The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
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The Ampthill News

No. 2,254.



Saturday January 2nd 1915

The Christmas services were well attended. Holy Communion was celebrated at 7 a.m., 8.15 a.m., and at mid-day. At matins the sermon was preached by the Rector. At 6 p.m. There was a carol service. The church was tastefully decorated. On Christmas Eve the male members of the choir went round singing Christmas carols.

The heavy rain on Monday night flooded the low lying lands near the river. The roads between Clophill and Silsoe were for a time impassible by travellers on foot.

We regret to record the sudden death of Mrs. Rebbeca Richardson, wife of Mr. Samuel Richardson of this village. She was nursing a niece, and had a sudden seizure on Friday night. She was conveyed home, but never regained consciousness, and passed away on Sunday morning.


It was feelings of profound regret and deep sorrow that the people of the village heard on Monday morning that Mr. Edward Crouch, of Cainhoe, Clophill's "Grand Old Man," had passed away suddenly on Sunday night. He had been in his usual health during the day, and had retired to rest, when about midnight he was taken suddenly ill, and expired half an hour later. Having attained the advanced age of 91 he was the "oldest inhabitant" of Clophill,as he was also the most highly respected and best loved. Mr. Crouch lived all his life at Cainhoe, as did his father and grandfather before him, and he always took the keenest interest in Clophill and its people, whom he served in many capacities. He gave liberally both his time and money for any object which would enhance the welfare of the place, whose people always occupied a warm place in his heart. He filled many public offices in his time. For many years he was Guardian of the Poor for Clophill, and for a considerable time he was Chairman of the Board, as he was also of the first one or two Rural District Councils. Increasing deafness caused him to relinquish this office, which he had filled so capably.

Mr. Crouch also had a seat for a time on the County Council, being elected by the Shillington district, where he owned some property, and where his great-grandfather (who was a native of Hertfordshire) was buried. The first Clophill Parish Council chose Mr. Crouch from outside to be its chairman, and he held the office for about 6 years, when, although invited to preside again he felt himself unable to respond to the invitation. In addition to these offices Mr. Crouch was a manager of Clophill School from 1871 to about 1910, and he always took the liveliest interest in the children of the village. In November last, in reply to a letter of congratulation on his birthday, Mr. Crouch wrote a most kindly reply, expressing expressing his best wishes for the welfare of the school. He was a manager, and for some time correspondent, of the school at Gravenhurst; and was also the first Chairman of the Shillington School Board. For over fifty years he was one of the Trustees of the Clophill Charities, and he devoted much care and time to this work,to the great benefit of those participating in the gifts.

He was also Trustee of the Gravenhurst Charities for a time. Advancing years and increasing deafness caused him to relinquish his useful work gradually. The last office which he held was that of Rector's Churchwarden, which he had occupied for fifty years under four Rectors. Mr. Crouch took the keenest interest in politics and was a staunch Unionist. As long as he could he worked very actively in the cause; was President of the Board of the Local Unionist Association, and generally Chairman of Unionist gatherings in the village. He was a good speaker, stating his views clearly and forcibly. Mr. Crouch was a devoted Churchman, and was always most regular in his attendance at the various services. Lately he has found the distance too great to be walked twice daily, but to the end he attended the Sunday morning service, and was present on the Sunday previous to his death. Mr. Crouch will be greatly missed in this place, and it is doubtful if Clophill will ever "look upon his like again." He had no sons or daughters, but several nephews and nieces, and a whole host of friends inside and outside the village will mourn the loss of a dear relative, and a true friend. The funeral takes place today (Friday).