The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.


World War One

World War I, also known as the First World War and the Great War, was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants were killed; a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.



About one hundred men and boys (some as young as 16) enlisted in the armed services and pressure was put on the "eligibles" who had not yet volunteered.

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Letters home.

A selection of letters written by Clophill lads serving overseas.

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Royal Engineers.

Haynes Park was a base for training in the Signal Service before they went abroad. Many were billeted in the village and attended church services here.

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War memorial

The War Memorial records the names of twenty four men from Clophill who died in World War One.

Details from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website are shown with links to individual pages giving the history of each man.

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Nearly one hundred and fifty men from Clophill fought in the great War and survived.

Their stories have been researched from military records and local newspapers and are presented here.


Shows the dates servicemen died and the major battles (with total casualties).

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The Life and Times of Cyril Smith, a young volunteer.

This young lad enlisted early and spent most of the war fighting abroad but came to a sad end.

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The diary of Thomas Poole Ball

Thomas Poole Ball was a Royal Engineer with the Western Signal Service. He went to Gallipoli and experienced the landings.

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The Rector's War.

The Rector of Clophill served as an Army Chaplain in the front line in France.

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Victory And Peace Fête

The village organised a whole day of events including a fancy dress parade, bonnie baby competition and egg and spoon races.

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Ampthill News

The above accounts are taken from contemporary reports in the 'Ampthill News' reporting on the war at home and abroad and how it affected the village. Here are the full transcripts.


The commencement of war. Local lads enlist. Trench warfare dominates Western Front.

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Royal Engineers billeted in Clophill. First Clophill lad dies from wounds received in action.

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Clophill lads recuperating after Gallipoli. Conscription introduced. Local ladies start collecting for the troops.

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Local lads wounded on the Somme. 100 Clophill boys at the fronts. USA declared war on Germany.

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Service in Africa, Salonica, Egypt, Belgium, and France. Armistice.

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