altered to 24?) Assembly. By sub at the long room by the spa. OK if genteel though not sub

For July, tickets to be had at the White Hart or the Spa Room.

1752 18 June, 16 July, 13 Aug, 21 Sept, 19 Oct (last if desired) Assembly. Admitted of genteel appearance if introduced by subscriber
1753 Not mentioned
1754 4 July
(1756) (12 June, ad for house to be let in Terling says ‘about two Miles from Witham Spa’)

 

 


 

First World War. 15. Witham soldiers killed, together with information about the progress of the War

Witham in the First World War.
15. Witham soldiers who died in WW1, in date order, together with information about the progress of the War.

Compiled by Janet Gyford, c.2005

For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

General information is mostly from the schoolnet web site and from http://www.firstworldwar.com/onthisday

Details are mostly from the War memorial and the web site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

(Y) after names show people who almost certainly had their homes in Witham.
(P) shows people who perhaps had their names in Witham.
(N) shows people not living in Witham (but perhaps sons of Witham people etc.).

Black is Western front, blue at sea, brown Middle East, orange Italy, Greece and Turkey

Information about individuals is arranged like this:-

Date of death / Name / Rank / Honours / Regiment and unit /  Age / Additional info. from CWGC et al / Grave ref CWGC / Cemetery CWGC / Cemetery loc CWGC

I have only put the strokes (/) in the entries for the first two soldiers, because of lack of time. I hope the other entries will make reasonable sense all the same. Note that two double dashes [–    –] usually means that there is no information about the soldier’s age or relatives.

_____________________________

4 August 1914.  GB & F declare War on Germany.
7 to 16 August 1914.  First contingent of British Expeditionary Force lands in France.
21 August 1914.  British move towards Mons; 23rd the battle of Mons begins.
24-26 August 1914.  Retreat from Mons.
26 August 1914. Rearguard action at Battle of Le Cateau: British forced to retreat: Louvain destroyed by the Germans.

26 August 1914.  Lieut Auriol Round injured at le Cateau.
05 September 1914  /  Death of Auriol Francis Hay Round (Y)  /  Lieutenant  /  Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn.  /  22  /  Son of Francis R. Round, C.M.G., and F. Emily Round, of Avenue House, Witham  /  North boundary.  /  Witham (All Saints) Churchyard  /  United Kingdom, Essex
Essex County Chronicle 11 Sept says Auriol’s injury was on 26 Aug at Le Cateau.  Says he was taken back to London Hospital, got tetanus, died 5th Sept. Long report of him and funeral. First Essex army officer to be killed in the War.

-10 September 1914Marne
13-28 September, 1914. Aisne. Heavy fighting round Missy and Vailly.

14 September 1914  / Death of Richard Howard-Vyse, Chev. Legion d’Honneur Loyal N (Y)  /  Captain  /  Chev. Legion d’Honneur Loyal N  /  Lancashire Regiment, Adjt. 1st Bn.  /  37  /  Son of the late Lt. Gen. E. Howard-Vyse, of Witham, Essex.  /  — /   La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial

France, Seine-et-Marne
Aisne, bombardment of Reims Cathedral.

20 September 1914    Alexander Wighton Ingles (N)    Major    West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), 1st Bn.    45    Son of the Rev. Canon D. Ingles, of Witham, Essex; husband of Eugenie Ellen Ingles, of Heatherhurst, Camberley, Surrey. Served in the South African Campaign.       La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, France, Seine-et-Marne
[referred to in  EWN and ECC 1 Oct 1915 when Canon Ingles retired. Said he had been surrounded, but not surrendered]

15 October-22 November 1914, Ypres (1st B), British Expeditionary Force ‘effectively destroyed as professional army’.

Pacific: Battle of Coronel: H.M.S.s “Monmouth” and “Good Hope” lost in fight with von Spee’s German squadron.

01 November 1914    Ernest George Glass (Y)    Stoker 1st class    Royal Navy, HMS Good Hope    32    Son of John and Alice Jane Glass, of 4, Scrivener Terrace, Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex.      4. Portsmouth Naval Memorial    United Kingdom, Hampshire

1 Jan – 30 March 1915, Allied offensive in Artois and Champagne

01 January 1915    William Everitt (N)    Private    Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.   32    Husband of Annie L. M. Everitt, of 34, Gideon Rd., Lavender Hill, London.     Panel 1, Ploegsteert Memorial    Belgium, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut
Not on War memorial but buried in All Saints churchyard, Witham.

03 March 1915    Henry William Warr (N)   Private    Essex Regiment, 6th Bn.    48    Son of Charles Wesley Warr; husband of Elizabeth Warr, of 59, Park Rd., West Ham, London. Born at Stratford.      North-west of church    Witham (All Saints)    United Kingdom, Essex

Early March 1915, Neuve Chapelle

17 April 1915    J O’Connell (N)    Private    Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 7th Bn.    —    —   North-east corner, Witham (All Saints) churchyard    United Kingdom, Essex.   One of the soldiers billeted in Witham. [see newspaper] Not on War memorial.

22 April-May 25 1915. Ypres (2nd) Germans, poison gas
9 May 1915, Artois (2nd) began
13 May 1915. Beginning of Battle of Frezenberg. Battle of Frezenberg notorious for Essex men according to Ian Hook. ‘Famous charge’ by Essex Yeomanry.

Harry Mann of Witham wounded (according to later Essex Weekly News, 1 October 1915, when he was at home and had drawn pictures etc for an address to Canon Ingles, vicar, who was leaving).

8th – 13th May ‘Battle of Frezenberg Ridge During this phase of the battle of Ypres the Germans tried to smash through the front held by the 27th and 28th divisions by using their superiority in guns and ammunition. The front line trenches were obliterated, but despite this and the release of a further gas cloud on the 10th May they made little headway. By the end of the six day battle the Germans had advanced about a thousand yards’ (from http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~cjmorton/service/ww1/ypres/overview.htm)

March 1915 –January, 1916. Gallipoli

07 May 1915    James Everitt (Y)      Private    Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.    32    Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Everitt, of 67, Maldon Rd., Witham, Essex.      Panel 144 to 150 or 229 to 233, Helles Memorial    Turkey, unspecified

Gallipoli, two divisions effect surprise landing at Suvla Bay and attack

06 August 1915    F O Joslin (N)    Private    Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.    21    Son of Mrs. J. Everitt, of Rose Cottage, Great Baddow, Chelmsford.    Of Boreham, Essex.      Sp. Mem. C. 313, Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery     Turkey, unspecified

06 August 1915    H T Payne (P)    Second Lieut       Essex Regiment, 3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn.    —    —    VII. D. 1, Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery    Turkey, unspecified

25 September – 13 Oct 1915. Artois-Loos

04 October 1915    G C Dawson (Y)    Private       Essex Regiment, 11th Bn.    21    Son of Mrs. S. Dawson, of Church St., Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex.      I. E. 12,. Chocques Military Cemetery   France, Pas de Calais
Essex County Chronicle, 15 and 22 Oct 1915, just says ‘in action at the Dardanelles’. Memorial service etc. All his 4 brothers serving

09 October 1915    Hubert Noel Pelly [or Hubert Richard in ECC] (Y)    Lieutenant    Essex Regiment, 1st/7th Bn.    20    Son of Edmund Nevill Pelly and E. Mary Pelly, of Witham Lodge, Witham, Essex.       IV. B. 2, 7th FIELD AMBULANCE CEMETERY   Turkey, unspecified

18 October 1915    Edward Ernest Shelley (P)   Private    Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    —    —     Panel 85 to 87, Loos Memorial    France, Pas de Calais

23 October 1915    Charles Leonard Sneezum
(Y)   Private     Essex Regiment, 11th Bn.    22    Son of Arthur William and Alice Sneezum, of High St., Witham.      North-West of Church, Witham (All Saints) Churchyard     United Kingdom, Essex
Died in England from wounds received at Loos, and buried in Witham – see Essex County Chronicle and Essex Weekly News 5 Nov 1915, and photos M922-927

2 Feb 1916, British introduced conscription
Verdun (the French)

20 March 1916    Frank Edward Haygreen (Y)   Driver    Royal Engineers, 70th Field Coy.    25    Son of Emma Jane Haygreen, of 7, Trafalgar Square, Maldon Rd., Witham, Essex.      IV. E. 49, Lillers Communal Cemetery     France, Pas de Calais

18 May 1916    R C Brown (Y)    Private    Essex Regiment, 11th Bn.    37    Husband of Mrs. A. Brown, of Church St., Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex.      I. M. 23. Wimereux Communal Cemetery   France, Pas de Calais

18 May 1916    George William Sneezum (Y)   Private      Essex Regiment, 11th Bn.    24    Son of Arthur William and Alice Sneezum, of 151, High St., Witham, Essex.      II. N. 21, Essex Farm Cemetery   Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen.  See Essex County Chronicle, 26 May 1916, shot by bullet, buried Essex Farm.

1 July to c. 18 November, 1916.  Somme (1st day, 1 July, worst in history of army, 1/3 killed. Offensive starts north and south of Somme.

01 July 1916    Bert Allen (Y)    Lance Corp    Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn.    25    Son of Alfred and Agnes Allen, of 21, Mill Field Terrace, Witham, Essex.   Pier and Face 10 D, Thiepval Memorial    France,

Somme, British advance continued

15 July 1916    George William Fleming (Y)   Private    Suffolk Regiment, 4th Bn.    16    Son of Mr. A. and Mrs E. Fleming, of 19, Church St., Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex [probably Arthur and Ellen, from 1930 electoral register]      XI. C. 10,   Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz     France, [checked age 16 with cwgc, they said yes]

Somme. British storm and capture German second line positions.

17 July 1916    Alfred Potter (Y)    Private    Royal Munster Fusiliers, 2nd Bn.    25    Son of Mrs. E. Potter, of 28, Maldon Rd., Witham, Essex.    Pier and Face 16 C,  Thiepval Memorial    France.

13 August 1916    Clifford G. Shelley (P)    Private      Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    —    —    Pier and Face 10 D, Thiepval Memorial    France

France, Somme, near Courcelette the British front advanced

16 September 1916    F S Newman (N)    Private     Royal Army Service Corps, 9th Field Amb.    22   Son of Frederick and Rose Newman, of Sandon, Essex.   II. E. 50, La Neuville British Cemetery    Corbie

Somme, British storm Stuff Redoubt and advance

27 September 1916    Albert Clarence Prentice (Y)   Lance Corp    Essex Regiment, 11th Bn.    22    Son of Mrs. Emma J. Prentice, of 33, Powers Hall End, Witham, Essex.      Pier and Face 10 D, Thiepval Memorial    France

Somme, Thiepval ridge (except part of Schwaben Redoubt) all occupied. Advance south of Eaucourt l’Abbaye.

30 September 1916    Walter Henry Howell (Y)   Private   London Regiment, 1st/9th Bn. (Rifleman, Queen Victoria’s Rifles)    20    Son of Charles William and Agnes Howell, of Witham, Essex.       XI. D. 6, Etaples Military Cemetery    France, Pas de Calais

06 October 1916    Edwin Graham-Brown (P)
[or just E G Brown]    Private    Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, 11th Bn.    —    —   Pier and Face 11 C, Thiepval Memorial    France, Somme

Somme, front, north: … Germans regain ground.

06 November 1916    F T W Hammond (Y)    Lance Corp      Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    21    Son of George and Elizabeth Hammond, of Bridge St., Witham, Essex.       VIII. H. 6, Habarcq Communal Cemetery Extension     France, Pas de Calais

Somme, battle of the Ancre: British capture [several places] … and nearly 4,000 prisoners.

13 November 1916    James Murray Round, M.C. (Y)    Captain    MC    Essex Regiment, 13th Bn.   22   Son of the late Francis R. Round, C.M.G., and of Frances Emily Round, of Avenue House, Witham, Essex.      I. K. 37, Serre Road Cemetery No. 2   France, Somme
Probably something in newspapers about him

28 November 1916    A E Baker (P)    Private       Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    —    —
II. B. 13, Wanquetin Communal Cemetery     France, Pas de Calais

South of the Ancre British penetrate … into enemy positions … North of the Ancre British take hostile trenches

 17 February 1917    A A Phillips (P)    Private        Northamptonshire Regiment, 6th Bn.    —    —    IV. D. 8, Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt    France, Somme

Germans begin to withdraw in front of Serre.

21 February 1917    Maurice J Bones (P)    Private       Essex Regiment, 13th Bn.    —    —    Pier and Face 10 D, Thiepval Memorial     France, Somme

March – April 1917, Gaza

Gaza, First Battle of Gaza. General Murray attacks; thick fog; Gaza surrounded, but not penetrated

26 March 1917    Alfred James Seaborn (Y)   Private  Essex Regiment, 5th Bn.    21    Son of Charles and Emily Seaborn, of Ardley’s Yard, High St., Witham, Essex.    Panels 33 to 39,  Jerusalem Memorial   Israel, unspecified

26 March 1917    P F Adams (P)    Private        Essex Regiment, 1st/5th Bn.    —    —    X. C. 7, Gaza War Cemetery     Israel, unspecified

6 April 1917, US declares war on Germany
8 April – end May, 1917, Arras
British advance … Severe fighting …

07 April 1917    C. Driver (Y)    Corporal    M.M.    Gloucestershire Regiment, 2nd/5th Bn.    30    Son of Mrs. A. Driver, of Mill Lane, Witham, Essex. [he was a singer, see Essex County Chronicle, 17 January 1917, when he was on sick leave]    I. C. 42,    Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy     France, Aisne

07 April 1917    J C Bright (P)    Lance Corp       Suffolk Regiment, 11th Bn.    —    —    I. K. 49,    Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension     France, Pas de Calais

Arras, British capture [several places] German attack on British … repulsed.

14 April 1917    William Ernest Duncombe (Y)   Private    Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.    20    Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Duncombe, of Water Works, Witham, Essex.      Bay 7, Arras Memorial     France, Pas de Calais

Gaza, Second Battle of Gaza. Heavy fighting and much ground gained, but, owing to severe losses, attack not pushed through.

19 April 1917    Frederick William Cornwell (Y)   Private    Hampshire Regiment, 1st/8th Bn.    27   Son of Sarah Cornwell, of 3, Scrivener Terrace, Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, and the late Frederick Cornwell.      Panels 28 and 29,    Jerusalem Memorial      Israel, unspecified

Arras, British gain ground east of Fampoux (east of Arras).

21 April 1917    Sidney Arthur Hutley (Y)   Corporal     Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent), Regiment, 6th Bn.    20    Son of Mrs. M. A. Hutley and the late James Hutley, of Hope Cottage, Mill Lane, Witham, Essex.      1, Hesdin Communal Cemetery      France, Pas de Calais

Arras, South of Moronvilliers two heavy enemy counter-attacks fail.

01 May 1917    Robert Steele Stoneham (P)    Lance Corp    Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn.    —    —    Bay 7, Arras Memorial      France, Pas de Calais

Arras, Repulse of various German attacks on ground gained by Allies

11 May 1917    F Perry (P)    Private    Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    —    —    XXV. A. 9A, Etaples Military Cemetery     France, Pas de Calais

Arras, British storm most of Bullecourt, and Roeux trenches. Enemy’s counter-attack fails.

12 May 1917    Frederick William Thorogood (N)   Private    Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, 6th Bn.    27    Husband of Jane Elizabeth Thorogood, of 131, Arlington Rd., Camden Town, London.      Bay 7, Arras Memorial     France, Pas de Calais

21 May – 14 June, 1917. Messines

25 June 1917, US troops arrive in France

July – late Sept 1917, Passchendaele, including Ypres (3rd)

20 July 1917    Stephen Wilfred Tyrell (N)    Private   Middlesex Regiment, 23rd Bn.    32    Son of Clara Tyrell, of Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex, and the late Peter Tyrell; husband of Beatrice Emma Tyrell, of Brook Villa, White Notley, Witham, Essex.      Sp. Mem. H. 1, Hedge Row Trench Cemetery     Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen
Essex Weekly News 25 January 1918, page 6, re funeral of Stephen’s father Peter, says ‘Mr and Mrs Tyrell recently lost second son in France. The eldest is at present in Salonika’.

Gaza, successful British raid

22 July 1917    Herbert Hooten (P)    Private       Dorsetshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.    23    Son of Mrs. Lily Pettitt.      Panel 22 and 63,  Basra Memorial   Iraq, unspecified

Passchendaele Intense artillery activity in Flanders.

22 July 1917    B Bickmore (Y)    Corporal      Royal Field Artillery, “C” Bty. 83rd Bde.    35    Husband of Sarah Ann Bickmore, of 51, Maldon Rd., Witham, Essex.      I. L. 8, Perth Cemetery (China Wall) Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen,

Passchendaele, successful British raids [does it mean air ?]

28 July 1917    Frank James Goodey (N)    Gunner      Royal Garrison Artillery, 163rd Siege Bty.    36    Son of James and Mary Goodey, of Witham, Essex [James probably UDC water engineer]; husband of Louisa Goodey, of 9, Grosvenor Rd. East, St. Albans.      III. A. 3, Mendinghem Military Cemetery     Belgium, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, 3rd battle of Ypres begins. British and French attack on 15-mile front in Flanders

31 July 1917    Charles Blade Wenden (Y)    Second Lieut   Royal Garrison Artillery, 104th Siege Bty.   28    Husband of Jessie M. Wenden, of Witham, Essex.      I. I. 14, Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery   Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, Positions ….retaken by British. Germans attack … and carry some trenches.

02 August 1917    Henry Everitt (P)    Corporal       Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, 6th Bn.    —    —    Bay 7, Arras Memorial     France, Pas de Calais

Ypres, Allies attack on nine-mile front … capturing all objectives … Germans press back British from ground won earlier in the day.

16 August 1917    Henry Charles Godfrey (Y)   Private    Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.    19    Son of Henry and Florence Godfrey, of 27, Bridge St., Witham, Essex.      Panel 98 to 99, Tyne Cot Memorial      Belgium, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, north of Ypres slight British advance.

20 August 1917    Cyril Chaplin (Y)    Corporal       East Surrey Regiment, 9th Bn.    24    Son of Henry James and Caroline Chaplin, of Bridge St., Witham.   In North-West part, Witham (All Saints) churchyard      United Kingdom, Essex
[died in England: see M photos:-]

Ypres … British line slightly advanced.

23 August 1917    G. Pavelin (P)    Private    Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 9th Bn.    —    —    XVIII. B. 3A,    Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery      Belgium, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, British advanced line forced back from positions gained on 22 August.

24 August 1917    Harold Cecil Round (Y)    Captain   D.S.O., M.C.    Rifle Brigade, 6th Bn. attd. 9th Bn.   21    Son of Frances Emily Round, of Avenue House, Witham, Essex, and the late Francis Richard Round, C.M.G.       Panel 145 to 147, Tyne Cot Memorial   Belgium, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen
See Essex County Chronicle, 14 Sept 1917. There was a memorial service, jointly with Capt R L Hardy (for whom see below. This was the Rounds’ third son to be killed; a fourth, Pt A J M Round of the Canadian Forces, was at the memorial service]

24 August 1917    Richard Luard Hardy (N)   Captain    Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 8th Bn.    26   Son of the late Richard Gillies Hardy, C.S.I., and of Charlotte Amfie [sic] Hardy, of The Hurst, Church Crookham, Hants [Charlotte = 1st daughter of Admiral Luard]      Sp. Mem. A. 3, Hooge Crater Cemetery      Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen
Essex County Chronicle, 14 Sept 1917 reported a memorial service, jointly with Capt H Round (for whom see above)

Ypres, Enemy’s attacks on Tower Hamlets’ ridge (Ypres) repulsed.

21 September 1917    Harry W Collar (P)    Private      Durham Light Infantry, 20th Bn.    26    Son of the late William and Eliza Collar, of Gestingthorpe, Essex.      Panel 128 to 131 and 162 and 162A, Tyne Cot Memorial      Belgium, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

19 October 1917    Ernest William Horsnell (P)   Private   Northumberland Fusiliers, 22nd (Tyneside Scottish) Bn.    —    —    Panel 19 to 23 and 162,   Tyne Cot Memorial      Belgium, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, Germans regain a little ground … German attack(s) … repulsed.

23 October 1917    G William Jopson (Y)    Private       Essex Regiment, “C” Coy. 10th Bn.    25    Son of David and Mary Jane Jopson, of 68, Church St., Chipping Hill, Witham, Essex.      Panel 98 to 99,    Tyne Cot Memorial      Belgium, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen

Ypres, German attack in Champagne repulsed.

28 October 1917    Louis Bradshaw (P)    Gunner       Royal Garrison Artillery, 171st Siege Bty.    —    —   I. I. 39, Ypres Reservoir Cemetery      Belgium, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen

Middle East, British capture positions north of Beersheba. On Tigris, British rout Turks near Dur, 85 miles above Baghdad.

02 November 1917    G W Webb (P)    Private       Essex Regiment, 1st/5th Bn.    —    —      XXVI. F. 1, Gaza War Cemetery      Israel, unspecified

20 November – 7 Dec 1917, Cambrai
Cambrai, Surprise British Advance Third Army … attacks on ten mile front … “Hindenburg Line” broken, numerous villages captured …

20 November 1917    Henry William Perry Porter (N)    Lance Corp    Royal Engineers, 1st Bn [newspaper says Northumberland Fusiliers]    32   Son of James and Oliva Porter, of High St., Witham, husband of Kathleen Matilda Porter, of Terling, Chelmsford [Riverhill Terling acc to newspaper].   Bay 2-3, Arras Memorial      France, Pas de Calais. Mentioned in Essex Weekly News, 4 Jan 1918 p 5, and 11 Jan p 1, 25 Jan p 5 col 6 (‘Mrs Porter of Terling. Husband Lance Corporal Henry W P Porter in Northumberland Fusiliers, reported killed last year. Letter from officer. 32 years. Front for 11 months. Only son of Mr and Mrs J Porter of Witham. Assisted father in business of plumber and painter, and in Witham Fire Brigade’).

Cambrai [?],. fierce fighting … British gains …

24 November 1917    Herbert Sidney Valentine (P)   Corporal    Middlesex Regiment, 20th Bn    —    [see photo M1680 and Tribunal in Essex County Chronicle 24 Mch 1916]      Addenda Panel,    Cambrai Memorial, Louverval      France, Nord

03 January 1918    William Charles Bones (Y)   Signalman [Leading Signalman on CWGC]      Royal Navy, H.M. S/M. “G8.”    22    Son of Charles and Mary Elizabeth Bones, of Temperance Hotel, [9 Albert Road] Witham, Essex.    27.    Plymouth Naval Memorial    United Kingdom, Devon

13 January 1918    A H Goody (P)    Private       Northamptonshire Regiment, 6th Bn.    —    —   XV. D. 30, Cement House Cemetery      Belgium, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West-V.
Essex Weekly News, 8 Feb, page 5, col 7 says he ‘died of pneumonia in the Holy Land’.

16 January 1918    Charles John Nelthorpe Aldham (N)    Signaller   London Regiment, 2nd/24th Bn.   31    Son of Alfred B. Aldham, of Witham, Essex [newspaper says of Parkside, Maldon Road]; husband of Emily Bertha Aldham, of 16, York St., Covent Garden, London.      R. 10, Jerusalem War Cemetery     Israel, unspecified

19 February 1918    Harry Chaplin (Y)    Private       London Regiment, 2nd/18th Bn. (London Irish Rifles) [at first was in RAMC]    22    Son of H. J. and Caroline Chaplin, of 38, Bridge St., Witham, Essex.   T.97, Jerusalem War Cemetery     Israel, unspecified
[died in England?].

15 March 1918    Albert Walter Randall (P)   Sergeant    M.S.M.    Army Service Corps, M.T. Coy.   25    Son of Mary Ann Easter (formerly Randall), of 14, Uphavering Terrace, Abbs Cross Rd., Hornchurch, and the late Walter John Randall. Born at Witham.      Near north boundary, Witham (All Saints) Churchyard      United Kingdom, Essex.  Essex Weekly News, 22 March 1918, p 6 col 6. Report of ‘Funeral of Staff sergeant Albert W Randall, MM, ASC (MT), All Saints church.’ Mourners: Mrs Easter, mother; Miss K Randall, sister …and Mr Easter. … Wreath included one from Witham Catechism. At close, Patrol Leader H Bickmore of the Witham scouts sounded the last post.

21 March 1918, Germany launches Spring push, eventually mounting five major offensives against Allied forces, starting with the Battle of Picardy
Germans take … [several places] and reach line of Somme.

 23 March 1918    Harry Sewell (P)    Private    The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 11th Bn.    —    —      Bay 2, Arras Memorial      France, Pas de Calais

Germans held in desperate fighting … cross Somme between … take … [several places]

24 March 1918    Albert A Wright (P)    Private       Middlesex Regiment, 23rd Bn.    —    —      Bay 7,    Arras Memorial      France, Pas de Calais

North of Somme … heavy German attacks break down.
South of Somme  … Demuin lost and retaken by British.

30 March 1918    G H Turner (P)    Corporal    12th Lancers.    —    —      Panel 4, Pozieres Memorial   France, Somme

30 March 1918    Harry William Mann (Y)   Lieutenant    Royal Field Artillery, 178th Bde.    34   Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. F. J. T. Mann, of Witham, Essex; husband of Elsie Muriel Bennett, (formerly Mann), of the Castle House, Ongar, Essex. A.R.I.B.A. Went to France in 1914 as Serjt. in Essex Yeomanry [also see 13 May 1915 above]          I. O. 4, Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere   France, Pas de Calais

9 April 1918, Germany launches second Spring offensive, the Battle of the Lys, in the British sector of Armentieres
Violent attacks on junction of British and French …  south of Somme.

24 April 1918    William John Claydon (Y)    Private   Bedfordshire Regiment, 7th Bn.    18    Son of G. and Annie Claydon, of 14, Bridge St., Witham, Essex.
II. C. 11,  Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux   France, Somme

Minor infantry actions. Enemy guns active …

02 May 1918    Louis George Chaplin (Y)    Private     Cheshire Regiment, 11th Bn.    —    —     V. A. 2,  La Clytte Military Cemetery      Belgium, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen. See M photos

27 May 1918, Third German Spring offensive

Third Battle of the Aisne, begins in French sector along Chemin des Dames. New German thrust for Paris. … Allies’ line pressed back …

27 May 1918    Edward Reed (Y)    Sergeant       Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn.(see addit. dets.)    32   Territorial Efficiency Medal. Son of the late William and Ella Mountain Reed, of High St., Witham, Essex. (Main Regt Northamptonshire Regt. Secondary Regt. Essex Regt, formerly “A” Coy. 8th (Cyclist) Bn.    —    Soissons Memorial      France, Aisne

9 June 1918, Germans launch fourth Spring offensive. Battle of the Matz, in French sector between Noyan and Montdider

19 June 1918    John Shelley (Y)    Private    The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 6th Bn.   19    Son of John and Gertrude Shelley, of Witham, Essex.      C. 4, Harponville Communal Cemetery Extension      France, Somme

20 June 1918    H Hammond  (Y)    Private [Lance Corp in CWGC]    Sussex Regiment, 2nd Bn.    —    —      P. 12, Cambrin Military Cemetery      France, Pas de Calais

09 July 1918    Alan Joseph Smith (Y)    Second Lieut    Royal Garrison Artillery, 49th Siege Bty.   19    Son of Joseph Ernest and Florence Mabel Smith, of Earlsmead, Witham, Essex.      Plot 2. Row A. Grave 9, Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, Morbecque      France, Nord

15 July 1918, Final phase of great German Spring push. Second Battle of Marne, begins

18 July 1918, Allies counterattack against German forces, seizing initiative

8 August 1918, start of successful Amiens offensive, forcing all German troops back to the Hindenburg Line; Ludendorff calls it a “black day” for German army

 10 August 1918    F Dawson (P)    Private    4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars    —    —      II. I. 4/6,    Fouquescourt British Cemetery      France, Somme

10 August 1918    F Britton (P)    Corporal    Essex Regiment, 9th Bn.    21    Son of George James and Matilda Alice Britton, of Hill Side View, Wickham Bishops, Witham, Essex.      B. 14, Morlancourt British Cemetery No.2      France, Somme

British retake Merville (Lys front).

19 August 1918    Percy Herbert Babbs (Y)   Private    Norfolk Regiment, 12th Bn.    33    Husband of Edith Babbs, of Eagle Cottage, Witham, Essex.      II. C. 64, Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul      France, Nord

Battle on 23-mile front; Troops of First Army, supported by tanks, break through Drocourt-Queant “Switch” line, south of Scarpe, capture Cagnicourt and Villers, encircle and take Queant by nightfall; 10,000 prisoners. On Lys front British also gain ground, and north of Peronne, where Sailly-Sallisel and whole of St. Pierre-Vaast Wood re-taken.

02 September 1918    Arthur Ernest Norman [is E A on War Memorial] (N)    Lance Corp [Private on cwgc]    Essex Regiment, 2nd Bn.    29    Husband of E. S. Norman, of Bridge St., Writtle, Chelmsford.   II. K. 25, Dury Crucifix Cemetery      France, Pas de Calais.

Further info from Ian Hook: Originally C Company of the 1st/8th (Cyclist) Battalion
Born and lived Witham, enlisted at Maldon Entitled to the British War and Allied Victory Medals (N.Archive Medal Roll file WO329/1378 as Pte)

In Yugoslavia, Allies continue to advance on both sides of Vardar river.

24 September 1918    Charley [sic] Cole (Y)   Driver    Royal Field Artillery, “B” Bty. 102nd Bde.    27    Son of John and Martha Cole, of Witham, Essex.      Plot 5. Row B. Grave 4, Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetery Extension       Italy, unspecified

British take Cambrai. Advance continued. Since 21 August entire Hindenburg system broken through.

09 October 1918     Andrew Ager (P)    Sergeant   [MM in CWGC]    Essex Regiment, 1st Bn.    —    —      Panel 7, Vis-En-Artois Memorial      France, Pas de Calais

07 November 1918    George Ager [Agar in CWGC] (P)    Private    The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 9th Bn.    27    Son of George and Alice Jennings, of Bridge St., Witham.  [?died in England] In North-West part, Witham (All Saints) churchyard      United Kingdom, Essex

07 November 1918    C Bones (P)    Private       Northamptonshire Regiment, 1st Garrison Bn.    —    — [flu epidemic in hospitals?]      411, Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery      Greece, unspecified
Not on War Memorial, but buried All Saints

21 February 1919    Herbert Du Cane Luard (N)   Commander    Coastguard (Plymouth)    49    Son of Admiral Sir William Garnham Luard and Lady Luard, of The Lodge, Witham, Essex; husband of Bessie Luard, of Keith Cottage, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hants.      East of church, Witham (All Saints) churchyard      United Kingdom, Essex


SUMMARY

On War Memorial but details unknown
W E Butcher    Private        Royal Marine? HMS The Queen
A H Benson    Sergeant        Kings Royal Rifle Corps,
C H Everitt    Private        East Surrey Regiment

Numbers killed each year:
1914    4
1915    8 (plus 2 not on war memorial)
1916    14
1917    30
1918    23
(1919    1 not on war memorial)

On War memorial 79. Plus three unknown = 82.
Plus three not on war memorial but buried in All Saints = 85

On the War Memorial, 67, i.e. 79%, were killed from 1916 onwards, 53 (67%) from 1917 onwards.

 

First World War. 14. the Roll of Honour, with all those who were killed.

Witham in the First World War
14. The Roll of Honour, with all those who were killed.
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

The first two pages and the last two are copies of the original. The rest is typed.

 

Witham Roll of Honour, page 1, typed

To the Honour of
The Men of Witham
Who under the Flag of Freedom
fell in the Great War

Pte W J Claydon    Bedf Regt
Pte L G Chaplin    Ches Regt
Pte H W Collar    Durh L I
Pte H Hooten   PW    Dorset Regt
Cpl C Chaplin    E Surr Regt
Pte C H Everitt    E Surr Regt
Pte P F Adams    Essex Regt
Sergt A Agar    Essex Regt
L Cpl B Allen    Essex Regt
Pte A E Baker    Essex Regt
Pte M J Bones    Essex Regt
Cpl F Britton    Essex Regt
Pte R C Brown    Essex Regt
Pte G C Dawson    Essex Regt
Pte W E Duncombe    Essex Regt

Witham Roll of Honour, page 2, typed
Pte J Everitt    Essex Regt
Pte H C Godfrey    Essex Regt
L Cpl. F Hammond    Essex Regt
Pte G W Jopson    Essex Regt
Pte F Joslin    Essex Regt
L Cpl E A Norman    Essex Regt
2nd Lt H T Payne    Essex Regt
Lt H R Pelly    Essex Regt
Pte F Perry    Essex Regt
L Cpl A C Prentice    Essex Regt
Sergt E Reed    Essex Regt
Lt A F H Round    Essex Regt
Capt J M Round, MC    Essex Regt
Pte A J Seabern    Essex Regt
Pte C G Shelley    Essex Regt
Pte E E Shelley    Essex Regt
Pte C L Sneezum    Essex Regt
Pte G W Sneezum    Essex Regt
L Cpl R S Stoneham    Essex Regt
Pte G W Webb    Essex Regt
Cpl C Driver, MM    Glouc Regt

Witham Roll of Honour, page 3, typed
Pte F W Cornwell    Hamps Regt
Pte F Dawson    iv HRS
Sergt A H Benson    K R R F C
Capt R L Hardy    K R R F C
Pte G Pavelin    K R R F C
Sig C J N Aldham    London Regt
Pte H Chaplin    London Regt
Capt R Howard-Vyse
Chev.Legion d’Honneur    Loyal N Lan Regt
Cpl G H Turner    xii LRS
Pte S W Tyrell    Middx Regt
Cpl H S Valentine    Middx Regt
Pte A A Wright    Middx Regt
Pte P H Babbs    Norf  Regt
A H Goody    North N Regt
A A Phillips    North N Regt
E W Horsnell    Northd Fus
Capt H C Round, DSO, MC    Rif Brig
Driver F E Haygreen    R E
L Cpl H W P Porter    R E
Cpl B Bickmore    R F A

Witham Roll of Honour, page 4, typed
Driver C Cole    R F A
Lt H W Mann    R F A
Gnr L Bradshaw    R G A
Gnr F J Goody    R G A
2nd Lt Alan J Smith    R G A
2nd Lt C B Wenden    R G A
Pte A Potter    R Muns Fus
Cpl H Everitt    R W Kent Regt
Pte E Graham-Brown    R W Kent Regt
Cpl S A Hutley    R W Kent Regt
Pte F W Thorogood    R W Kent Regt
Pte G Agar    R W Surr Regt
Pte H Sewell    R W Surr Regt
Pte J Shelley    R W Surr Regt
Sergt A W Randall, MSM    R A S C
Pte F S Newman    R A M C
Pte W Everitt    S Gds
L Cpl J C Bright    Suff Regt
Pte G W Flemming    Suff Regt
Pte H Hammond    Sussex Regt
Maj A W Inglis    W Yorks Regt

Witham Roll of Honour, page 5, typed
Pte W E Butcher, RM    HMS The Queen
Sto 1st Cl  E G Glass    HMS Good Hope

 

 

First World War. 13. the Muster Roll, with all who served and survived

First World War in Witham.
13.
Witham Muster Roll, with those who served and survived.
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

The first three pages and the last one are copies of the original. The rest is typed.

 

 

Witham Muster Roll, page 1, typed
H V Acutt    P Bright
A Appleton    H T Brown
B Appleton    H Brown
S H Alderton    F Brown
G J Alderton    P Brown
C Alderton    Edgar Brown
V F Andrews    S G Brown
C J Aldous    F E Brown
F Aylett    R S Brown
E V Attkinson    F Boobyen
C Algar    E Bickmore
E Algar    A Bickmore
E Adams    N Barber
F Adams    C Barber
P Adams    A Blaber
F R Ardley    J Barrett
A Allen    A E Brewster
J Bright    A Baldwin
A H Bright    H Baxter
G Bright    F Baxter
A Bright    G W Butcher
A Barber   P.W.

Witham Muster Roll, page 2, typed
H Butcher    H Belsham
W Butcher    A Brice
Bernard Blyth    J H Brook
H B Brandt    S Baldwin
W Bull    E W Bright
G Borley    A C Brown
T C Borley    A Beard
E Brand    W J J Burch
A Bott    F Bell
G Bell    J S Bell
P Burton    W E Cornwell
W Bircher    A Cornwell
H Bibby    S E Cook
W Bibby    G Cook
H Barwell
F W Cullen
S R Bradley    L Cullen
A Bradley    E G Cunningham
D Bowyer    J Chamberlain
E V Butler    H Cutts
A R Budge    A Corlick
H F D Corley

Witham Muster Roll, page 3, typed
E Collard    C Dowsett
D Crittall    G Darby
R B Crittall    C Davis
D Chambers    A Driver
C Claydon    T Dodman
A Claydon    A G Drury
A E Claydon    S Drew
C Campney    W Dazley
G B Croxall    P Dorpy
A P Champ    H J Dennis
W Christy    R F G Doole
A G Crayford    C Dorking
E Crabbe    W Dessent
B Coleman    E M Drake
W Cottee    P Dwyer
E Cutmane    V H Duncombe
P C Clomping    H G Duncombe
C Cafer    S Everitt
F T Chilvers    C P Eldred
H L Evitt
P Eckersleigh

Witham Muster Roll, page 4, typed
F Emmens    E Goates
M Ewers    H Green
C H English    F Green
E Frances    A Gray
A Fenner    A E Griggs
D French    A Gosling
D J Frost    E C Gimson
A Fisher    R B Gardner
A B Groves    J H Gardner
J B Groves    E W Grimsey
P Groves    A E Gibbons
L Groves    A Hutley
R Glover    L Hutley
H Godfrey    E Hubbard
P Goody    F Hubbard
H Goody    T Haggar
B Goody    E J Hales
E Goody    P Hambley
F Gaymer    F J Hawkes
R Gaymer    A H Hicks
E Hawkins
W Hoy   P.W.

Witham Muster Roll, page 5, typed
H W Hyde   P.W.    H Lucking
S Haywood    F Lucking
C Horsby    G Lucking
J Hawson    C Lucking
C Hayter    V Larking
J E Hines    A Lazell
E Hawkes    C C A Long
W Haygreen    J Lake
F Haygreen    E Lapwood
V R Halliday    C Lapwood
F Haves    F Lapwood
A G Hammond    A G Love
A Hammond    C Ladkin
A Hooke    J E Lewis
T Johnson    B Mann
W T Johnson    F Mann
C H Jennings    A Manning
J Joy    H de Monte
F W Joslyn    H Mortimer
J W Keeble    M Marshall
H G Keeble    J W Marshall
F Kemp

Witham Muster Roll, page 6, typed
J Matthams    P Pavelin
R S Mott    J Potter
W Mott    G Pryor
D Mead    H Poulter
W Marshall    T Poulter
J Mawdsley    F R Parker
A K Motion    D O Peddock
F Mayes    C A Peacock
A Newman    C Peacock
O Naylor    J Pullinger
E Noble    W C Pembel
F A W North    P Phillips
C A North    A Parker jun.
G H North    A Parker sen.
P Ottley    S V Pearce
C Owers    S E M Pierce
R Oxbrow    W H M Pattisson
J B Purl    J H Pattisson
H Purl    B Pinkham
A Parker    F R Perkins
W Pavelin    W J Perkins

Witham Muster Roll, page 7, typed
R Pattern    A Rudkin
J M Pelly    F Rudkin
D E Pelly    W Russell
E G Pelly    J E Russell
A Pyke    M Russell
F Prentice    J Reid
G Rudkin    G Ringe
C Reed    W Ringe
F Rice    E Rayment
S Rice    J Razy
W Rice    G Ritson
W E Raven    T Rumsey
J H Rawling    J Sorrell
W Rushen    F Shuttleworth
E Rushen    F G Smith
A Rushen    V J Smith
Albert Rushen    A G Smith
C F Rushen    G S Smith
C Richards    C L Smith
H W Richards    L E W Smith
R Richardson    S Smith

Witham Muster Roll, page 8, typed
H Smith    W Stoneham
E A Smith    B Stoneham
S T Smith    W Stringer
J Smith    G Saunders
W J Smith    J Sillett
S L Smith    H Sillett
R Smith    A C Seaborn
A Shelly    W Saville
G Shelly    B Sneezum
P B Shelly    P Sneezum
L Shelly    J Stiff
A Stoneham    G A Stock  P.W.
J Stoneham    F Stock
W Stevens    J Sutherland
S Springett    S Shillitoe
H Sainty    F Stubbings
E W Sainty    H Stubbings
S Sayer    L Shrempton
F Stoneham    E M Talbot
E Stoneham    J Tayler
H Stoneham   P.W.    A J Tayler
E Shelley   P.W.    E W Thompson  P.W.

Witham Muster Roll, page 9, typed
R E Thompson   P.W.    C Webb
G Thompson   P.W.    E Webb
A Thorogood    F Wager
H Thorogood    E Wager
S W Tyrall    W Wright
A Turner    R W Wakelin
F H Threadkill    F Walkinson
R Varden    F C Whiting
T White    J Yeadon
G Warren
F Wilky
R Woodward
W Woodward
C Whybrow
A Watchman
A J Watchman
A Wallace
F Wilshire
F G Wood
E A Wood
H J Wood
H Wood


The author of the first poem, William E Henley, was very well-known in late Victorian times.

The last poem, by Beatrix Brice Miller, was first published in the Times in 1916 and became very popular. During the War she had been a nursing helper in France.

 

First World War. 12. Introduction to Witham’s Muster Roll and the Roll of Honour

                                                                                   The First World War in Witham
12. Introduction to the Muster Roll and the Roll of Honour
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

These two documents record the men associated with Witham who served in the First World War 1914-1918. The Muster Roll shows those who survived, and the Roll of Honour shows those who were killed.

I used to think that the muster roll recorded all those who fought, whether they survived or not. But now I see that it must have been just those who survived. For instance the two Sneezum brothers who were killed (George and Charlie) are not on the muster roll, whilst their two brothers who survived, are there.

The roll of honour records those who were killed.

Compiling these lists  after the War was not an exact science. I think that a good number of the people on them didn’t actually live in Witham, but had some other connection. For instance, they might have lived here in the past, or their parents or other relatives lived here, or they worked here, or they were from some small nearby settlement.

Sometimes the surnames seem to be spelt wrongly, perhaps supporting the idea that they weren’t all very well-known to the scribe.

The original rolls are bound into one book with a reddish-brown suede cover. It used to belong to Harold Keeble of 1 The Bungalows, Mill Lane, who is included in the Muster Roll, as is his brother. I talked to him in February 1983 and he told me it had been found in a shop in Colchester some years ago. I borrowed it from him for a few hours, and with his permission had a photocopy made. I gave another copy to the Essex Record Office on 28 February 1983.

Mr Keeble died in January 1990. His son is Ken Keeble of 17 Pitt Avenue. Ken’s wife Daphne took the book to Witham Town Hall some time afterwards, and it was taken to Braintree District Museum as a loan (their reference BRA 541). Ken and Daphne have a photocopy themselves.

I have now scanned my photocopy into my computer (in my documents/muster roll and roll of honour first world war in both bitmap and word document format). I have recently been discussing Witham’s wartime with Ian Hook of the Essex Regiment Museum and am sending him a copy. I am sending another to the Witham branch of the British Legion who are also interested (Ron Sanders, 21 Shortridge Court, Hatfield Road, Witham. Essex. CM8 1ET)

Janet Gyford
20 March 2001

PS In 2017 I am also putting my copy onto my website, together with other information about Witham and the First World War ( https://www.janetgyford.com ).

First World War. 11. Soldiers on Witham War memorial

The First World War in Witham
11. Soldiers recorded on the War Memorial
Noted by Janet Gyford c.2005.
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

The War memorial some time after the First World War

The panel in the centre reads:
1914-1918
TO THE HONOUR OF
THE MEN OF WITHAM
WHO UNDER THE FLAG OF FREEDOM
FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
Their name liveth for evermore

Left wing, central panel
Pte. W. J. Claydon    Bedf Regt
Pte. L. G. Chaplin    Ches Regt
Pte. H. W. Collar    Durh L.I.
Pte. H. Hooten    Dorset Regt
Cpl. C. Chaplin    E.Surr Regt
Pte. C. H. Everitt    E.Surr Regt
Pte. P. F. Adams    Essex Regt
Sergt. A. Ager    Essex Regt
L.Cpl. B. Allen    Essex Regt
Pte. A. E. Baker    Essex Regt
Pte. M. J. Bones    Essex Regt
Cpl. F. Britton    Essex Regt
Pte. R. C. Brown    Essex Regt
Pte. G. C. Dawson    Essex Regt
Pte. W. E. Duncombe    Essex Regt
Pte. J. Everitt    Essex Regt
Pte. H. C. Godfrey    Essex Regt
L.Cpl. F. Hammond    Essex Regt
Pte. G. W. Jopson    Essex Regt
Pte. F. Joslin    Essex Regt
Pte. W. Howell    Lond Regt

Left wing, right panel
L.Cpl. E. A. Norman    Essex Regt
2nd Lt. H. T. Payne    Essex Regt
Lt. H. R. Pelly    Essex Regt
Pte. F. Perry    Essex Regt
L.Cpl. A. C. Prentice    Essex Regt
Sergt. E. Reed    Essex Regt
Lt. A. F. H. Round    Essex Regt
Capt. J. M. Round, M. C.    Essex Regt
Pte. A. J. Seaborn    Essex Regt
Pte. C. G. Shelley    Essex Regt
Pte. E. E. Shelley    Essex Regt
Pte. C. L. Sneezum    Essex Regt
Pte. G. W. Sneezum    Essex Regt
L.Cpl. R. S. Stoneham    Essex Regt
Pte. G. W. Webb    Essex Regt
Cpl. C. Driver M. M    Glouc Regt
Pte. F. W. Cornwell    Hamps Regt
Pte. F. Dawson    4th Hrs
Sergt. A. H. Benson    K.R.Rif.C.
Capt. R. L. Hardy    K.R.Rif.C.
Pte. C. Bones    1st North S.Regt

Right wing, left panel
Pte. G. Pavelin    K.R.Rif.C.
Sig. C. J. N. Aldham    Lond Regt
Pte. H. Chaplin    Lond Regt
Capt. R. Howard-Vyse,     Lan Regt
Chev. Legion d’Honneur
Loyal N
Cpl. G. H. Turner    12th Lrs
Pte. S. W. Tyrell    Midd’x Regt
Cpl. H. S. Valentine    Midd’x Regt
Pte. A. A. Wright    Midd’x Regt
Pte. P. H. Babbs    Norf Regt
Pte. A. H. Goody    North.N Regt
Pte. A. A. Phillips    North.N Regt
Pte. E. W. Horsnell    North.D Fus
Capt. H. C. Round,     Rif Brig
D.S.O., M.C.
Driver F. E. Haygreen    R.E.
L. Cpl. H. W. P. Porter    R.E.
Cpl. B. Bickmore    R.F.A.
Driver C. Cole    R.F.A.
Lt. H. W. Mann    R.F.A.
Gnr. L. Bradshaw    R.G.A.

Right wing, central panel
Gnr. F. J. Goodey    R.G.A.
2nd Lt. Alan J. Smith    R.G.A.
2nd Lt. C. B. Wenden    R.G.A.
Pte. A. Potter    R.Muns Fus
Cpl. H. Everitt    R.W.Kent Reg
Pte. E. Graham-Brown    R.W.Kent Reg
Cpl. S. A. Hutley    R.W.Kent Reg
Pte. F W Thorogood    R.W.Kent Reg
Pte. G Ager    R.W.Surr Regt
Pte. H. Sewell    R.W.Surr Regt
Pte. J. Shelley    R.W.Surr Regt
Sergt. A. W. Randall    M.S.M.
R.A.S.C.
Pte. F. S. Newman    R.A.M.C.
Pte. W. Everitt    S.Gds
L.Cpl. J. C. Bright    Suff Regt
Pte. G. W. Fleming    Suff Regt
Pte. H. Hammond    Sussex Regt
Maj. A. W. Ingles    W.Yorks Regt
Pte. W. E. Butcher    R.M. H.M.S.
The Queen
Sto. 1st Cl. E. G. Glass    H.M.S. Good
Hope
Sig. W.C Bones    R.N.

 

First World War. 10. The War Memorial, the Nurses’ bungalow, and Dr Knight

First World War in Witham.
10. Witham’s War Memorial, the Nurses’ Bungalow, and Dr Knight
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.
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[note: where there is an exact quotation, it is indicated by inverted commas ‘ ‘]

Oral History tape 35, interview with Miss Dorothy Stoneham on 1 April 1981
‘And during the First World War, we used to have a relief doctor down there. They called him Doctor Knight, a really busy little man. He used to run these sixpenny hops with just a piano you know. It was fine there. Well it was entertainment for the soldiers at the end. (Q: I suppose they came) oh yes, yes. Spoiled our lovely floor [in the Public Hall]. But it used to be when we first went there people with dance shoes on you see. But, of course, when the soldiers came they had boots. A beautiful floor it was. It was a shame really.’

Essex Weekly News, 11 July 1919, page 8
Decided to do Peace Celebrations on July 19. Subscription proposed rather than rates. Various suggestions put forward. Dr Knight wanted to give money to soldiers instead.

Essex Weekly News, 21 February 1919, page 6
Re War Memorial. General Committee and those who lost relatives in the war met. Executive Committee reported on design. Chose one whose cost would be £700. Mr Laurence has provided site. Adopted design. Agreed to include names of those killed in Witham, viz Rev D M Picton, Capt Shuttleworth and Lieut Maclaghan.

War Trophies exhibition at Drill Hall, Chelmsford.

Essex County Chronicle, 28 March 1919, page 5
Letter from ‘Chas. Fredk. Knight M.D., J.P., Witham, Essex’. re War Memorial. Re appeal by committee to collect £700 to erect a cross as memorial. ‘In the opinion of a large number of residents this project is simply a waste of money, and more suitable plans could be obtained by a properly called meeting of the inhabitants.’ House or bungalow for nurse is urgent. Inscription could be on it as on the cross, and also in the chapels and churches. ‘A Cottage Hospital would serve as a hospital and residence for nurses, but I believe the erection of one has been deemed impossible. Why, nobody seems to know’.

Essex Weekly News, 23 May 1919, page 3, col 3
Meeting at Public Hall, presided over by Dr C F Knight, 70 people present. Dr K had called the meeting ‘to promote the hospital scheme’. He had been asked where his Committee was and had answered ‘Dr Knight’s methods are not the usual methods’. Didn’t believe in Committee before public consulted. He had taken on Hon Sec because Mr Brandt couldn’t devote the time. Proposed to ask villages. Several sums of money committed, e.g. £100 Mr F Cullen, £50 Mrs Gimson, and 100 guineas promised from Co-op. He Dr K had also offered to give 100 guineas if 19 others did. Not in competition with other schemes. There had been a collection for a cottage hospital by Miss Vaux 6 or 7 years ago and she had put c £40 in the bank. Could perhaps be used. Discussion of running costs.

Mr Pelly said pity Dr K hadn’t submitted his proposals in November when memorial discussed. Felt then that distinction should be made between memorial for dead and thank offering for community, and decided to have memorial for dead. He said hospitals in other nearby towns accessible with telephone and motor ambulance these days. He favoured more of a nurses’ home with emergency room.

Dr K said providing for living was providing for dead. He knew many relatives preferred a hospital to a cross. Recently some emergencies delayed to distant infirmaries because telephone shut off at 8 pm. Mr Pelly said relatives had been unanimous about a cross.

Dr K then had to leave for an appointment, and said would leave it to the meeting to decide, and other audience left too.

Mr Pelly proposed memorial limited to £500 and balance to thank offering, i.e. nurses home with emergency room.
‘Mr Franklin, a working man, said the people of Witham required a hospital of their own. Let them have a hospital first and they would talk about a nurses home afterwards. Working men did not want to be carried off in a jolting cart to a Workhouse infirmary, and they would pay for the upkeep themselves, if necessary’. He moved an amendment to have a hospital, sec by Mr C Mayhew.
Canon Galpin chosen to take over the chair. Discussion. Mr Pinkham said hospital too expensive. 26 votes for amendment and 18 against, and so amendment [i.e. for hospital] carried.

Essex Weekly News 23 May 1919, page 8, col 8
‘A meeting to assist in the formation of a Workers Club and Institute in Witham will be held in the Public Hall, Witham, on Saturday 31st May at 3.30 pm (ADVT)’

Essex Weekly News, 6 June 1919, page 1, col 5
Two adverts.
(1) Top one ‘Witham Memorial Hospital’ – list of subscriptions or donations. C F Knight esq., M D, J.P., £100 at top. Long list. Total £640 19s 6d.
(2) ‘Witham Workers’ Club and Institute’. ‘It is proposed to have a reading room, library, billiards, billiard-bagatelle, draughts, chess, cards for whist, bezique and cribbage for members, dominoes and telephone. Also, ultimately, a swimming bath’. It is also proposed to hold excursions, fetes, dances, etc. Membership and subscriptions solicited. Address communications to Hon Sec, care of Dr Knight, Witham.

Essex Weekly News, 6 June 1919, page 8, col 7
Meeting of subscribers to original war memorial proposal. Hon C H Strutt presided. Chair had hoped for unanimity ‘but a second idea had been sprung upon them’. Much of money towards £700 collected. Chair said sorry movers in the Hospital scheme didn’t come and vote against them at first. Committee thought should be two separate things. At same time in favour of motor ambulance and nurses home. Capt S Abrey proposed to continue original scheme and carried unanimously. Mr P E Laurence sad ‘he regretted the valiant ‘Knight’ had somewhat sprung a second project upon them, but he might as well cry for the moon.’

Essex Weekly News, 13 June 1919, page 8
Ad for meeting in Public Hall re Workers Club and Institute. To be held to receive report of Executive Committee and to take action. ‘Contributions in the form of Articles of Furniture, Books etc will be welcomed. Hon Sec c/o Dr Knight, Witham.

Essex Weekly News, 27 June 1919, page 3, col 4
Headline ‘Another deadlock at Witham: Workers’ Club dropped over drink question’.

Meeting had been called by Dr C F Knight at Public Hall to receive report of Executive Committee re premises for proposed Workers Club. Canon Galpin in chair. Dr K outlined objects. Including crèche for working mothers and free milk. Sought sympathy ‘of all classes’. Executive Committee recommended The Retreat, Maldon Road ‘lately occupied by the Southern Army for a school’. Dr K proposed possession be sought. Mr Ebenezer Smith seconded, ‘remarking that it was a great undertaking, and he felt it should be supported to a greater extent than was evidenced by that meeting’. Chair asked about expense. Dr K said he would make up the the cost of lease if the Committee couldn’t. Mr C Locke advocated more modest proposal, saying if anything happened to Dr K it would put them in difficulties.

Bar for alcoholic drinks discussed. Mr Franklin proposed there should be one. Said ‘these Clubs were formed to keep people out of the public houses’. Tee totallers could still have what they wanted. Mr Sayers seconded.

Mr Ebenezer Smith moved amendment that question deferred 12 months and then a members ballot. He himself against the bar but didn’t want to debar his friends. ‘Mr C Hubbard seconded, and said he did not believe in drinking in a Workers’ Club. His many years’ experience as a policeman was dead against it. “If you start this Club with a bar,” he added, “it will become a boozing Club – [uproar] – and you will never get a teetotaller.”’

Dr K said that he was the only member of the Club at present and he favoured a bar. If the resolution passed ‘he would have nothing to do with the Club’. Resolution carried by twenty votes to eight. [to have a bar ? or not?]
‘Mr Ebenezer Smith: All the labours of Dr Knight have now been thrown away. The whole idea has fizzled out because of this. Mr Sayers: This is a bombshell. I am rather knocked off my feet. We did not regard Dr Knight’s expression of opinion as a threat’.

Note at end that Dr K sent letter to EWN saying this result most unsatisfactory and a club now forming ‘under my sole direction and management’ and hope to hold two fetes before long’ with club premises open to visitors.

Essex Weekly News, 4 July 1919, page 4, col 8
Two adverts [also similar for both on other dates]
(1) Witham Memorial Hospital. New subs. Including some from collectors. And some labelled ‘Residence for Nurses’. Secretary is Dr Knight. Captain R W Wakelin has offered to give a piece of ground for the residence.
(2) Workers’ Club and Institute ‘under the sole Direction and Management of Dr Knight’. Suitable premises are being procured. Resident and Non-resident members. Workers wishing to come into residence urged to apply. Particulars and rules obtainable from Dr K.

Essex Weekly News, 4 July 1919, page 8, col 3
We are informed by Dr Payne that the Retreat in Maldon Road Witham will shortly be offered for sale by public auction unless previously sold by private treaty (ADVT).

Essex Weekly News, 18 July 1919, page 5, col 2
Three adverts this time. Probably have been some for nurses residence before also.
(1) ‘Residence for Nurses. Witham is again without a maternity nurse. Subscriptions invited to Dr Knight. Captain Wakelin has promised site. £231 subscribed.
(2) Witham Memorial Hospital. As before. Some labelled ‘Residence for nurses’. Apply Dr Knight.
(3) Workers Club same as 4 July. Dr Knight.

Essex County Chronicle, 25 July 1919, page 8
Three ads, club as below re dances.

Essex Weekly News, 29 Aug 1919, page 5, col 2
Three adverts as 18 July. [and other dates, didn’t note all]
Same as before except bigger ad for Workers Club and Institute. Premises being procured. ‘Dances and Whist Drives will be held every Wednesday evening (but not on the Club Premises) from 3 Sept to end April. ‘Will those who wish to learn to dance kindly send their names and addresses to the Dancing Committee, care of Dr Knight’. Details of classes for beginners. Juvenile section also.

Essex County Chronicle, 29 August 1919, page 7
‘Social Effort at Witham. Many towns and communities will watch with much interest the efforts of Dr C F Knight, who is credited with the desire to do away with all class distinctions in the Witham Workers’ Club and Institute. The doctor has enlisted dancing as an aid to his laudable effort, and at his initial party his assistants were a number of young ladies, including daughters of local professional gentlemen. The duty of these ladies, which appears to have been enthusiastically carried out, is to give instruction in dancing, and the first effort is reported to have been an unqualified success. Dancing is certainly an excellent method to cultivate social intercourse, and in addition, it is a very healthful recreation.

A Difficult Task
Dr Knight has, however, undertaken a task which before now has broken the hearts of countless social reformers, for if there is one thing, more difficult to overcome that another it is class feeling. And though a great deal of that feeling is, in regard to some people, utterly inexcusable and unjustifiable, in many cases there is no justification, or at least some cause for the aloofness and unsociability which many people affect in this country. People are so differently constituted, and temperaments are so varied. They think, speak and act on planes so wide apart as the poles. At the same time class feeling is carried to a far greater extent in this country than it should or need be, and Dr Knight will deserve well of Witham if he succeeds in reducing it to something like reasonable proportions. It spoke well of the doctor’s knowledge of the task he has undertaken, that his efforts are almost entirely confined to the young’.

Essex County Chronicle, 29 August, 1919, page 8
‘The Doctor’s Dances. The second of a series of dancing lasses, arranged by Dr C F Knight, J P, for the young people of Witham, was held at the Public Hall on Wednesday evening, and was very well attended. The object of the promoter is to teach the young folk dancing in preparation for the club and institute he is ??ing for the winter. Miss Hawkins presided at the piano, and all the latest dances were practised’.
Also adverts as in EWN.

Essex County Chronicle, 5 September 1919
‘The Doctor’s Dances’ again. Weekly. Held on Weds, Great success. Between 200 and 300 dancers. 100 children.
Three adverts as elsewhere. Workers Club refers to Sports Section – gymnastics, , boxing etc.

Essex Weekly News, 3 October 1919, page 5, col 5
UDC meeting, decided to take over charge of motor ambulance presented to town by Hon C H Strutt. To be housed by Mr R Wakelin at Freebornes. Scale of charges ref to a Committee.

Essex County Chronicle, 14 Nov 1919, page 8
Doctors Dances. Packed again. Secretary of Countess of Warwick’s Social Club at Little Easton brought a party.
‘Witham Memorial Hospital and Residence for Nurses. Public meeting to be held to discuss plans.
Ad for workers club. Grand fancy dress ball. Gymnastics. Fencing . Boxing. Proceeds to Fund for Building residence for nurses and memorial hops. Next dance at Public Hall.

Essex Weekly News, 21 November 1919, page 3
Public meeting convened by Dr C F Knight in Public Hall re ‘proposed nurses’ residence and hospital’. Hon C H Strutt presided and said he looked on the idea as a thank offering for victory and peace’. Dr K, originator, said twelve months ago it was decided to erect a memorial in commemoration. He came to know of it in March. Not opposed to cross but thought should be other. Divided in three parts, ambulance, hospital, residence for nurses. Chairman had provided an ambulance and presented it to UDC. He Dr K had one objection, i.e. charge levied on the poor, i.e. 15s to Braintree whereas could hire large car for 12s. If it had been presented to him in connection with the home it would not have cost a penny. Re. residence for maternity and parish nurse, he ‘never contemplated building a hospital’, only one or two rooms in connection with the home. He proposed life and annual governors who would appoint committees. Plan of bungalow exhibited, cost estimated at £1,100 and £1,400.

‘Captain Abrey said if Dr Knight could prove that anyone had paid 16s for the ambulance to go to Braintree he would eat his hat’. Charge was 9d a mile. ‘He would like to know whether Dr Knight was a ratepayer’. Chairman said not relevant.

Mr P E Laurence absent but had written. Hoped subscribers would continue, have worked well for several years. Discussion of upkeep. Dr K said not intended it should come from rates.

Mr Pinkham said the quoted cost for the Hospital was far too little. ‘Captain Abrey, Dr Gimson and he had to inspect houses in the town, and they were disgusted to find the conditions under which people were compelled to live. They wanted houses for them to live in before one in which to cure them’.

Mr Franklin – subs had been for hospital and now it was a nurses home. ‘Where do the workers come in’. Canon Galpin said workers should help to run. Mr F Round was connected with Colchester Hospital and said the number of residents in Witham district would not justify a hospital. 20,000 residents in Witham Petty sessions division. Dr K Gimson also said they would need more money if they wanted a hospital. He and his brother would serve a hospital if required., but their idea was to get a bungalow erected with emergency bed.

Mr Franklin said this would be just a dressing station and not necessary because they could be ‘dressed where they were before being carried to the Workhouse’. Dr Gimson said he would serve a hospital but didn’t think working men could provide it. More discussion.

‘Dr Knight said he must bear in mind that the money had been given to him personally, and he was responsible that it was spent properly. When he returned he hoped to see the hospital growing and growing.- Mr Pinkham: We were unaware that Dr Knight was leaving the town – The Chairman said Dr Knight stated that the money had been subscribed to him. He should like the doctor to ask the subscribers if they would be satisfied with the Committee to carry out the scheme. Miss Pattisson stated that she as well as others paid their subscriptions into the bank with the idea that the scheme would be carried out by a Committee. Mr E J Smith: A good many would subscribe, but not to a one-man show.’

Executive Committee elected for building. Mrs Pelly, Mrs Brandt, Mrs Kellock, Mrs P Brown, Dr Knight (convenor), Drs K and E Gimson, Messrs Christopher W Parker, S Franklin, Ebenezer Smith, E G Smith, W Pinkham, and W P Perkins – The Chairman : I think we have done some good to the honour and glory of the town’. Mr Pinkham proposed the Nursing Cttee be asked to continue as before. Dr Knight seconded. Carried.

Essex Weekly News, 2 January 1920
page 3. Sharp correspondence between Dr Knight and Public Hall people about the floor of Public Hall and his dances and other matters.

Essex County Chronicle, 30 April, 1920
Three events reported:
(1) Grand concert given for Nursing Association.
(2) Local Committee of United Services Fund held at Comrades Hut. Rev C Reed presided. Two schemes submitted and adopted unanimously. (1) NADDSS should spend £20 on a quoit club. (2) Comrades of the Great War should allocate their proportion of the proceeds to further equipping their club.
(3) A meeting of the Brotherhood at the Congregational Church was announced as Bungalow Sunday. ‘Proceeds to assist nurses bungalow fund’.
Also an ad for Workers Club and Institute ‘under the sole direction of Dr Knight’. To be a sports meeting on Whit Monday. Membership open to all workers living in Witham or the rural districts.

Essex Weekly News, 14 May 1920, page 8
‘Hospital scheme wound up’. Meeting of subscribers called by Dr C F Knight. 15 people present. Report on progress re proposals he put forward 12 months ago. Public meeting in November decided his plan was too extensive and that they would only have a nurses bungalow. Efforts have been made to get people to transfer subscriptions to the Bungalow Fund instead now. Many had. Dr K pleaded for a combined scheme. Agreed by the meeting that the balance be handed to ‘the Bungalow and Emergency Ward Committee, provided the following were placed on the Committee:- Dr Knight, Mr Ebenezer Smith, Mr Franklin, Mrs Kellock, and Miss Garrett’. Dr K thanked Mr Chris W Parker (hon treas) for his assistance, and ‘that gentleman said the doctor had worked very hard, and he was glad he had agreed to go on the Committee’.

Essex Weekly News, 3 Sept 1920, page 3, col 6
At Witham UDC, Mr W Pinkham said Hon C H Strutt had asked him to say he was proposing to add to his gift of a motor ambulance, an endowment which would provide about £50 p a to provide free conveyance of poor patients to hospital, and if possible some of their maintenance. Council to accept.

Essex Weekly News, 10 September 1920, page 6 col 3
Fete and Pastoral Play by Comrades of the Great War in aid of the Witham Nursing Association.

Essex County Chronicle, 26 November 1920, page 3
Below is a verbatim copy of the newspaper report of the unveiling of the War Memorial.

‘WITHAM MEMORIAL. Unveiling by Sir J Du Cane
The Witham memorial, a handsome stone monument aurmounted by a cross, which had been erected by public subscription beside the main road just on the outskirts of the town on the Colchester side, was unveiled on Sunday afternoon, in the presence of a large gathering of parishioners, by Lieut-Gen Sir John P Du Cane ECB, second son of the late Sir Charles Du Cane MP of Braxted Park. The monument bears the names of the 79 Witham men who fell in the Great War, and is erected on a suitable site near the Avenue, the ground having been  kindly given by Mr Percy E Laurence, JP, of the Grove.

At the conclusion of the service of dedication, Mr Laurence handed the deeds conveying the site and monument to Mr Philip Hutley, JP, CA, chairman of the Witham Urban Council, to be in the care and keeping of that public body.

Before the service the flag on Witham Parish Church flew at half-mast. There was a procession from Church House to the site, of clergy, choir, discharged soldiers, lady nurses, Volunteers, and Boy Scouts, headed by the Witham Town Band, which played “Boys of the Old Brigade” as the procession passed through the Avenue to the monument. Major Gerald Bright, MC was in charge of the ex-Servicemen, whose ranks included two other officers wearing the MC – Lieut Bernard Blyth and Lieut Leslie Smith. Major W W Boulton was in charge of the Volunteers, Mrs Brandt of the nurses, and Lt Arnold Groves of the Boy Scouts. A guard of honour of ex-soldiers was formed from the memorial to the Grove for the arrival of General Sir John Du Cane. The relatives of the fallen heroes were accommodated inside the grounds attached to the monument, together with other visitors. Among those present in the enclosure were Lady Du Cane and her three daughters, the Misses Edith, Ella, and Florence Du Cane; the Hon C H Strutt and Mrs Strutt; Mr and Mrs C W Parker; Mrs Boulton, Mrs F R Round, Miss G O Laurence, Mr and Mrs P Hutley. The service of dedication was performed by the Rev Canon Galpin, vicar of Witham. After the singing of the hymn “O God, our help in ages past”, by the combined church and chapel choirs, the Rev Gilbert Rees, Congregational minister, offered prayer.

THE NAMES THAT WILL LIVE
The Hon C H Strutt, BA, JP, chairman of the Witham Esecutive Committee, introducing Sir John Du Cane, said he had proved himself a distinguished soldier, and the honours he gained in the war reflected upon the town of Witham. Some time ago at a public meeting in Witham it was decided to recognise the work and death of their fellow townsmen in the war by erecting a memorial which would be of no use to the present generation, but would serve simply and solely as a memorial to those who fought and died. The committee had not been unmindful of the present generation, as the erection of the hospital on the other side of the park showed, but it was their desire to erect a memorial that those who came after, generation succeeding generation, century after century, their children’s children, should be able to see the names of the men who fell, and regard their sacrifice as an example to do their duty regardless of life – such an example which it was hoped future generations would try to follow as the years rolled on. The Witham committee engaged an artist who had himself served in the war to design the memorial, and very well it had been done [this was sculptor Gilbert Ledward, who had a long training and practice in his art before fighting in the War, and who was now well known and much in demand for designing War memorials]. Detailing the design of the memorial, Mr Strutt said upon it was a lower cross of self-sacrifice, and above that the cross of triumph and victory, with a wreath around it, and pointing to Heaven. In bas relief there was the figure of a soldier, with one knee on the ground, keeping the flag flying tot he last, and in the distance the dust of battle, with St George riding on his horse to victory. There was plenty of need for victories in future, continued Mr Strutt; the war had been won, now the peace had to be won and kept. The Essex Regiment, to which a greater number of the Witham fallen belonged, did heroic deeds in the war; in the last retreat, when the General said the British Army must stand fast, and not give more ground, it was a section of the Essex Regiment that sent back word that they were not going back any more, but would stand where they were till they died. The men whose names were memorialised died in their youth. The Scriptures said all was vanity, but the deaths of those young man was not vanity. It was hoped that the spirit these gallant men showed would live in our people’s hearts for many generations.

“LEST WE FORGET”
General Sir John Du Cane then unveiled the monument by releasing the Union Jack which covered the base. He thanked Mr Strutt for the references to his family, and said the text of the war memorial service should be “Lest we forget.” Six years ago, before the war suddenly sprang upon us, Witham was a peace-loving town, as much as any place in England, and sent just a few men with the adventurous spirit to the Navy, Army, and Territorial Force. The nation took its risk not very seriously. Then suddenly on August 4, 1914, the crisis arose, and Britain was at war. Out of a population of 3,500 Witham sent 430 men to the war – 12 per cent of the people, and of those 79 did not return, but their names were inscribed on the memorial, and would live for evermore. These 79 men belonged to 30[?] Regiments, and two were in the Navy, 29 were in the Essex Regiment, and it was of that Regiment he would speak. In the war there were ten battalions of the Essex Regiment – two Regular, four Territorial, four Kitchener. The First Esseex belonged to the 29th Division, which Sir Ian Hamilton described as “the glorious 29th”, and landed[?] in Gallipoli. The 2nd Essex belonged to the 4th Division, and fought under his orders in France in 1914, 1916 and 1918. Of the other battalions, he only knew the 9th, which was in the 12th Division, and with which he was associated. The mere recounting of the actions in which these Essex Battalions took part was an indication of the heroism and endurance shown by the Essex men through the long contest. The endurance and fighting power of the Essex soldier should not be forgotten. There were some things which might be forotten – we might forget the necessity for preparation, and realise once more that condition of confidence as to what the future held in store for us, as in the years which preceded the war.

THE WORLD AND WAR
If people would look around the world at the present moment, what justification was there for thinking that the Great War had been fought to end all war ? Many of them had that aspiration, but the world was taking some time to settle down. But the people must not forget the sacrifice of the men who fell, and of the survivors.  In this country there were several hundreds of thousands of ex-soldiers who could not find suitable employment. With heartfelt thanks they received victory in a spirit of true humility. Sir John concluded by reciting Kipling’s “Recessional”.

Canon Galpin recited the dedicatory prayers, and during the singing of the hymn “For all the saints,”  the relatives of fallen soldiers placed floral tokens on the steps of the monument, among them being a laurel wreath, with Union Jack in flowers, from the Witham Comrades of the Great War.

Mr P E Laurence thanked Sir John Du Cane for his services, and handed the documents concerning the memorial to Mr Philip Hutley, chairman of the Witham Urban Council, who, on behalf of the inhabitants of Witham, accepted the conveyance, and said the monument should be maintained in proper order. He also thanked Mr Laurence for his generosity in presenting the site for the memorial.

Buglers of the Suffolk Regiment sounded the “Last Post”. Canon Galpin pronounced the Blessing, and the buglers rang out Reveille. With the singing of “God save the King” the service closed.

The secretarial duties to the Witham War Memorial Committee were carried out by Messrs J Ernest Smith and William Stevens.’

End of newspaper report.

Braintree and Witham Times, 30 May 1930, page 5
Miss Luard wrote to Carnival Committee re finance for extra ward at Nursing Home.

UDC, May 1930, in Braintree and Witham Times, 30 May 1930, page 6
Plans approved for extension of nursing home.

Braintree and Witham Times, 4 October 1934
page 6.  Wedding at Tiptree of ‘Mr Jack Lawrence Beaven, youngest son of Mr and Mrs J D Beaven, formerly of Tiptree, and now of Broomcote[sic, probably Brookcote] Witham’ To Miss Olga Amy Evers of Tiptree. Her father managers Anchor Press. Will live in Tiptree. ‘An interesting wedding took place at St Nicholas Church, Gt Yarmouth, on Saturday, when Miss Irene Buckley, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs S Buckley, of Elswick Road, West End, Newcastle, was married to Mr G W Westrup, son of Mr and Mrs S Westrup of Palgrave Road, Yarmouth.

The Nurses’ Bungalow in Collingwood Road in the early 1930s. Probably Sister Agnes Hynd on the left, Nurse Irene Buckley on the right.

The couple are well-known in the Witham district, the bride having for the past few years been sister at the Witham Nursing Association’s bungalow, whilst the bridegroom is chief cashier at the Witham branch of the Midland Bank’. ‘The two bridesmaids, both friends of the bride, were Miss Agnes Hynd, a fellow sister at the Witham Nursing Association’s bungalow, and Miss Eva Jeffries’. Witham friends there. ‘They are to reside at “Colwyn”, the Avenue, Witham. Amongst the presents was an oak chiming clock from the president, vice-presidents and committee of the Witham Nursing Association. Several patients also sent gifts’.

Braintree and Witham Times, 6 April 1955
‘The Witham Nursing Home in Collingwood Road, built in 1920 by voluntary subscriptions, is to be closed at the end of this month when Sister M Glanfield retires after 12 years there. She carried on alone when Sister A R Hynd retired about a couple of years ago. Neither of them is to be replaced.

The decision was made recently by the Colchester Group Hospital Management Committee, responsible for the building, and the county council, responsible for staffing it. Since 1948, when both authorities became jointly responsible, Sister Hynd and Sister Glanfield were allowed to share their county council district duties with the job of running this small maternity hospital. “We had such an arrangement with the council but now they are not willing for it to continue”, said Mr C A Merrick, secretary of the management committee, this week. “It is not economically possible for us to staff a two-bedded hospital”, he added. “The costs would be out of all proportion”.

So the little bungalow, where hundreds of Witham children first saw the light, is to close down.
A pity because the service was good and its position very convenient. Especially for visitors. No decision has yet been made about the home’s future use’.

First World War. 05. Soldiers billeted in Witham

First World War.
05. Soldiers billeted in Witham
For a list of other chapters about WW1, click here.

General. Camps and billeting
(from schoolnet web site)
After men joined the army they were sent to local army camps to be turned into soldiers. As experienced officers were needed in France to organise the war against the Germans, elderly people were bought out of retirement to train the men. These men were often over the age of sixty. One sixty five year old officer died of a heart attack while on parade. Another gave out instructions while sitting in his bath-chair. An elderly cavalry officer weighed over 20 stone and the regiment had great difficulty finding a horse that could carry him. They also had to build a special loading platform so that the officer could get on his horse.

Most of the officers were recruited from universities and public schools. Sometimes men became officers without even an interview. George Gillet was offered a commission while playing cricket with a colonel. Gillet was told that any of his friends that he wanted to bring with him from Harrow could also have a commission.

Training camps rarely had enough huts for men. Most of the recruits had to sleep in tents. Conditions in these tents in winter were appalling and there were several examples of soldiers going on strike. Eventually it was decided to billet the men in local towns and villages. This also created serious problems. One soldier, Charles Cain, admitted later that the recruits sometimes took advantage of their hosts: “ten soldiers were billeted to one women who had three teenage daughters, and the mother and all the daughters finished up the family way.”

From talks by Ian Hook in March 2000 to Brain Valley Archaeological Society and in April 2001 to Witham History Group.
Billeting eg Essex and Norfolk
17 thousand troops to Essex to repel invasion and also to prepare to go abroad. Billeting officer would go round and survey and allocate soldiers. Allowance received. At first public worried about women etc. Soon made close ties. Soldiers often new. Large estates also used.

Tented camps and hutted camps.

Charities, eg YMCA to occupy them and get them to behave.

Extract from letter from T S Greatrex of Merlyn, Bells Chase Gt Baddow, 15 Dec 1963, as follows, to Witham Archaeological Research Group. Now part of ERO D/DU 1443/162.
About a photo he had: ‘The other one is of Witham High Street showing the Spread Eagle Hotel, which is said to be the only four-gabled Hotel in Essex, but I don’t know if that is correct. The telegraph messenger in the photo is myself and the soldier one of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regt who were stationed at Witham at that time. The building further on right being the HQ of the 1st/7th Warwicks and 2/9th Royal Scots and the Royal engineers. At the same time Whitehall was the headquarters of the 195th Infantry Brigade this building was very delapidated and became even worse in the years that followed. It had in earlier years been a private boarding school.’

Extract from Mrs Peecock’s writings (ERO T/P 133/1)
‘Mention must be made of the part played by Witham in the Great War. Almost from the first week soldiers were billeted in the town, both in private houses and ‘lying rough’, in large empty mansions. To provide for all these men was an undertaking, but the townsfolk rose nobly to the occasion and three canteens and two reading rooms were opened, and run by relays of voluntary workers. It is safe to say that never before or since has Witham been so united in spirit and endeavour. The petty jealousies and rivalries which are apt to mar life in a small country town were forgotten, and high and low, rich and poor, worked together with no thought of class or creed. Mr Afford’s shop was the great meeting place. Informal committee meetings, plans for concerts and entertainments, were all thought out in that small, rather dark stationers shop’

Extract from letter from Regimental Area Secretary (Warwickshire), Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 17 January 2001
‘When the war broke out in early August 1914, the Regiment consisted of two regular battalions (1st and 2nd) and four Territorial Army battalions (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th). The four TA battalions each split into three separate ones and renamed (eg 1/7th, 2/7th and 3/7th) with the 3rd battalion in each one remaining in the UK as a training and reserve battalion.

[of the first group of Territorial Army battalions, the 1/5th, 1/6th. 1/7th and 1/8th moved to the Chelmsford area for training during August 1914, and sailed for France on 22 March 1915, where they formed 143 Brigade. The second group of Territorial Army battalions, the 2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th and 2/8th moved to the Chelmsford area in March 1915 and remained there until March 1916 when they moved to Salisbury Plain. As the carving in your photograph [of Chipping Hill bridge] is dated 1/6/15 it would have been carved by men in this later formation, which became 182 Brigade and sailed to France on 21 May 1916’.

Email from Kings Own Scottish Borderers, 6 Jan 2004
From: “RHQ KOSB” <kosbmus@milnet.uk.net>
Subject: Re: World War I
To: Janet Gyford
I have looked through our photographic collection; there are very few photographs of 2/5 KOSB, and none that can be identified as having been taken while the Battalion was based in Witham. I still have a large number of framed photographs that need to be identified and catalogued; if I come across any from Witham, I will let you know.
Yours sincerely, Ian Martin Regimental Museum

Two letters from Richard Goring, 27 Park Street, Westcliff on Sea, Essex, SS0 7PA

Letter 1 re Warwickshire Regiment
In response to letter asking about Privates FV Edwards and P Baylis, Range Wardens with 7th Warwickshire Regt who carved their names on Chipping Hill Bridge in 1815 (photo M828)

Thank you for your letter and the cheque. You certainly set me an interesting query or two, but I think I may have something to offer.

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment was indeed an infantry regiment. In the early years of this century, virtually all such regiments had two battalions, each of around 1,000 men. The 1st Battalion was usually in some far flung part of the Empire, while the 2nd remained on home ground, usually in the regimental depot (eg, Essex Regiment ‘home’ was Warley, near Brentwood). This battalion recruited and trained men and supplied refreshment drafts of men to the 1st.

There was usually a 3rd and sometimes 4th Battalion, which were reservists, some of them ‘old sweats’ and others who worked full-time but trained regularly with their battalion. There was also a Territorial Force, which was quickly mobilised (as were the reservists) when war broke out and which became further battalions of the various regiments, usually numbered from 5th upwards. Initially, the Territorials were created for home defence, but many volunteered for active overseas service, so you find them in the thick of battle from early 1915 onwards.

As more and more men joined up, more and more battalions were created, but the organisation structure to run them could not keep pace, so several might end up nominally under the same ‘management’ and these were then numbered lst/5th, 2nd/5th, etc., meaning that they were the first, second, third or whatever line battalion of the 5th (or whatever). In practise, the lst/5th often continued to call itself just 5th (or at any rate its personnel did).

I’ve spelled all this out because there were, in fact, several such battalions of the Royal Warwicks in the Chelmsford area between 1914 and 1916, including the 1st/7th and 2nd/7th. The 1st/7th (often abbreviated to 1/7) was a Territorial Force battalion formed at Coventry and allocated, along with 1/5 and 1/8, to the Warwickshire Brigade, South Midlands Division, which was around Chelmsford from Aug 1914 (very soon after the war started) until March 1915. They all moved on from there and became 143rd Brigade, 48th Division and were in action in France later in the year. Also in March 1915, the 2/5, 2/6 and 2/7, as 2nd/1st Warwickshire Brigade, 2nd/1st South Midlands Division, arrived at Chelmsford and stayed until March 1916. They became 182nd Brigade, 61st Division, and also went to France.

I imagine your two carvers were from 1/7, if they only gave their unit as 7th Warwicks. And it does appear that one of them, Frank Victor EDWARDS, did not survive. As Private 21043 of 1/6 Warwicks, he was killed in action on 4 Feb 1917 and is buried at Assevillers, New British Cemetery, 10 km south-west of Peronne, in grave V.C.7. He was born in Warwick, where he enlisted. The apparent change of unit is not uncommon, especially as both 1/6 and 1/7 were part of the same division. He may have applied to transfer in order to be with pals, or may have been drafted to make up casualty losses, or wounded and absorbed into a different battalion upon return to duty. Of course, it is possible that there were two F V Edwards and ‘yours’ survived, but you would need to check the medal rolls at the PRO to verify that.

As for P Baylis, there is a Percy Baylis on the Arras Memorial to the Missing, but he was Sergeant A/1588 of the 9th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, killed in action 9 Apr 1917. He was born in Stratford (upon Avon, I imagine), enlisted in Birmingham and lived at Studley (which I guess is a mis-recording of Studeley), Warwicks. It is possible he had transferred, but more likely just a coincidence of name. Again, the medal rolls should tell.

Lastly, the photograph (which I hope I may keep?). It is clearly First World War. The uniform style of the group at left indicates so, as do the ‘uniforms’ of the ladies at the rear. If any of the posters or the blackboard can be read on the original picture, that might yield further clues as to when and where. As there is at least one man in civilian clothes, it must surely be some sort of ‘comforts station’ in Britain. [probably YMCA hut, Collingwood Road] The Chap at foreground right seems to have a Scottish infantryman’s cap, as does one of those the other side of the stove, but I cannot pick out more than that. I will take the picture to the next local Western Front Association meeting and see if anyone there has anything to say.

Thanks again for the challenge. I hope you feet you’ve had your money’s worth.

Letter 2 re Scots Regiments
21 April 1999, in response to request for advice about photos of Scots soldiers in Witham in World War I including one with VAD collecting outside Afford’s shop (M828)

Thank you for your latest letter. You certainly do set some challenges!
When the Great War started, and for some time afterwards, there was an expectation that Germany might try to invade Britain, and the East Anglian coast was the most likely area. So large numbers of troops were brought into the region, along the coast itself and further inland, so that they could respond quickly. These units were by and large Territorials and Kitchener’s volunteers, so moving them from home ground also began the process of changing civilian habits into army discipline. While they were based in the area they underwent soldierly training, of course, and when they were at least trained in the basics they were conveniently placed for movement to the south coast, across the Channel and up to the Front.

Some units were housed in barracks, others in tented or hutted camps, and others in billets. My researches have revealed several Scottish regiments which had battalions in various parts of Essex at times, mostly 1916, but none specifically at Witham. Both the Royal Scots (the Lothian Regiment) and the Royal Scots Fusiliers were here, the former simply ‘in Essex’ and the latter with the 2/4th battalion at Chelmsford from Mar 1916 to Jan 1917. The size and shape of the cap badge worn by the soldiers in your two pictures appears similar to the Royal Scots, but is not like the Fusiliers. The Highland Light Infantry had two battalions at Maldon and Danbury over the same time period, and the badge also looks a little like theirs, but the HLI did not wear the kilt in World War I. Four battalions of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were at Billericay, then Terling, again during the same time period, but I do not think the men were from that regiment. The Kings Own Scottish Borderers were at Chelmsford from Feb 1916 to Jan 1917, and their cap badge was also of the same general size and shape, and two other Great War enthusiasts to whom I showed the pictures (and whose knowledge of uniforms and badges is certainly greater than mine) both immediately thought they were KOSB. One of them pointed out that the badge appears to be on a black (or other dark material) square attached to the cap and he thought that also supported the KOSB identification. Unfortunately, the laser photocopies are not sharp enough for the badge detail to be seen, nor the badge on the left arm of the short-stature bandsman in the Red Cross picture to be identified.

The picture seem to have been taken at some kind of event, perhaps a parade associated with Red Cross Week. Did Witham have its own newspaper during the war? And, if so, do copies survive. It could be worth while looking through copies, or perhaps the Essex Chronicle, copies of which for the war years are at both Chelmsford Library and the ERO. Censorship was not as great during World War I and newspapers did sometimes mention locally-based units. You might come across the ‘original’ of your picture and find it has a useful caption. At least it will pin down the date. A quick look through the Witham PRs for marriages might also indicate which units were based nearby, as there always seem to have been a few marriages and the man’s unit is invariably given.
Anyway, The battalion concerned was the 2/5th (Dumfries & Galloway) Battalion, Territorial Force, which formed at Dumfries in Sep 1914. It was home based, mostly in parts of Scotland, and in late 1915 along with the 2/4th it formed No.14 Battalion in 194th Brigade. But in Jan 1916 it absorbed the 2/4th and then resumed its identity as 2/5th Battalion before moving to Chelmsford in Feb 1916. In Jan 1917 it went to Ireland and remained there until disbanded in May 1918.

By definition, the Territorial Army was a home-soil army, raised to defend the British Isles. Members were not required to serve overseas but could volunteer to do so, which very many did. Whether the 2/5th opted to stay at home (all Ireland was then, of course, part of Britain) I do not know. And when I say that a unit was ‘at Chelmsford’, that means the area and not just the town, so 2/5 KOSB, if it is they, may have been billeted in or camped close by Witham (the same source which identified the Warwickshire men spoke of ‘Chelmsford area’ not ‘Witham).
I am happy to accept £1 a name from what might be termed casual enquirers upon the Soldiers Died… database, but don’t charge for minor research, general enquiries and information, etc., so return your cheque herewith. If you resolve the mysteries of these photos (by the way, one of my friends straightaway said the ‘canteen’ looked to be a fairly standard YMCA facility, of which numbers were put up all over Britain – and I also read ‘Roll Up’ at the bottom of the blackboard, suggesting an invite to some entertainments) I’ll be delighted to hear.

End of Richard Goring’s two letters

Territorials etc.
Email 30 December 2004 from Ian Hook about photos M2190 and M2191, soldiers of 2nd/7th Warwicks passing Freebornes, High House and Red Lion (also relevant to M452 and M1897-M1899 of the same occasion)

They really are a lovely detailed set of troops in “Field Service Marching Order” or FSMO as it was known. I think the only comment I can make is that I think that the timing is probably early in the Witham tour of the 2/7th evidenced by M2190.
The soldier 2 from L has an Imperial Service badge on is chest. This was a white metal badge worn above the pocket consisting of a crown over a tablet inscribed “Imperial Service”. These were worn by Territorial soldiers who, voluntarily, had agreed to take on the extra Imperial Service obligation, that is to serve anywhere in the Empire if the King required it. The standard terms and conditions for the Territorial Force (TF) from 1908 were for Home Service only, for the Defence of the UK, but, from 1911, the extra obligation was offered. Soldiers who took this up and signed form E.624 got their badge and considered themselves a cut above the rest.

Until 03/1915 recruits for the TF were able to enlist for Home Service rather as this was possibly an attractive option for new recruits to avoid the usual white feathers etc..

Under the Military Service Act 16/01/1916 which, inter alia, introduced conscription.
1. All TF soldiers under 41 had until 02/03/1916 to take Imperial Service obligation or:
Officers: Be forced to resign
Men: Be discharged and therefore made liable to conscription.
2. Eliminated pre-war TF soldiers right to discharge at end of engagement.
Four year term extended by one year in war. Option of taking 1 month furlough and bounty on re-engagement for another 4 years or duration.
It was theoretically illegal to transfer Territorial soldiers or amalgamate or disband units. This was a nonsense in an increasingly conscript Army where men were conscripted by age and later occupation cohorts (that is men who could be spared or were “combed out” from industry).

I suspect I have given you too much detail, but to cut a long story short the once proud bearers of the Imperial Service badge threw them away as a nonsense once conscription was a reality from early 1916 and circumstances demanded there could only be one class of soldier.

Judging by the trees I suspect it is spring 1915 rather then winter 1916!

The soldiers also have the 1908 Web Equipment and it might be possible to establish when the 2nd Line Warwicks got theirs from their War Diaries. The Essex Territorials (Witham men amongst them!) got the 1914 leather equipment prior to leaving for Gallipoli in July 1915 and did not get webbing until they reached Egypt in 1916.

The officers still have the old Sam Browne equipment which most discarded on being warned for overseas.
Were it not for the fact that I have had a disappointing experience with the R.Warwicks Museum I would suggest you might send them copies! I sent them a lovely 1920’s photo of “The Antelope Lodge”, clearly a Regimental Institution as it had 25 Warwicks and 2 Essex men on it, but they returned it with a compliments slip saying they had no evidence of it being a Regimental connection. The 6th Foot and Royal Warwicks wore an antelope as their badge from at least 1742!

End of email from Ian Hook about Territorials
________________________________

Chronological account from newspapers etc

Most of what is written below is in the form of summary notes. Phrases etc that are exact quotations, are enclosed by quotation marks ‘ ’. Phrases that have been added by me for the purpose of explanation, are enclosed in square brackets.

The UDC was the Witham Urban District Council. If not from a newspaper, the Urban District Council items are from the Council or Committee minutes in ERO D/UWi/1 and 2.

August 1914 to March 1915
South Midland Division were in Essex. Including 7th Battalion Royal Warwicks, in Witham, and Gloucesters et al., engineers and medics etc. (information from Ian Hook)

UDC 21 September 1914, extraordinary meeting
Letter from County Council Medical Officer of Health, suggesting applying to Local Government Board for permission to make measles and chicken pox notifiable, ‘in view of the possibility of Troops being billeted in the District’. Agreed.

16 Oct 1914. Log book of Chipping Hill Infants (ERO T/P 378/1)
‘Capt Abrey visited school found all the children looking well in fact quite surprised to see them, put it down to the troops’.

Re October 1914, written between March and June 1915 and reproduced below at that date too, didn’t note exact date, page 544, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Sir, Witham Rates, Referring to your letter of the 3rd inst, the following is the information your require.

Premises    /    Troops    /    Date of occupation
Witham House [57 Newland Street] / 1st 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment / 20th October 1914
Shops (2) and premises, Newland Street  / Ditto  /  Ditto
Collingwood Hall [sic, probably Public Hall]  /  Ditto  /  Ditto
The Retreat [Maldon Road]  /  Ditto  /  Ditto
House and premises, Chipping Hill  /  Army Service Corps  /  29th October 1914
Whitehall [18 Newland Street]  /   1st South Midland Field Ambulance RAMC  /   16th October 1914

Yours faithfully
Wm B Blood
[To] Colonel Commanding, Army Service Corps, Headquarters Office, Colchester’

UDC, 26 October 1914
page 218. ‘The charge to be made for water where soldiers were occupying empty houses, warehouses, etc. was fixed at 1s. per day per building’. Surveyor to get payment. Pumps at work for 70 hours last week, as against 58 hours the first week of the month. If this continues Mr Goody would need help.
page 219. Local Government Board have approved extension of infectious disease scope.

UDC Waterworks Committee, 7 November 1914
‘Mr Smith proposed and Mr Wakelin seconded that Mr Goodey have some assistance whilst troops are stationed at Witham’. Carried [i.e. at water works probably, see later].

UDC 23 November 1914, extraordinary meeting
Letter from Mr P E Laurence. Committee formed with view to establishing ‘some hot and cold water baths for the benefit of the troops in Witham’. Would council meet deputation to discuss site to adapt or construct temporary Building ‘to cover 4 or 5 baths’ and supply the water. Ask Council to help but get expense from private enterprise.

Mr Laurence said site proposed was the old water works, existing coal shed could be adapted, using water which at present runs away, he should arrange the use of the water with Lord Rayleigh. No burden on rates. Small charge for use. Will Council support. Proposed that Council give the Committee power to do it. Carried nem con, Mr Garrett didn’t vote. Present water supply ought not to be used because consumption had increased 30 or 40 per cent, but OK ‘to tap the old main in Mill Lane, failing the scheme at the Old water works’.

UDC 30 November 1914
page 225. Plans for Bookstall, also to be used as Refreshment Stall ‘at the new Rifle Range’ for Messrs W H Smith. Temporary so no objection.
Request from Mr G J Hicks, ‘the refreshment caterer at the stall’ for permission to draw approximately 30 gallons of water per day ‘from stand pipe at Victoria Inn’. Agreed, he to pay 2s. a month.

Report of Waterworks Committee recommends waste land at new water works be offered in lots to Council’s workmen rent free, and Mr Goodey to have assistance whilst troops at Witham. Adopted.
page 226. Resolved on proposal of Mr Pinkham, clerk ‘to write to Colonel Commanding 7th Warwickshire Regiment; suggesting that War Office be approached re provision of ‘a Disinfector’ for use of troops in Witham.

4 December 1914, page 485, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Letter to Colonel Elton, 7th Warwickshire Regiment, The Const’al [???] Collingwood Road. About baths.

23 December 1914, page 489, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Letter to Major H W Higginson, Warwickshire Infantry Brigade, Felix Hall, Kelvedon. Acknowledging receipt of letter.

UDC 28 December 1914
page 229. Medical Officer of Health reported case of Enteric fever, viz. Private Cross Ar.C. billeted at Sewage Farm. Sent to isolation hospital.
Correspondence with Lieut Col Elton and ‘Mr P E Laurence (Chairman of the Baths Committee)’ re provision of a ‘Disinfector’. Clerk write to Col Elton suggesting a ‘Thresh Disinfector’ at cost of War Office.

29 December 1914, page 491, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Letter to Lieut Colonel Elton, Commanding 7th Battn Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Constitutional [—]. Re disinfector.

29 December 1914, page 493, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Higginson as before.

UDC 25 January 1915
page 234. Case of scarlet fever viz. Miss Aldridge of London House Drapery Stores, to Heybridge Hospital. Also diphtheria Serjt Palmer billeted at Mrs Ellis’s Newland Street, sent to Heybridge by ‘the Military’.
Surveyor couldn’t get labour to clear recent heavy snow. ‘Empowered to approach the Military‘ at rate same as given to casual labourers.
page 235. Letter from Lieut Col 7th Batt Warwickshire Regt, ‘War Office said provision of Disinfector for use at the Baths superfluous’.

Essex County Chronicle, 29 January 1915
page 6 ‘Soldiers and the snow’. Surveyor reported on snow fall which thawed quickly. Six of the Council workmen were ill so it could have been difficult. Can he ask soldiers in future. ‘In past years he had engaged as many as eighty casual workers for snow clearing, but there were no such numbers available now’. Mr E J Smith said he had seen soldiers clearing snow at Braintree. Surveyor authorised in future ‘to apply to the Colonel Commanding the Warwick Regiment’ for help and pay the soldiers the same rate as casual workers would be paid.

UDC 22 February 1915
page 240. Letter from Lieut Col R A M C re charge for water supplied ‘at Pelican House [probably 113 Newland Street or possibly 16 Collingwood Road] viz. 1s per day, which he said was ‘excessive in comparison with White Hall’. Also letter from ‘Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General S M Division in reference to water supply to other houses occupied by Military. Discussion. Tell them ‘as the Military in larger houses used an abnormal quantity of water the charge of 1s on the smaller houses counterbalance the extra water used in the large houses’.

Essex County Chronicle, 5 March 1915
page 8
Soldiers’ concert. ‘Public Hall crowded with soldiers for a concert arranged by Miss Laurence, in connection with Messrs Broadwood. An enjoyable programme was rendered by professional artistes’.

‘Fatal case at Witham … Pt War of Stratford, member of the Essex Regt National Reserve, died at the military Hospital, Witham, from spotted fever’. Age 45. Admitted with flu.

13 March 1915, page 523, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Sir
Water Supply at Collingwood House. [15 Collingwood Road].
I have received your cheque for £17 5 0 for above and have seen our Surveyor thereon. He has several a/cs in his Book against the various Forces billetted in Witham amongst them the following.
Royal Warwickshire Regiment Water Supply” [sums, for 20 Oct 1915 to Dec 3].
Please tell me if this is what the cheque is for’.
From Blood
To Cashiers Office Eastern Command, 91 York Street Westminster.

Essex Weekly News, 26 March 1915
page 8 ‘The Royal Warwicks. The Royal Warwicks who have been billeted in Witham for about five months attended a drumhead service on Sunday morning, when the Chaplain preached an appropriate sermon and a letter was read from Canon Ingles. Col Elton, the officer commanding, congratulated the men upon their fine discipline and conduct, which he hoped would be maintained. The Rev D M Picton gave a special address to soldiers at the Congregational Church on Sunday evening, remarking upon the way in which the men had cheered and inspired the members of that Church by their presence at the services. At the close of the sermon the soldiers were entertained to a social and refreshments by the Pastor in the Lecture Hall. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham spent the weekend in the town and visited the men at various points of Monday. At the usual concert in the Congregational Schoolroom on the 18th inst. Lance-Corpl. Foss, 7th Royal Warwick Regiment, on behalf of the men, presented Miss Stevenson with an ivory manicure set in token of appreciation of her work for the comfort and amusement of the troops. Miss Stevenson who was taken by surprise, briefly acknowledged the kind gift, and the Rev D M Picton responded for her. he said the Committee had made many friends among the officers and men’.

Essex County Chronicle, 26 March 1915
page 8  Letter from an old member saying applaud decision of cricket club [not to have matches]. Witham ‘done well in way of recruiting, and the Cricket Club itself has furnished over forty members who are serving his Majesty’s Forces, no fewer than thirty of whom are playing members’. Hoped for some local matches and ‘especially that facilities be given to soldiers to play’.

page 8 ‘Witham and the soldiers. Farewell presentation and service. At the last of the twice-weekly concerts arranged by a local committee in the Congregational Hall, Witham, Corpl. Foss, of the 7th Royal Warwicks, asked Miss Stevenson, the lady who has devoted her time and talent for the comfort of the soldiers to accept, on behalf of his comrades, a silver manicure set. The Rev. D. Marsden Picton (Congregationalist), on behalf of the lady, thanked the men for their thoughtful kindness and token of appreciation of what had been done for their comfort. The committee had found many friends amongst the officers and men, and would greatly miss them, while they knew they would carry with them many kind thoughts regarding Witham. (Hear, hear)

On Sunday morning an open-air church parade took place on the Land Company’s estate. In addition to the military a large number of residents of the town were present, and visitors from Coventry. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham were likewise on the ground. The Chaplain, in a brief address spoke from God’s message to the children of Israel in Egypt by Moses, viz., “The God of our fathers has sent me unto you.” Canon Ingles sent a message of God-speed to the men.

At the close of a very impressive service, Col. Eltham [elsewhere Elton], the commandant, complimented the men on their conduct during their five months’ stay in the town. He had heard from all sides nothing but praise from those who had become associated with them in their billets and in the various halls and rooms which had been set apart for canteens, etc. He took that opportunity also of thanking those who had formed themselves into a committee to care for their comfort. He must further express himself gratified at the proficiency attained. All present then joined heartily in the National Anthem.

The town during Saturday and Sunday was frequented by large numbers of visitors and a two-days’ excursion train left Witham station for the Midlands on Sunday night. At all the churches during the day allusion was made to the Warwicks, and a special service was held in the evening at the Congregational Church. The Rev D Marsden Picton, who has been appointed by the War Office chaplain to the members of the Free Churches among the forces in the district, preached and bade the men “God-speed,” the service concluding with. the hymn, “God be with you till we meet again. The soldiers were then invited to the. Lecture Hall to a farewell social gathering, light refreshments being provided.

At Witham Roman Catholic Church on Sunday the Rev. Fr Donelan, who was appointed Chaplain to the Forces during the stay of the regiment at Witham, officiated at a farewell celebration of Mass in honour of the soldiers. Pt. F Purcell Warren, of the Royal Warwicks who has frequently presided at the church organ, officiated in that capacity for the last time, and played “The War March of the Priests”. Fr Donelan, in his farewell sermon, said that was, very appropriately, Passion Sunday, set aside by the Holy Church for the Faithful to consider the passion of the Redeemer. All through life the lesson was taught that nothing could be won without suffering, and the soldiers going to battle should remember and try to follow the passion of Jesus, then they would gain the golden crown of victory.

The Warwicks appreciation. On Monday Colonel A G G Elton, commanding the 7th Royal Warwick Regt, issued the following order:- “Col Elton, officers, non com officers, and men of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regt., desire most sincerely to thank the inhabitants of Witham for the generous hospitality that has been offered to the regiment during the time it has been quartered in the town. They fully realise and appreciate what has been done for the regiment and offer their most grateful thanks’.
[F Purcell Warren was killed in July 1916 and Col Elton died in November 1919, see later at those dates]

March 1915
South Midland Division, who had been in Essex since August 1914 were posted overseas, and replaced by 2/South Midland Division (who in May  became 48th (2/South Midland) Division and in Jan-March 1916 were posted away prior to going overseas [information from Ian Hook].
_________________________________________

Information about 2nd/7th Warwicks, sent in emails with photos M2190-M2192 by Norman John Murray (known as John), johnyarne@btopenworld.com, The Yarne, 38 Ford Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4SF. Phone 01252 715623
email 2 December 2004
I attach the only 2 photos which might be of interest in that they both have relevance to the presence of the 2nd/7th battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regimen in Witham. Firstly there is the one you saw published [in Essex Chronicle]. The other one depicts my father’s youngest brother Norman–after whom I am named –who was killed in action on the Somme on 30th June 1916 and his grave is shown. The two brothers were in the same action and my father was wounded with sufficient severity that he was invalided home and entered one of the military hospitals in London. He was mentioned in depatches and I understand that the occasion was, in fact, this particular action.
email 22 December 2004
and as a postscript, I will add that my uncle Norman was killed on the Somme on 30th june 1916–the day before the main offensive and he was on a party cutting the German defensive wire entanglements.
email 28 December 2004
To reply to your’s.
(1) I suspect that they were either on a ‘route march’, an exercise that prevailed in the British army even at the start of WW2 whenever those in charge were unable to be more imaginative about keeping their troops from become too bored! Cynic that I am.
The only alternative that occurs to me is that they were en route to eventually embark for France.
(2) Yes, my father, his four brothers and two sisters were all born in Melbourne and, on the death of their father who contrived to die owing the bookies vast sums of money, my grandmother brought 4 of the five and 1 of the two sisters to the UK, the remaining brother settled in NZ and the other sister went to Canada. As to how or why my father and uncle Norman came to be in the Warwicks I am not too sure. I think it was probably the fact that another uncle who was the financial support of the family was a director of The Bolsover Colliery which is/was near Nuneaton in Warwickshire and certainly,
(3) after the war, my father was a mining engineer there–a spot of nepotism, if you will.
Un-enumerated, one of the photos shows a shop under the name of ROWE and by coincidence, my grandmother re-married and her spouse was a Captain Rowe, about whom, I have absolutely no knowledge and I suspect that for whatever reason, he was not around for long as I recollect the first time that I met granny Rowe was when I was about 3 years old and she then lived in Canterbury and the gallant captain was certainly not amongst the family Christmas gathering. Granny died in 1942 in Frinton-on-Sea, the last house on the left on the way to Walton-on-the -Naze–it’s probably gone over the cliff edge by now!
(4) I will be perfectly happy for you to pass on the photos and information–other than some of the personal information–to either or both of the Essex Museum and your friend Ian Hook.

___________________________________________

UDC Recreation Ground Committee, 1 April 1915, page 146
‘The Surveyor explained that the Military had taken possession of the Ground without permission’.

The Committee were unanimously of the opinion that they had no power to grant the Military permission to use the ground, and interviewed the Adjutant of the Regiment, who promised that the soldiers should interfere as little as possible with the children’s use of the ground and in the meantime would endeavour to make other arrangements.
The Committee had no objection to the use of the ground for Church parade’.

Essex County Chronicle, 2 April 1915
page 7. UDC meeting. Increase in use of water. … W P Perkins, Surveyor, wanted increased salary, said had been the same for 15 years. Mr J Goodey, waterworks engineer, ditto, said had had same wages for 33 years. Refer to Finance Committee.

page 8  ‘Soldiers’ concert. The first of a further series of soldiers’ concerts was held on Wednesday evening at the Soldiers’ Institute, Congregational Hall, where there was a large attendance, and an enjoyable programme was rendered.

Lord Mayor’s visit. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham (Col and Mrs Bowater) whose son is a lieutenant in the RAMC, South Midland Division, visited the corps on Monday, and the Lord Mayor addressed the men, who responded with hearty cheers’.

Essex County Chronicle, 16 April 1915
page 5  ‘Witham Vestry Meeting. Record Offertories’. Long report. Easter Vestry. … Accounts presented. Good. ‘The organists, blowers, cleaners, and other workers had all been paid for the extra work done through the soldiers’ services, the total paid being £21 6s.’ But nothing to curates; Rev G H Bishop, senior curate had been very hard worked and agreed to give him £20 extra.

Essex Weekly News, 23 April 1915
page 8 (full transcripts)
‘Social. By invitation of the Rev D M Picton, a number of soldiers were entertained to a social hour in the Congregational Lecture Hall after service on Sunday evening. Several ladies served refreshments.
Dance. In conjunction with the band of the 7th Royal Warwicks, Mr Bert Pinkham arranged a successful dance at the Public Hall on Tuesday. Upwards of 100 assembled and spent a very pleasant time up till midnight. Mr B Pinkham was MC. Refreshments were served during the interval.

Military Funeral. On Tuesday the funeral of Private G O’Connell, B Company, Royal Warwickshire Regt., who died from consumption on Saturday at the age of 35 years, took place at Witham. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was placed upon a gun carriage drawn by six horses, and preceded by a firing party with reversed arms and the band playing the Dead March. Behind the coffin the whole of B Company marched four deep, with eight officers at the rear. No relatives were present. As the procession passed through the town members of the Royal Warwicks and RAMC lined the streets and stood at the salute. The service was conducted at the Roman Catholic Church by the Rev Father Donelan. After the interment the firing party fired over the grave and six buglers sounded the Last Post. Floral tributes were received from the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men.’ [he is in cwgc.org but no more details, except his initial is J – 7th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 17th April 1915, service number 3088, grave in north-east corner of Witham Catholic churchyard. The J is confirmed by the tombstone).

UDC 26 April 1915, Annual meeting
page 252. Re Recreation Ground Committee, report of 1 April 1915 re. Military using Recreation Ground, adopted.
Re Finance Committee, adopt recommendations, e.g. asking War Office who is responsible for rates on houses occupied by military.

Essex County Chronicle, 30 April 1915
page 2  ‘The South Midland Division. Casualties at the Front’. Long report, S M Div trained in Mid Essex before going abroad. Several letters. Bucks Territorials in action not long after arrival in France. One written on 10 April. Strange sights, Terrible damage to property. ‘You cannot realise what it is like’. Shelling. Bread scarce. One has officers in farmhouse and men in a factory. Training in trench warfare. Sniping. Trench only 35 yards from enemy. Rifle fire and grenades.

page 5  Witham UDC, April 26. Philip Hutley presided. Letter from LGB; glad houses still being inspected, and what steps being taken to remedy defects. Also info on working men’s cottages and why not prepare a scheme now in readiness. Mr Greatrex said ‘I move that the LGB be told plainly that with the town full of soldiers we cannot do anything in the matter of cottage inspection. Mr S Richardson: I will second that if you will add that things cannot be so very bad when the Government see fit to stow away 1,700 soldiers in the present cottages at Witham. They have got as many as five soldiers in some small cottages, and then complain about the sanitary condition of Witham. The addition was accepted by Mr Greatrex, but the motion was defeated, and the question was referred, with Dr Gimson’s annual report to the Housing Committee.

May 1915
2/South Midland Division which were in Essex, became 48th (2/South Midland) Division.

UDC Finance Committee, 31 May 1915, page 152
Correspondence with Military Authorities re payment of rates ‘on houses occupied by the Military’ read. Resolved application be made to the Landlords for rates.
page 256. Finance Committee report including asking landlords for rates on houses occupied solely by troops.

UDC 21 June 1915, extraordinary meeting
Letter from Mr J Daldry, enclosing plan of temporary ‘Recreation Hut which the national Committee of the YMCA had been asked to erect for the use of His Majesty’s Forces billeted in Witham’ and asking permission to put it up on site ‘near the old water tower’. Proposed yes and compensate tenant for loss of crop. For it was Pinkham, Smith and Garrett. Against, Abrey Greatrex, Richardson Wakelin, lost. Refer to Building Committee with power to act if site secured. [wasn’t put there, went opposite  the cattle market in Collingwood Road]

26 June 1915, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
To YMCA at Colchester. Sanction erection of ‘the Hut’ provided removed when Council requires. Water to be metered.

UDC 28 June 1915
page 263. Building Committee report, sanctioning erection of YMCA hut, adopted.

UDC 26 July 1915
page 268. Write to ‘Colonel Commanding the Royal Engineers informing him of nuisance in Avenue Road, reported by Mr Richardson, arising through manure heaps being left at the side of the road’.
page 270. Letter from Mr J Daldry agreeing on behalf of YMCA to conditions re ‘recently erected Hut’.

Essex Weekly News, 30 July 1915 (full transcript)
‘Witham Boy Drowned. On Wednesday Percy Kellock, aged seven, son of Harry Kellock of Chipping Hill, was drowned in the bathing place at Witham. The boy left home with two little playmates, and proceeded to the bathing place, where they enjoyed themselves paddling from the bank. By some means Kellock fell into the river, and his companions hurried home and told their parents. Sergeant Haggar, Signalman Feakes, and Arthur Wallis dived and searched the river for hours and the body was eventually located by PC Mynott with a pole. Sapper A Beck[?], Royal Engineers, who was bathing at the time, dived at the request of Sergt. Haggar and recovered it. Several men were working near at hand when the accident happened, but the children said that they were too frightened to tell them.’

‘Opening of YMCA Hut at Witham. Lord Salisbury and Recreation. Last night a new hut for the use of the troops for recreation purposes was opened by the YMCA at Witham on a site in the Collingwood Road near the railway station, lent by Mr Percy E Laurence, JP. The formal opening was performed by Brigadier General the Marquis of Salisbury. The chair was taken by the Hon C H Strutt, JP’. Supported by various others. Hymn and prayer. Speech by chairman saying ‘Witham had not been neglectful of the soldiers hitherto, the ladies having looked after them in various buildings. But a feeling was abroad that they should have one large place, so that the work should not entail such a strain upon the ladies … He knew there was a tendency to put aside all kinds of amusement just now, but he did not think that should apply to soldiers, and he did not see why they should give up all pleasures even to them. The Chairman then introduced the Marquis of Salisbury, whom he had long known as a sturdy Englishman (Applause)’. Speech by Marquis. Address by YMCA rep on its work. £100 had been raised in Witham and hope to raise another £200. Mr E Pelly vote of thanks, seconded by Mr Pinkham. Rev Picton prayer. National anthem, Concert in new hut. [see photos M818-821]

Essex County Chronicle, 30 July 1915
‘Military Recreation Hut opened at Witham. Ceremony by the Marquis of Salisbury’. Opened last evening, large gathering. ‘Near the Church House, on land given by Mr P E Laurence, JP’. ‘Commodious wooden structure, capable of accommodating 400 soldiers’.
Hon C H Strutt presided. Lord Salisbury spoke. Needed recreation etc. YMCA had met need in many cases. Lots in Essex. Christian motive.
‘Mr E E Pelly said they had given 6,000 baths to soldiers, largely through the kindness of Mr Percy Laurence (Applause).’

Essex County Chronicle, 6 August 1915
‘Intercession service. On Sunday, the Rev G H Bishop, senior curate, resumed his open-air services on the bowling green for intercession in the war. There was a large attendance.’
The YMCA Hut. Well patronised by troops in its first week. ‘On Saturday evening a concert, arranged by Mr B C Afford, was given, and proved to be most enjoyable. On Sunday evening a soldiers’ song service was held’. Informal concerts held every evening since, ‘under the leadership of Mr A E Torey. The lady helpers, under Miss E Luard, have been very busy during the week. An average of a hundred letters have been written in the hut nightly’.

Essex Weekly News, 6 August 1915
page 6 [extracts]
‘Military Gymkhana at Witham. The 2/1st South Midland Division Royal Engineers arranged a successful gymkhana in the Avenue Field at Witham on Monday, by permission of Mr Percy E Laurence, JP’. Had been twice postponed. Was ‘thoroughly enjoyed by a very large crowd of spectators’. Lots of names. Band of 6th Gloucesters played in afternoon and also for dancing in the evening. Prizes distributed by ‘Brig General the Marquis of Salisbury’. Cheered on departure. Collection for wounded soldiers. Detailed results of events including knotting, drill, bugling, tug of war etc. Also ‘Wrestling on horseback. 1. 4/1st Field Co., composed mostly of Canadians.’ Also ‘Live bomb throwing for NCOs’.

Essex County Chronicle, 20 August 1915
page 8  Co-op. Quarterly meeting. Mr J Cropton presided. Dividend of 2s in the £. Sales increased £1,600 over corresponding quarter last year ‘due to the presence of troops and the higher prices’. Mr T Johnson elected to Committee in place of Mr C Hubbard.

Essex Weekly News, 20 August 1915
page 2  Magistrate’s court. Capt Arnold Leslie [???] 2/7th[?] Royal Warwickshire Regt. Summoned for driving a motor car … head lights of a greater brightness than was necessary for public safety’. Ps Hagger. 11.45 p.m. on duty with Constable Wenden. ‘The lights … bright, and as the car passed the local headquarters of the military witness heard … sentry challenge the driver. The lights … reduced, but the car did not stop and … came towards witness the lights … again.’ Told him too bright. Glass of lamps had been smeared with whitening. Charles Blade Wenden special constable and Supt Coppin corroborated. Deft said no side lights. Going from Colchester to Epping. Met a ‘picquet of special constables’ who stopped car and examined contents. ‘The picquet was stopping … traffic.’ They had passed the car with no comment so assumed OK. Had done everything could. Capt Graham riding with him. Bench fined him £1.

24 August 1915, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
To officer commanding 2/7th Btn Royal Warwickshire Regt, Ongar Essex. Account sent for certification.

Essex County Chronicle, 27 August 1915
page 7  ‘Water Carnival at Witham. The Royal Engineers of the S M Division carried out an interesting programme at the Bathing Place, Witham, on Saturday afternoon. Among those present were Col Seymour Williams, Major Langley, Capt W Warr, Capt Whitwell, and Lieuts Rawlings, Vowles, Brown, Savery, Barrell, and Regimental Sergt Major Munroe, Mrs Langley, Mrs and Miss Willink, and others’. Results in detail. All soldiers. Included High Dive, Running Dive, Pillow fight on Pole over river, Team Race, Mess Race, Barrel Race, Swimming Race and Life Saving Race’. [The Bathing Place place was in the river Blackwater at the north corner of Whet Mead]

UDC 13 September 1915, extraordinary meeting
page 279. Mr Garrett said ‘a quantity of Gun cotton was stored at Witham House’ and he considered it danger because near other property. So bring to attention of ‘Officer Commanding South Midland Royal Engineers’, and say please take precautions ‘to safeguard the residents of Witham’ if it is necessary to store it there. [57 Newland Street]

UDC 27 September 1915
page 284. Letter from Lieut Col Royal Engineers saying all proper precautions are taken re explosives.

Essex County Chronicle, 8 October 1915
page 8  ‘Soldiers entertained. On Sunday afternoon soldiers billeted at Witham were entertained to tea at the Congregational Schoolroom from the fund raised by Mr Afford’s recent concert’.

11 October 1915, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Dear Sir
Precautions against fire’. Letter received, will put before Council
[To] Lieut Colonel S Williams, CRE 61st (SM) Division, Witham.

UDC 25 October 1915
page 288. Read letter from Lieut Col Royal Engineers informing the Council he was arranging a scheme to be put into operation in the event of air raids on the Town which might cause conflagrations, and asking the Council whether they would work in co-operation and inquiring what provision the Council had in the shape of a Fire Brigade and Fire appliances. ‘ Reply willing to co-operate as far as possible and tell him arrangements so far.
page 291. Application from ‘officer commanding Royal Engineers for water to be laid on the Horse Lines[?] in Mill Field’. Leave to Surveyor.

26 October 1915, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Dear Sir
Precaution against fire. Council ‘willing to co-operate with proposed scheme’.
‘As regards the Fire Brigade and Fire Appliances. The Brigade consists of 10 members, and the Surveyor Mr W P Perkins is Captain. There are 2 Fire Engines, 1 Steamer and 1 manual, 1,000 feet Hose, and Hose Cart. No Fire Escape. My Council wish me to point out that the Fire Engines are to be under the Captain’s control.
I may also mention that it was arranged last night, on the suggestion of the Fire Brigade Captain, that when hostile Aircraft are in the neighbourhood, the Brigade are to assemble on hearing the Military Whistles blown, and stand by at the Fire Station ready for immediate action in case of need. … [from] … Blood
[To] Lieut Col S Williams, Commanding Royal Engineers, 61st (S.M.) Division, Witham’

Essex County Chronicle, 5 November 1915
page 10  Exciting runaway. ‘Two horses attached to an Army wagon, in charge of Pt H Fowler, SMRE, Witham, bolted from opposite the Vicarage at Hatfield Peverel, and dashed at full speed all along the road, a distance of two miles, to Witham. A baker’s cart, belonging to Mr Frederick Bohannon, baker, Newland Street, Witham, was standing opposite the George and Dragon Inn, at the entrance to Witham Street, and the Army wagon collided heavily with the cart, smashing it, and throwing the pony down. One of the horses in the Army Wagon also fell down, and this stopped their wild career. Very fortunately no one was injured. The pony in the baker’s cart was cut about the knees, and the Army wagon was broken in front’.

Essex Weekly News, 26 November 1915
page 2  ‘Soldier’s theft at the Maldon YMCA.’. Private of 2/6th Royal Warwicks. Two cash boxes et al at Market Hill Maldon. Company officer said had been in regiment 12 months. Character indifferent but this first serious allegation. Justices ‘sentenced prisoner to one months hard labour and advised him to take the pledge’. Advised prosecutor to keep money more careful so not a temptation.

page 6. ‘Institution of the new Vicar of Witham’. Rev F W Galpin, late Vicar of Hatfield Broad Oak, at All Saints. Large Gathering. Bishops of Chelmsford and Colchester. Other clergy present included Rev ‘Gardner-Brown’, chaplain to the Forces, Witham’. Sermon etc.

War diary of 2/1 Bedfordshire Yeomanry at Hatfield Peverel, 8 December 1915. PRO WO 95/5455
‘Regimental Drill and Individual Squadron night operations. Baths at Witham placed at disposal of the Regt on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m to 8 p m.’

January to March 1916
48th (2/South Midland) Division were posted away prior to going overseas. Gradually replaced by the 65th (2nd Lowland) Division, including 2/9th Highland Royal Scots, who were here till posted to Ireland in January 1917 (information from Ian Hook)

Essex County Chronicle, 7 January 1916
page 3. Intercession services, New Year, Witham. All Saints, attended by S M Royal Engineers. Also patients from hospital under Miss Gimson (commandant) and Miss Boulton (matron). Prayers by Rev Alan Gardner-Brown, U.P.
St Nicholas, Congregational, Wesleyan, Ch of Holy Family also, just names of ministers.

UDC Finance Committee, 31 January 1916, page 167
Letter from Mr C Roberts and enclosure from Mr W Gardner re arrears of rates ‘on property occupied by Troops’. Mr G said the houses ‘were taken under the Defence of the Realm Act, there was no agreement and no rent paid up to date’. Recommended collection of rates from owner.

UDC 31 January 1916
page 304. Report of Finance Committee recommended that Mr C Roberts be instructed to collect ‘the rates owing in respect of the property occupied by the troops, from the owners’.

Essex County Chronicle, 4 February 1916, page 6
Report of UDC meeting. Water supply – use fallen but discoloured. Because tank emptied out at night, probably caused by soldiers using.
Chairman – disgraceful condition of Powershall End. ‘Ladies could not walk along it in comfort to church on Sundays’. Surveyor – labour short.

Essex County Chronicle, 11 February 1916, page 8
‘The Soldiers Friend’. Service at YMCA. Sapper Amos addressed soldiers on the Bible.
Whist drive at Constitutional Club, with 60 players. Names.
‘A lucky escape’. Army mule in charge of Driver Clark, R E, restive in Newland Street, upset a milk church belonging to John Newman. Also a trap belonging to Mrs Geo Lake, who driving up street (her husband with Essex Yeomanry). She jumped out so unhurt.
‘Motor Mishaps’. Corner of Collingwood Road. Coachman, Arthur Fenner, employed by Geo Ottley, ‘driving a fare round the corner’. Car following driven by Pt R Jones of 2/6th Royal Warwicks, Maldon, with Col Shannecy in it. Capt Adams of 2nd Lancs Regt of Cottage Halstead, driving a lady in a car to Maldon. A trial car came along from Colchester. Brakes applied. Skids. No personal injury. Some wheels and axles bent.

Essex County Chronicle, 18 February 1916, page 8
Temperance Society. Members of Witham CETS, tea at Church House given by Rev and Mrs Galpin. AGM after, Mr E Pelly presided. Sec Mr S Woolnough. Work of soc ‘considerably affected by the military occupation, and subscriptions had not been collected’. But arrangements to extend work. Condolence to relatives of Geo Claydon who died last week.

Essex County Chronicle, 25 February 1916
page 1. Advert. ‘Quartering of Troops … all letters on subjects connected with the quartering of Troops in the Area occupied by the 61st South Midland Division should be addressed to the Secretary, Central Quartering Committee, Boreham House, Chelmsford’.

4 March 1916
The move of the 65th (Lowland) Division from Scottish Command to the Chelmsford area has now been completed (PRO WO 95/5453, Central Force, Eastern Command, War Diary).

Essex County Chronicle, 17 March 1916
page 5  ‘Bishop at Witham. Address to Scottish soldiers. On Sunday morning the Bishop of Chelmsford visited Witham, and gave the address at the church parade of the Lowland Scottish Regt., RE, at the Parish Church. The Lowland Scottish are mostly Presbyterians, and their Sunday services had been fixed for Witham Congregational Church, but in view of the visit of the Bishop, it was arranged that the troops should attend the Parish Church to give his Lordship the opportunity to speak to them. There was a parade of 500 of the soldiers, headed buy their brass band. The Chaplain, Capt Yuill, conducted the service from the pulpit’. Pep talk. Clean living men survived injuries in War but others didn’t.

Essex County Chronicle, 24 March 1916
page 8  ‘Soldiers Centre. At a meeting of the local Soldier’s Entertainment Committee on Saturday it was decided to open the Congregational Hall for the use of the soldiers’.

‘Soldiers’ Dance. … the Scottish Regiments gave a dance at the Public Hall, to which local ladies were invited, and the company included several officers and their wives. The dancing was kept up very heartily till three in the morning, with much jollity on the part of the soldiers’.
‘Military Church Parade’. To Congreg Church. Collection for Red Cross Hospital. Chaplain Capt Yuell address. God was for us. Not for Germans, whose ‘method of conducting war was against divine law’.

‘Soldiers’ Concert’. Public Hall. Crowded. ‘Capt Yuille, chaplain to the forces’, one of singers. Also ‘bagpipe selections by S-M Lynch’. Corpl Lempriere played violin. Other soldiers and Mr Afford.

YMCA hut, concert. ‘In the absence of the Colonel, Major C M Jackson (1/3rd Lowland Field Company) kindly presided’. Miss E W Drake accompanied. Performances. Chaplain again. Also ‘Coy Sergt Major Lynch and Sapper Blake rendered bagpipe and euphonium solos respectively’. Also recitations, songs etc. Also on Sun evening at Congreg church, W C Rice gave an address to soldiers.

‘Soldiers charged’. Special bench. Driver Wm Hughes, 19, 3/2nd Lowland Royal Engineers’. Stealing fruit cordial. Private Michael Corrigan, 20, same regt, with being involved. Belonged to G J Hicks of 9 Easton Road, who had a canteen at Faulkbourne, broken into. ‘Alfred Griggs, shopkeeper, Church Street, Witham, said the prisoners came to his shop on Sunday afternoon and he gave them cups of tea.’ Offered to sell him the bottles. Remanded to Petty Sessions.

‘Buffaloes’ Bounty’. Concert for Benevolent Fund of the Pride of Witham Buffaloes’ Lodge’. Public Hall. Success. Proceeds over £5. Piano selection by Bro Taylor (CM), with Corpl Lithgow on cornet. Mr Fred Whiting musical monologue. Trumpeter Dunn. Et al. Miss Pinkham sang. Alex Lafferty ‘the champion light-weight boxer of Scotland, gave an excellent club-swinging exhibition’. Et al. esp soldiers. Under management of Regt Sergt Maj Haig and Corpl South.


11 April 1916
, page 670, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Dear Sir
In October 1914, certain empty houses and shops in this District were taken by the Military for billetting soldiers and for Army stores etc, and the premises are still occupied by the Military, and the owner refuses to pay the General District, Water and Poor Rate on these premises’ Is the owner liable?
To Secretary of UDC Clerks Association

Essex Weekly News, 26 May 1916
page 6. ‘Military Tattoo and concert. As an expression of appreciation of the enjoyment given to the inhabitants by the playing of the silver and pipe band of the 2/9th Royal Scots in High Street on Sunday afternoons, a suggestion was made by Messrs Powell Jones and E R Green that the men should be entertained. The idea was warmly taken up, and the entertainment took place at the cricket pavilion in the park on Wednesday. The bandsmen were awaited upon by Mr James Powell Jones, E Brewster, … the bands played selections .. concert in front of the pavilion before a large audience. Songs contributed by ‘Sapper Brisbaine[?], Pte Keppie[?][ and Mr R C Afford. Magic and mystery by Pte J Ewing, cornet solo by Bandsman Wood, and humorous items by Sergt Cordon and Mr F Powell’. Dancing . Military tattoo at end of evening. Capt Bathgate[?] gave thanks on behalf of bandsmen. Proceeds of entertainment, donation to the Scottish Red Cross. Mr B C Afford arranged the concert. W Cooper had charge of reserved enclosure. Fred Hayward at the Gate.

Essex County Chronicle, 26 May 1916
page 8  YMCA Hut. Excellent concert by Misses Bate from Maldon. ‘The eight sisters presented an excellent programme’. Col Gordon was chairman and thanked them.

‘Military Concert. On Wednesday evening a military concert and tattoo by the Band and Pipers of the 2/9th Royal Scots was given on the Cricket Ground … large gathering. The idea was on the initiative of Mr Powell Jones, who, with a few others, arranged to entertain the bands, whose playing the he High Street on Sunday afternoons has been so much appreciated. The members of the bands, some 50 in number, first partook of “high teas” in the cricket pavilion’. Also an open air concert arranged by Messrs B C Afford and N Linley Howlett. Contributions from civilians and soldiers (named). Tattoo etc. Proceed to sent to Col Gordon for the Scottish Red Cross. Bandmasters Grieve and Swanston.

UDC 29 May 1916
page 323. Letter from Mr J Goodey re long hours ‘he and Duncombe’ were working because of summer approaching and the number of troops. Suggest Duncombe made full time, or otherwise additional pay. To Water Works Committee.

UDC Finance Committee, 29 May 1916, page 177
Auditor had said couldn’t recover rates by distress against owners of houses occupied by troops. Undertaking obtained from Mr Gardner instead.
Re water rate at Whitehall, Mr Smith the owner refused to pay because of resolution passed by Council ‘fixing rate to be charged the Military for rates where soldiers were occupying empty houses’. Surveyor said Military Authorities refused to pay this charge’. Resolved to approach the War Office.

UDC Waterworks Committee, 2 June 1916, page 178
Mr Goodey to have extra help during the War ‘by Mr Duncombe going to the water Works at 2 p.m. each day instead of 4 p.m. as heretofore’.

2 June 1916, page 682, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Sir … Rate Collector reported that Mr J E Smith the Owner of premises known as Whitehall situate in Witham, refused to pay arrears of Water Rate … During this period the premises aforesaid have been occupied by Troops’
Appears not legally chargeable. ‘… enquire whether the War Office would not discharge the amount due and adjust the matter with the Owner in the next payment for Rent, as I presume the rent received by the Owner was intended to include all local rates. … [To] Under Secretary of State for War, War Office, London’

Essex County Chronicle, 9 June 1916
page 6  ‘Presbyterian Communion’. Held for soldiers of Lowland Scottish at Congregational Church. Captain Yuille, chaplain. Twelve officers and over a hundred soldiers.’

Essex County Chronicle, 16 June 1916
Includes a full-length photo of the three Pictons. ‘Witham Bomb Tragedy. Inquest and funerals’. Deaths of Revd D M Picton Congregational minister, and Lieut James McLagan, R E, and serious injury to Mrs and Miss Picton’. Lieut billeted at the Manse with them. Showing a hand grenade at ten on night. …Inquest. Rev Picton 52, Lieut 22, of 3/1st Highland Field Co., attached to the 1/3rd Lowland Field Co. RE. … The Lieut an expert. Sunday services described. Also ‘Capt Yuille, CF, at his open-air service, made an impressive allusion … also loss … McLagan’.

Info from cwgc.org:
McLagan, JAMES, Second Lieutenant Regiment: Royal Engineers: 61st Div. Lowland Field Coy. Age: 21. Date of Death: 08/06/1916. Son of James and Jeannie R. McLagan, of 11, Sutherland St., Hillhead, Glasgow. Buried in Glasgow (Sighthill) Cemetery. Spec. Memorial, Glasgow (Eastwood) Cemetery

UDC 26 June 1916
page 327. Letter from Lt Col R E Stores enquiring possibility of extension from three inch water main to stores in Maldon Road. Resolved that ‘as the Council were supplying three camps with water the extension of the Main could not be entertained at present’.
Chairman ‘mentioned the extraordinary traffic of Army waggons, motors etc passing along Powers Hall Road.’ Surveyor instructed to take a census. [Firing ranges etc. were there, to right of Victoria]
Water works Committee, re extra help by Duncombe going in at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., adopted.

3 July 1916
From cwgc.org. F P Warren had played the organ at the Catholic Church when he was in Witham with the Warwicks, see above for Essex County Chronicle 26 March 1915
Name: Warren, Francis Purcell. Second Lieutenant. South Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Age 21: Date Of Death: 03/07/1916 [Somme had begun on 1st with ‘worst day in history of British Army’ with one third killed]
Son Of Walter And Kezia Warren, Of 10, Holly Walk, Leamington Spa. “Morley” Scholar At Royal College Of Music. Enlisted Sept., 1914, In 7th Bn. Royal Warickshire Regt.
Grave: Pier And Face 7 A And 7 B, Thiepval Memorial

Essex Weekly News, 7 July 1916
page 6, col 8  ‘Cricket. Witham drew with the Bedfordshire Yeomanry on Saturday, making 215 for 7 wickets (Rev C G Littlehales 110[?], C S Richardson 29, Corpl Yates 24, G C Butler 22); Yeomanry 108 for 6 wickets (Lieut Bicker-Caarten 39, Major Spencer 32, Pte Turner 13 not out)’.

‘Strawberry Tea. From a fund raised by Mr Afford and friends upwards of 100 A.S.C. men, accompanied by their officers, were entertained to a strawberry tea on Sunday afternoon in the paddock at Avenue House, lent by Mr F T Round, CMG. The helpers included Mr, Mrs and Miss Round, Capt and Mrs Cullen, Mrs W Brown, the Misses Pattisson, Payne, Eldred (two), Stevenson, Vaux and Mann. Capt Cullen expressed the thanks of the men for the entertainment.

YMCA Hut. On Saturday a capital concert was given by local talent, Mr Edmund Pelly presiding. Miss Eldred was the accompanist, and Miss Gill charmed everyone with her singing. Miss Edith Luard and Sapper Robertson recited and a duet was given by Ptes Churcher, London Scottish, and Smith, Rifle Brigade, who also contributed solos. Prte Preistner[?] AAC, sang, and the Assistant Leader gave [???] solos. The proceeds from the concert by the Allies on behalf of YMCA funds amounted to £19 5s 3d’.

Essex Weekly News, 21 July 1916
page 6, col 6. Bowls. In a three-rink game on Wednesday the local Club ran out winners by 62 to 27 against a party of Lowland Engineers.

UDC, 31 July 1916
page 333. Medical Officer reports tuberculosis at Grove Cottage occupied by Mr Perry, ‘also Military case of Scarlet Fever at Maldon Road Camp’, latter to Heybridge hospital.

Surveyor reported ‘Consumption of water had increased enormously during the month and suggested that a strong protest be made against the watering of Military horses from the Town supply and that private individuals be warned that they must not use the town water for this purpose without the Sanction of the council or its officers. Mr Smith reported that a number of horses were watered recently from the Avenue Supply. ‘Resolved that Council could not allow town water to be used for watering horses in future. Tell Mr Laurence ‘and another private individual to whom it may concern’.
Request from the D O R E for further tapping of water mains in Maldon Road. No, in view of ‘quantity of water already being supplied to the Military’.
Resolved that Military authorities be requested to desist from using water from Council mains for watering horses. If they didn’t in a week, put before Waterworks Committee.

UDC 28 August 1916
Letter from Mr E H Ronnebeck[?] asking permission for temporary YMCA sign board in town. Yes.

Essex Weekly News, 15 September 1916
page 6  ‘Tea. On Sunday afternoon Mr P E Laurence, JP, entertained the Engineers and the wounded from the VAD Hospital to tea on the lawn under the old cedars at his residence, the Grove. A band was in attendance’.

‘Accident. On Friday Mr George Pavelin was wheeling his wife, who is an invalid in her bath chair on the Hatfield road, when a number of Army carts came, along and a wheel of one of them struck the chair smashing one of the wheels. Mrs Pavelin, fortunately, was not injured’

‘Soldier’s accident. As Driver Bryson, B E was returning with his team and wagons from the sports on Wednesday and was proceeding along the Maldon Road the horses became restive and the driver fell heavily. One of the wheels passed over his right leg, breaking the bone.’

‘Engineers Sports. The Royal Engineers, 65th Lowland Division, under Lieut Col Arthur and his officers, were responsible for an excellent afternoon’s entertainment on the Grove field, kindly lent by Mr P E Laurence, JP on Wednesday, when sports were keenly contested, much to the delight of the large crowd present. The band of the 2/4th Royal Scots provided music. The proceeds are to be directed to the Scottish Red Cross Society. Lady de Crespigny distributed the prices and was thanked by Lieut Col Arthur. In the evening a concert was held at the Public Hall. Col Arthur presided and songs were sung by Miss Gill, Capt Yuill, CF, and Capt Boyd. Recitations were contributed … cornet sole … A feature of the programme was the graceful and artistic dancing of little Miss N Eylot Hawkins, who also gave a recitation’.

Essex County Chronicle, 15 September 1916
page 6  ‘Military Sports at Witham’. Wednesday afternoon’, ‘sports of the 65th Lowland Division, Royal Engineers’ on Grove Field. Lieut Ogilvie in charge. Prizes distributed by Lady de Crespigny, Sir Claude judge boxing. In evening, concert at Public Hall, ‘Colonel Arthur, DSO, CRE, presiding’. Results of sports, including races, grenade throwing, drill, riding, boxing, ‘cycle tent pegging’, ‘boot and sock race’, saddlery, officers race, officers jumping, wagon driving, Five a side football. Winners from various units i.e. ‘3/1 LFC’, 1/3, 3/2, Signal Co, Signal Co Chelmsford, ‘Adjutant 65th Div RE’ In boxing, ‘an exhibition bout between Spr Laffaty, light weight champion of Scotland, and Sgt Pattisson, late a champion of South Africa’.

24 September 1916, ERO J/P 12/7(see under this ref for full transcript
Letter from Special Constable at Wickham Bishops, about objects fallen from a Zeppelin in various parts of the village, including pieces of magnet and a machine gun. He and his colleagues had collected them with the help of the Royal Engineers from Witham who took them away.

UDC 25 September 1916
page 343. Finance Committee report adopted including that surveyor instructed to interview the Military authorities re scavenging roads.
page 344. Proposed that all water supplied by Council other than domestic, should be metered, because of reports of wastage. Refer to Water works Committee.

UDC 18 December 1916
page 358. Bad condition of the Terling Road.

January 1917
65th (2nd Lowland) Division who were in Essex were posted to Ireland. Replaced by 73rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division, till it was gradually broken up in January 1918 (information from Ian Hook)

Essex County Chronicle, 19 January 1917
page 6  ‘Plucky Driver. – Yesterday morning a pair of horses attached to an empty transport wagon bolted from near the White Horse at Chipping Hill, and dashed over the railway bridge into Witham. Driver Corfield, RE, who was mounted on the leader, was thrown from his seat three times on to the pole, but he stuck most pluckily to this horse, and went along hanging on to it by the neck. Fortunately there was no traffic on the bridge, and the horses, galloping full speed, took the narrow road and turnings without coming to grief. The driver eventually pulled them up near the Public Hall’.

15 March 1917, page 800, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Account for emptying latrine pails. To ‘the Command Paymaster, Eastern Command, Army Pay Office, Science museum, South Kensington, SW’.

15 March 1917, page 801, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Enclose account ‘for water supplied to Witham Range on Army Form’… [To] O i/c Supplies, ASC Office, New Barracks, Fermoy’.

UDC 30 April 1917, Annual meeting
page 379. Surveyor has got supply of water meters. Confirmed purchase.

13 June 1917, page 837, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Correspondence ‘between Surveyor and Captn Samuelson’ re terns for water supply. [no desails]. ‘‘The additional charge for horses is for one year, or for the duration of the camp if not extending so long’
[To] Major Otway, ASC 73rd Division, Bank Buildings, Chelmsford’

Essex Weekly News, 13 July 1917
‘Staff-officer killed at Witham. Yesterday an inquest was held at Witham relative to the death of Capt the Hon E J Kay-Shuttleworth, second son of Baron Shuttleworth, who was killed while riding a motor cycle towards the town on Tuesday. At the corner of the three cross-roads near Brown’s Farm he collided with a pony trap, driven by Mr Charles Cooper, greengrocer, of Braintree, who was accompanied by Mr Charles Smith. Capt. Kay-Shuttleworth’s right chest struck the shaft, causing internal injuries, from which he died fifteen minutes later’ Men in trap tipped out but no injury. ‘During his residence in Witham the deceased officer had gained the esteem of all who came into contact with him. The deepest sympathy is felt with Mrs Kay-Shuttleworth and her two children. About a fortnight ago deceased lost a brother in France, whither he was shortly to proceed again on active service. At the inquest, which was conducted by Mr Coroner Harrison, Lieut. Playford represented the military authorities, and Mr P E Laurence, JP at whose house deceased was staying, was also present. Mr Eustace Hills, barrister, Cherry-gardens, Chelsea, brother-in-law of deceased, said he was 27 years of age and a Staff Captain of an Infantry Brigade. Deceased’s sight and hearing were exceptionally good and he was an efficient motor cycle rider’ Mr Cooper said ‘in rounding the corner the trap went close to the near side hedge, which was very high. Suddenly they saw a motor cycle rushing on to them, and it immediately struck the pony’s head. Deceased was on the wrong side and struck the near side shaft. The pony’s harness broke … deceased lying under the hedge .. motor cycle .. in the middle of the road. Smith went for a doctor, and Drs Gimson and Knight came. Smith asked deceased where he came from, and he replied “Witham” He never spoke again and died in about 15 minutes.
Mrs Lizzie Handley, Kelvedon, who was cycling from Rivenhall to Witham at the time, said she hears a motor cycle coming from the direction of Braintree, and as it appeared to be running very fast she got off her machine and walked. Soon afterwards she heard a smash at the corner, and on reaching the spot … Pc Haggar said the shafts … were iron-tipped … the track of the motor cycle indicated that the machine had cut across from the other side of the road a few yards before reaching the corner … severe injuries … main artery … severed. Pc Haggar … the deceased had ridden a motor cycle about six weeks and was a careful driver. The Coroner said. … the deceased cut into the corner thinking nothing was coming … Jury … Accidental death … recommended that the hedge at the corner should be immediately lopped and that a representation should he made to the Urban Council for the substitution of an open fence. Deceased … home, Babraham, Cambridge’.

Urban District Council minutes, 30 July 1917
page 393. Letter from Dr Harrisson (coroner). Jury recommended on the occasion of the inquest on the late Captain Shuttleworth that ‘the hedges at the corner where the accident occurred should be considerably lowered’. Do it.

Urban District Council minutes, 24 September 1917
page 405. Surveyor presented plan of proposed alteration to ‘dangerous corner at Cocks Farm’, estimated cost £55 15s. Refer to Road Committee.

Urban District Council minutes, 29 October 1917
page 410. Road Committee. Report adopted recommendation that proposed alteration ‘to the corner at the junction of the Rivenhall and Braintree Roads be not carried out but that the hedge be kept well cut down’.

UDC Waterworks Committee, 30 July 1917, page 204
Letters of complaint received new rate of charge for water supply. Following results:
‘P E Laurence. Has 2 Cars, no Horses of his own, only Military Horses’. Resolved he should pay, and obtain it from Military. [The Grove]
‘Mrs Beville, Stables commandeered by Military’. To pay and get from Military [Roslyn House]

‘Revd Canon Galpin. Garden tap disconnected. Meadow tap. Paid 10s instead of 7s 6d. No Horses of his own. Military Horses in Winter. Motor Car not in use and no license’. Remit charge in garden tap. ‘If Horses there, charge to stand unless water cut off’.

Mr Castell (Wilderness). Has no garden taps. Tap in stable not yet charged for. Military Horses in winter’. Collector to investigate. If tap done away with, no charge.

10 August 1917, page 858, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Received your letter. To ‘The Officer i/c Barracks, 125 London Road, Chelmsford’

27 August 1917
page 400. Letter from ‘Officer I/C[?] Barracks Chelmsford’ re rates allowance. No.

31 August 1917, page 872, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Received cheque ‘for water supplied to Maldon Road and Collingwood Road Camps for the month of July’. Small extra balance, will carry over
To ‘Major Otway, ASC, Bank Buildings, Chelmsford’

3 November 1917, page 903, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Sanitary Services at Witham. ‘All the Sanitary Conveniences were extra to normal times, and were necessary to meet the military occupation of the respective premises … [To] The Officer i/c Barracks, EC, 125 London Road, Chelmsford’.

8 November 1917, page 904, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Our Surveyor informs me that owing to shortage of both labour and horses the Council are not in a position to undertake the emptying of the six latrine buckets behind the Church House, Witham …
[To] The O/C No 2 (830) Coy, A.S.C., Witham’

8 December 1917, page 913, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
Enclose accounts ‘for water supplied to the 830th Company, ASC, during November … …much obliged if you will expedite payment of the long overdue a/c for emptying latrine pails.
[To] Officer i/c Barracks, E.D., 125 London Road, Chelmsford.’

Essex County Chronicle, 28 December 1917
page 2. ‘Soldier fined at Witham’. Petty Sessions. Private John Peachey, 19, King’s Liverpool Regt’ stealing 10s and a 5s PO from ‘Mrs Eliza Cope of Braintree Road, Witham’. Prisoner had seen her put it in her bag and later missed it. PS Hagger found postal order within an hour. When accused prisoner he denied and said had money from a pal, ‘with which he had purchased cakes at the YMCA hut’. Later admitted it. Pleaded guilty. Asked for chance to refund. ‘Sgt Balshaw stated that the prisoner was an expert rifle shot, and was giving instruction of an important character’. Chairman said Mrs Cope had caused temptation. Fine £2 and return the stolen goods.

page 5. ‘Soldiers entertained. On Boxing Day the soldiers in Witham were entertained to tea by the townspeople, at the YMCA Hut, the school, and other places. In the evening an entertainment was given at the Public Hall, the programme including the sketch “A Matrimonial Agency,” arranged by Mrs Kemp of Witham. The characters were sustained by Mrs H M Everard (Terling), Mrs Hicks (Hatfield Peverel), Miss Una Morse, Lieuts Cave [sic, though Cane below], Lattimer [sic, though Latimer below] and Abbott, ASC, and Major Quack, Liverpool Regt. Miss Kendall (London) played violin solos, and Miss Watson was at the piano’.

‘The Red Cross Hospital. The 35 wounded soldiers at the Witham Red Cross Hospital were given a happy Christmas. The Matron, Mrs R C Dunn, visited the wards, distributing presents at each soldier’s bed. Dinner consisted of roast turkey, plum pudding, mincepies, etc., provided by friends. Miss C A Pattisson, the commandant, presented each soldier with a leather pocket-case. In the evening a concert was held, Mrs Kemp, of Rosslyn House, with Lieuts Cane [sic, though Cave above] and Latimer [sic though Lattimer above], from Danbury, providing a capital programme. Mr B C Afford was a welcome visitor. At the close the wounded insisted upon singing “A Perfect Day”. Yesterday the soldiers were taken to a theatre at Chelmsford’.

January 1918
73rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division who were in Essex were gradually broken up, and defensive duties assumed by Training Units (information from Ian Hook).

Essex Weekly News, 11 January 1918
page 5, col 2. Under National Day of Prayer. Witham. ‘Nearly 200 men of A Co 3/2nd Vol Batt Essex Regiment paraded in the High Street under Capt R Duke Hill’ et al. Also present, Major W W Boulton in command and Colonel P E Laurence. Headed by Bridge Industrial School Band. To St Nicholas Church. Party of Boy Scouts under Scoutmaster Duncombe. At church, joined by regular police under Supt Coppin and special constables under Supt Perkins, VAD nurses under Miss Pattisson (Commandant), 26 wounded soldiers under Sergt Jenkins, munition workers and representatives of W A Corps. Many of public couldn’t find room. Major Boulton read lesson and Rev J B Haslam did prayers. Band accompanied hymns. Vicar, Canon Galpin, gave address. ‘If the Lord be God, follow him’. Collection, shared between Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance.
At Congregational Church on Sunday evening Reverend J Gilbert Rees, pastor, delivered ‘an impressive address’, ‘Thanksgiving, ministration and consecration’.

page 6, col 7. Whist. 72 tables occupied at whist drive at Constitutional Club. Mr J Glover distributed the prizes. Ladies: 1 Mrs Edwards, 2 Mr T Stiff (playing as a lady), 3 Mr O Long (ditto), 4 Mrs Safe. Gentlemen: 1 Mr J E Schnell, 2 Corpl G Edwards, 3 Mr E Wainwright, 4 Mr J Linge.

Essex Weekly News, 25 January 1918
page 6, col 6. Sapper Charlie Stevens charged with insulting behaviour. Captain Brookes gave good character. Prison for 21 days hard labour – would have been more if not good character. ‘Mr Laurence thanked two young ladies who came forward to give evidence’.

Prisoners of War. From Witham the Middlesex Regiment raised £40 for fund by entertainments. Matinee at Constitutional Club, evening in Congregational Schoolroom, packed. Captain S Abrey the local secretary to the Prisoner of War Fund. Canon Galpin. Both thanked by Major Hast and Battalion.

UDC 28 January 1918
page 429. Discussion in general that the roads needed improving. Included letter from ‘Mr C W Parker of Faulkbourne Hall complaining of the bad condition of the Road from Powers Hall End past Highfields Farm which was almost impossible to cyclists to travel over’. Problem about getting material and labour. Surveyor to try and get ‘300 tons of material from some source’.

Essex Weekly News, 1 February 1918
page 6, col 7. Witham. Raised funds for Colchester Hospital Comfort Fund. Entertainment by officers and friends in YMCA Hut. Vocal contributions by Miss Wright, Lieut Jones and Mr B C Afford with Sergeant Potter at piano. Private Volte did monologues. Farce ‘My Lord in Livery’ ‘created much merriment’ – characters by Misses V, M and D Thorn, Master H Thorn, Lieut L C Collins, Lieut F C Watson and Lieut R N Thorn. Major Price appealed for funds. This and two other entertainments elsewhere raised nearly £20.

Essex Weekly News, 8 February 1918
page 1, col 1. Feb 2 ‘Marriage by special licence at Witham Parish Church by Canon Galpin. James Bryce of Wilson Town, Lanark, to Emma Hicks, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs G I Hicks of Easton Road, Witham’.
page 6, col 7.

Pair of horses attached to a military wagon bolted from Chipping Hill and passed along Collingwood Road, High Street, Mill Lane and Guithavon Valley. No damage. Eventually stopped by soldier.

UDC 25 February 1918
page 439. ‘Read letter from P E Laurence esq. as to working of public baths at Witham during 1917.’ [no details]

Essex Weekly News, 1 March 1918
page 6, col 6. Whist Drive at Constitutional Club. 25 tables. Mr A Mead distributed prizes. Ladies: 1 Miss Barker, 2 Mrs Richards, 3 Miss Daizley, 4 Miss Ager. Gentlemen: 1 Private S Kellingbucks, 2 Lance Corporal Ling, 3 Sergeant Argyle, 4 Sergeant H Plinston.

Essex Weekly News, 15 March 1918
page 4, col 4. Witham Petty Sessions. Salter, Capt Ffinch [?], W Butler, Laurence, J W Moss, E N R Pelly, F R Round. ‘Private Fredk Barnett, Durham Light Infantry, was summoned by Beatrice M Fleming, Church Street, Witham, to show cause etc.’ Mr H P Bawtree instructed by act by NSPCC. Complainant only 16 years old when child born on November 30 last. To pay 5 shillings a week for 14 years.

page 5, col 7. Whist Drive, Constitutional Club. 21 tables. Mr A Mead distributed the prizes. Lades: 1 Mrs R Hodges, 2 Miss M Ottley, 3 Miss Wilkin, 4 Miss H Hills. Gentlemen: Corporal Streamer, 2 Private Klabrow, 3 Mr F Gill, 4 Private J Lovey.

11 November 1918, message on postcard
Message on photo M1460 from Owen to his father, Staff sgt F E Cole, c/o Mrs Lovedy, Elmdon Lee, Saffron Walden, Essex’. Pm 11.11.18.‘Dearest Dad, Monday afternoon. We got the news this morning that the Germans had accepted our armistice terms: it was put up in the window of the stationers shop opposite. We saw it at 11 o’clock: it is so hard to understand and believe flags are flying from every house: boys are marching round the streets with flags: we are not doing any work this afternoon: I cannot understand what is going to happen: how things are going to be arranged. There may be anarchy in Germany as in Russia. I might yet see some fighting there. We must wait and see’.

4 February 1919, message on postcard
M1463 . from Owen Cole (see 11 November 1918) to presumably his mother. This one is postmarked 4 Feb 1919 from Witham. Message includes ‘We go on Thursday: we have been getting ready today, cleaning our equipment and such like things: the Sergeant told us today that we should continue signalling at Colchester and he would be with us, and probably the Brigade School would be started again in Cologne, so that’s rather cheered me up: we shall get six days leave before we go to Cologne: all this has come so suddenly, we knew things would move soon, but never expected anything like this, its like a bomb shell. This is a nice card of Witham, the most fashionable road in the place: the field on the right is our General Parade Ground’.[i.e. west of Avenue]

Essex County Chronicle, 28 March 1919
page 6  ‘Witham Cricket Club. Why Outdoor Recreation was preferred to growing potatoes’. Annual meeting at the Grove by invitation of the President, Mr P E Laurence. Mr W Stevens, for many years hon sec, voted to chair. Mr Laurence not well. Mr A P Snell of Brighton had written. Report by management committee, Laurence, Stevens and H B Peecock. ‘Carried on the club last year for the benefit of soldiers, and military league matches were played. The bar had not been open ..’
Letter from Essex sec, hoped to arrange a match at Witham ‘between the Australian Imperial Forces and Essex Amateurs’.
Mr Pelly thanked committee for ‘the use of the ground by the Volunteers for drilling’.
Hope to get a professional to improve the ground.
‘The Chairman: It has been thrown in my teeth several times that the Witham cricket ground should have been ploughed up to grow food, but I consider that it was far better to maintain the cricket ground to provide outdoor recreation for our soldiers than to grow potatoes to fill the stomachs of the British public (Hear, hear).
Mr Bawtree said ‘Witham had a perfect wicket in the past – easily the best in Essex’.
Mr Stewart Richardson disappointed young men not at meeting.
Mr S Richardson elected captain, he had been in 1914. Said ‘In the future Witham Cricket Club will occupy a more prominent position than ever. The clubs at Chelmsford, Colchester and Brentwood have gone, and Witham alone remains’.

Essex Weekly News, 4 July 1919, page 2
UDC meeting, 30 June. ‘The Baths. Mr P E Laurence wrote offering the Council the public baths at Witham at a valuation; and Mr C Haskins, hon secretary to the baths, supplied statistics showing that they had been mostly used by soldiers. Mr S Richardson remarked that the baths could not pay, and the Chairman said if the Council took them over they would have to pay for the water used. The Council decided that the Council could not undertake the baths at present in view of other commitments, and resolved to ask the present Committee to carry on for three months further to see if civilians used the baths’.

November 1919
From cwgc.org; death of Colonel Elton, was with the 7th Warwicks Regiment who left Witham in March 1915.
Name: Elton, Alfred George Goodenough. Rank: Colonel. Regiment: Connaught Rangers. Secondary Regiment: Royal Warwickshire Regiment: Commanding 7th Bn. Age:62. Date Of Death: 17/11/1919. Son Of Alfred Elton, Of Shenstone Lodge, Bedford; Husband Of Alice Maud Elton, Of Knole Lodge, Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset. Grave: North-East Part Tenbury (Or Tenbury Wells) (St. Mary) Churchyard

Essex Weekly News, 12 December 1919, page 4
Witham Comrades’ Hut opened. Local branch of Comrades of Great War, had acquired the YMCA hut. Subscribers and friends to a social in the hut. It has been improved and divided into two rooms, one for reading and one for games and refreshments.

OS map 1922
Behind Powershall, are ‘Rifle Butts (disused)’, shown as long straight ridge with bank on one side (I enquired about this in 2001 and was told it was no longer there).

___________________________________________

General

PRO WO 95/5460
WW1 war diary. Includes lots of units including: 978 MT COY RASC 1917-18
CLAYDON [then has Colchester written on in blue pencil]
Typed account. Includes: ‘Previous to October 1917 the area … was … maintained by 373 MT Company, Bedford, with sub-workshops at Chelmsford and East Bergholt. 373 Company was then divided into 3 Companies, one of which was 978 Co … formed …Oct 1st 1917′. Premises at Claydon. Work was ‘supply and maintenance of all MT vehicles attached to Units in … Essex north of Thames, and Suffolk south of a line … Haverhill to Aldeburgh’. Sub workshop at Chelmsford handed over to this Coy and East Bergholt workshop vacated. 1,100 vehicles. Increased to 1,200 by March 1918 then reduced to 620 before armistice especially because of withdrawal of 324 vehicles to 2 cyclist brigades. Various lathes and things at Claydon Lot of non standard units. Women from Feb 1918. Now 95 women, especially driving. German POWs arrived at HQ on 10 March, 45 of them, most are ‘most useful’.

Mrs Chipperfield, wife of Warwick Chipperfield, at Templars Junior School fete, 7 December 1996
Mrs Dazley who lived in Nelson House, Maldon Road, in 1914, called a baby Warwick after the two Warwickshire regiment soldiers who were billeted with her. The baby died in 1915 (is on the burial register), and Mrs D wouldn’t be satisfied until another member of the family was called Warwick. I think Warwick Chipperfield, the speaker’s husband, was Mrs D’s daughter’s grandson, and received the name after there were a couple of other children with other names as preferred by their parents. Mrs C. the speaker has also called her son Warwick; he is at the junior school.

Royal Warwicks
Envelope-to: janet@gyford.com
Reply-To: “DAVID L SEENEY” <sunsetmilitaria@btinternet.com>
From: “DAVID L SEENEY” <Sunsetmilitaria@btinternet.com>
To: <janet@gyford.com>
Subject: 7TH ROYAL WARWICKS IN ESSEX
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 17:09:01 -0000
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1437
Dear Janet
Thank you for your letter regarding the Royal Warwicks in Essex.
I will pass your details on at the next meeting of the Friends of the Royal Warwicks Museum, we would of course welcome any articles or notes for the news letter.
Regards
David L Seeney – Research Advisor
Sunset Militaria, Dinedor Cross,
Herefordshire, HR2 6PF – UK
TEL: 01432 870420
FAX:: 01432 870309
RESEARCH/MEDALS/BADGES