The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.
This is information gleaned from the 'Ampthill News' for the period of the war. Click to expand an item.
Pte. John Willmore, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Willmore, has been wounded on the Somme, and sent to England.
A large congregation attended the intercessional service at St Mary's church on Sunday evening, when a powerful sermon was delivered by the Rev. J.G.S. Sherrell. The offertory was in aid of the Red Cross Society.
The sudden death of Pte. Harry Appleby, A.S.C., son of Sergeant-Major A.W. Appleby, of the Hertfordshires, is a great blow to the family. He was stationed on Salisbury Plain. His remains were conveyed to Hitchin for internment.
Pte. Jesse Titmas, R.A.M.C., and his brother Pte. Ernest Titmas, Royal Marines, sons of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Titmas, of Wood View,write that they are well. Their younger brother, Mr. Samuel Titmas, having successfully passed as a first class mechanic in the Royal Flying Corps, has been drafted to France.
Sapper Hurbert Whittamore, of the Royal Engineers, has left for the French front, having been transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Other Clophill men who have gone to the front recently are Troopers H. Matthews and L. Izzards, Beds Yeomanry, and Private E. Herbert, Beds Regiment.
Trooper Bruce Tufnell, Beds. Imperial Yeomanry, has been promoted full Corporal. He was formally in the employ of Mr. Wingfield of Ampthill House.
Ptes. Percy Garner, George Gobey, and Frederick Willison, of the Bedfords, who were trained at Ampthill Park, have recently written home very cheerily from France.
Pte. Walter Sharman, R.A.M.C., is making satisfactory progress. He was dangerously wounded in the back and shoulder by shrapnel.
Sapper Harding, R.E., now in Mesopotamia with his officer, Major Newell, for some time a resident at Ivy House, informs Mrs. Matthews that they are surrounded with lovely palm trees and the scenery is magnificent.
Sapper Herbert Whittamore, R.E., has left for the French front, having been transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He has met Troopers Harold Matthews and Leonard Izzard, both of the Yeomanry.
Pte. Reginald Murphy, who has been transferred from the Army Veterinary Corps to the Royal Field Artillery, has gone to Salonica.
Mr. William Billington and Mr. George Burton, County council employees, have recently embarked for France to work on the main roads under captain Smart, R.E.
Pioneer Walter Webb, R.E., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Webb,has gone to Salonica. His training was at the Haynes Park Signal Depot. His brother, Private Frank Webb,of the Bedfords, has recently been on the Somme.
Pte. Ernest Osborne, of the Bedfords, who was trained at Halton Park Camp, writing from France to his sister, says he feels grateful to the kind friends of the village for the Christmas gifts they sent.
Private Bert. Tuffnell, South African Infantry, has been discharged as medically unfit for further service. He was in South Africa at the commencement of Hostilities, and was with ?????? force which conquered German South West Africa. Later he served in Egypt, where he was badly wounded in the shoulder. He has spent a long time in hospital, but has not been able to regain the use of his arm, and has consequently been invalided.
The force of the explosion in the east of London was felt in the village on Friday evening.
Mr. Lewis Ansell, eldest son of Mr. William and Mrs. Ansell, of High Street, has joined the Royal Engineers, and gone to Chatham.
Mr. Sidney Peat, youngest son of Mr. David Peat, gardener for the Misses Moore, of Maulden Cottage, has joined the Royal Navy.
Pte. Frederick Willison, of the Bedfords, writing to his mother from the Somme, informs her that he and his mates are enjoying robust health.
Pte. W. Thurby, Cameron Highlanders, is enjoying a much-needed rest at Bedford Cottages with his wife and family. He went out to France at the commencement of hostilities and has been slightly wounded on five occasions.
Eleven gallant lads from Clophill met with their death, mainly in France, namely John Bone, Harry Quenby, Ernest Eddy, James Lee, Percy Eddy, Bertie Webb, Harry Diggins, George Maddams, Horace White, Charles Gudgin, and Thomas Izzard.
Much sympathy goes out to the mother, brothers and sisters of Pte. Thomas Izzard, Beds Regiment, whose death occurred "somewhere in France" last week. Pte. Izzard received most of his training at Halton Park. He was subsequently drafted to France. News came from the chaplain of the Hospital that he was suffering from nephritis and was seriously ill. Later pneumonia set in.
The use of unrestricted submarine warfare was announced by Germany on January 9th, 1917. The use of unrestricted submarine warfare was to have a major impact on World War One as it was one of the main reasons why America joined the war.
Corpl. Charles Langley, R.F.A., son of Mr. and Mrs. John Langley, has been recommended for the Military Cross, having been twice mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's despatched.
Private George White, of the Canadian Contingent, after convalescing at Hastings, has visited his relatives this week. He was severely wounded by shrapnel, and has been at Cambridge Hospital and to a convalescent home.
Pte. William Garner, Royal West Kent Regt., France, writing to our correspondent, says:- No doubt you have heard I am at the base, but expect to be moving up shortly, having been here five weeks. I am feeling fairly well after undergoing dental treatment. Perhaps you won't believe me, but I would sooner be frying fish and chips than be lying here under canvas. I somehow think it would be warmer. But never mind, it is all for a good cause. I do not get out in the town much. I went out the other day, but could not purchase anything, as I could not make them understand what I wanted. When I asked for a razor they showed me a pipe and about a dozen different things, quite a concert, I can tell you. I almost fancied I was on the old school platform again. There are ten of us in our tent, so we get a bit lively at times. We do not get any pig singing competitions out here. Remember me to all old friends at Clophill and neighbourhood. I hope I shall be spared to see you all again. I get the good old "Beds. Times" every week.
Pte. John Blackburn, Bedford Regt., has had some very narrow escapes in the firing line. He formally resided at Church Cottage.
Pte. Cyril Smith, only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith of Sunnydale, is at present near the Pyramids, and has recently come in contact with several Royal Engineers from Haynes Park.
Mr. W. Parkinson has received news that his son, Pte. Harry Parkinson, Bedfordshire Regiment, has been wounded in action - gunshot wounds in the shoulder, head and left arm (severely) - and that he has been admitted to hospital in France.
Pte. Arthur Young, the eldest of the four soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Young, after severe privations in the trenches, has been admitted to Glasgow Hospital.
Pte. Walter Sharman, R.A.M.C., who was wounded by shrapnel, has so far improved as to be able to attend the convalescent home at Little Hampton. He states that in hospital he received every attention.
Pte. Henry Parkinson, severely wounded on Jan. 24th., who is now in hospital at Northfield, is making fair progress. Before being sent to England he spent three weeks in the 1st Australian Hospital at Rouen. We was wounded in the head and left arm by shrapnel. Six others of the platoon were wounded at the same time. Pte. Parkinson took part in the advance on July 1st, and in the Trones Wood struggle, and was in the fighting when Thiepval was captured.
Pte. George Gobey, of the Bedfords, has been admitted to hospital in France suffering from a gunshot wound in the left shoulder, received in action on Feb. 15th
About a hundred Clophill boys have seen active service at one or other of the fronts, in addition to many who are at present undergoing training in England. At present there are 74 in the firing line, 10 sick or wounded and in hospital. One is a prisoner in Germany, eleven have given their lives, and two or three have been discharged as a result of their wounds rendering them unfit for further service.
Pte. John Blackburn, of the Bedford Regiment, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Blackburn, formerly of Church Cottage, has written home from the trenches. He says: "We are still quite contented though, of course, we should appreciate a little recreation. The weather here has been intensely severe, freezing every day for more than a month. We have to carry our food about with us now, owing to the number of rats. There are millions of them, and they are a perfect nuisance. Two of my mates have been conveyed to hospital, the rats having, in their hunger, gnawed their ears and hands.
Pte. David Peat (Loyal North Lancs.), has been removed from hospital to a convalescent home near Sheffield.
News has been received by his wife that Pte. Geo. Richardson, Essex Regt., has been wounded and is in hospital in Cardiff. No intimation as to the nature of the wounds was given, but as the letter was written by him it is hoped they are not serious.
Mr. James Adams (late organist), now Pte. J. Adams, A.S.C., writes that he has been removed from Bath to Aldershot. He finds Army life very strange and greatly misses his Sunday duties.
Pte. W. Richardson, 2nd Bedfords, has been attached to the R.E.,s. He still keenly feels the effect of his injury caused by a bullet wound. He wrote on Wednesday that he had safely returned to France. He has been wounded twice and suffers from rheumatism.
Pte. Percy Northwood, 3/5th Bedfords, trained with other Clophill lads at Halton Park, is in France.
Pte. Percival Garner, 8th Bedfords, trained at Ampthill Park, is still in the front trenches.
Lieut. Gillett, R.N., of Glebe Cottage, has recently been promoted to the command of a destroyer.
Chief Seaman Sidney Roberts, R.N., son of Mr. David Roberts has been home for a few days.
Pte. Arthur Richardson, of the Bedfords, who is a prisoner of war at Karshausersasse, writes to his brother-in-law, Mr. F. Page, in a very cheerful mood, but his photograph, enclosed, shows a very thin and careworn face.
Corpl. G.W. Appleby, who is on active service in France, has been transferred from the Heavy Artillery Motor Transport to the 1st Field Survey Company, R.E. He tells a rather "tall" story of the laundry work in his part of the line. A chum of his, who noticed that his shirts generally came back minus the buttons, tried to give a gentle hint that he would like to have some buttons sewn on, by piercing holes in the lid of a small tin and sewing it on to the collar of his shirt. His chargrin can to be imagined when, on the return of the shirt from the wash, he found that the laundry had worked a buttonhole to fit the "button".
Pte. Walter Sharman, R.A.M.C., who has spent weeks in hospital at Chichester as the result of a severe wound received in France, has come home on leave. Since leaving hospital he has been in a convalescent home in Littlehampton.
Pte. Herbert Goodwin, 9th Cheshires, is now in hospital in France suffering with a leg injury.
Sergt. Rolson, formerly of the Haynes Park Signal Depot, and for some time resident with his family in Clophill, has recently succumbed to pneumonia. Sappers William Billington and George Burton, both expert roadmen, are doing duty in France under Capt. Smart. The former has recently been successfully treated for a poisoned foot.
At 8:30 on the evening of April 2, 1917, President Wilson appeared before a joint session of Congress and asked for a declaration of war against Germany in order to "make the world safe for democracy." On April 4, Congress granted Wilson's request. America thus joined the carnage that had been ravaging Europe since 1914. Germany's renewal of unrestricted submarine warfare and the revelation of a proposed German plot to ally with Mexico against the US prompted Wilson's action.
Mr. Arthur Maddams, son of Mr. and Mrs. Maddams, of Brickwall Farm, has joined the A.S.C., M.T., and Mr. Lionel Cunnington, on Monday, entered the wireless section of the R.N.V.R.
Pte. Samuel Page, Beds Regiment, and Pte. Walter Sharman, R.A.M.C., have been removed to a convalescent home at Blackpool. Both were wounded with shrapnel. Chief Seaman Arthur Young, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Young, is still at Glasgow Hospital. Much sympathy is extended to him in his bereavement, this gallant naval man and hero of Gallipoli having lost his wife. His three brothers are still on active service.
Sergt. Augustus Ford, Metropolitan Police force, is in France. Quartermaster-Sergt. Horace Wootton, D.C.M., Royal Hampshires, has been badly injured by barbed wire entanglements. Pte. Phillip Gudgin, A.S.C., M.T., is in active service, near Salonica. Pte. J. Turvey, 7th Bedfords, after being in France for two years, has been granted 8 days leave. His elder brother was killed in action.
Although there have been no soldiers billeted in Clophill for some time the Parish Room is still used as a Soldier's Room. Mrs. Sherrell, Mrs. Maddams, Miss Seabrook, the Misses Goodall, and other ladies devote their time to catering for the soldiers, who come chiefly from the R.E. Depots of Haynes Park and Wrest Park.
Gunner Wm. Peat, R.G.A., has been invalid from France, and is in hospital in Hampshire.
Mr. John Smith has received intelligence that his only son, Pte. Cyril Smith, Essex Regt. (formerly 5th Beds.) has been wounded. Probably it was in the battle at Gaza, as his battalion has been operating in Egypt since the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsular.
The company supplied OXO tins that family members could send to their men at the front which contained a set of 6 OXO cubes, 6 lighters and a collapsible stand to support his mess tin, so he could have hot OXO. The company delivered 100 million OXO cubes during the 4 years of the war.
As a result of a concert given by the "Summits" from Haynes Park Depot in February, with augmentations by subscriptions, Mrs. Maddams and Miss Seabrook were able to send parcels at Easter to 62 Clophill men serving at the front. Smokers received cigarettes and tobacco, and non-smokers Oxo cubes and Chocolate. Letters have been received from several of the boys expressing their appreciation, which must be highly gratifying to the ladies who take so much interest in our soldiers.
Pte. George White, Canadian Infantry, has been home on leave. He expects shortly to be well enough to join his comrades at the front.
Pte. Ernest Diggins has also been home on leave.
Trooper Francis John Hinton, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hinton, while home on final leave, was married to Ethel, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alec Bottoms, of Silsoe. The wedding presents were choice and valuable. After the honeymoon, the bridegroom rejoined his regiment for foreign service.
Corporal Edward Young, of the Yeomanry, now in France, has been seriously injured. His horse kicked him in the side. He is at Warrington Hospital making satisfactory progress.
Chief Seaman Arthur Young, the eldest of four sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Young, who has been in hospital since the beginning of the year, has undergone several operations at Glasgow Hospital. He has the sympathy of his many friends and relations in his recent sad bereavement.
Pte. Alfred Richardson, Bedford Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Richardson, who has been wounded twice, visited his parents last week. He speaks with pride of his regiment, which is always to the fore.
Mrs. H. Harris has now heard officially that her husband, Pte. Herbert Harris, Bedford Regiment, is missing.
Corpl. Charles Langley, R.F.A., oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Langley, has recently been promoted Sergeant, and has been recommended for the D.C.M. Trooper Frank Hinton, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hinton, of High Street, has promoted Bombadier. Pte. William Richardson, Bedfords, has lately come in contact in the trenches with several old pals. His brother, Percy, in the same regiment, is in hospital. Sapper Frank White, R.E., son of Mrs. Anne White, visited his native village during his final leave.
On Sunday, after evensong in the Parish Church, a short service was held by the Rev. G.J.S. Sherrell to dedicate a tablet which has been placed in the Church by Mr. John Maddams (Rector's churchwarden), in memory of his eldest son, who has paid the supreme sacrifice in France. The tablet, which is of brass, has been placed on the north wall, just over the seat which Mr. Maddams and his family occupy. It is emblazoned with the crest of the London Regiment, and bears the following inscription:- "I loving memory of our dear son,John George C. Maddams, O.B.G, and 12th London Regiment, eldest son of John and Maria Caroline Maddams, of Brickwall, Clophill, who died of wounds at the battle of the Somme, October 10th, 1916, aged 19. His life for his country and his soul to God."
Coy. Q.M. Sergt. Horace Wootton, Hampshire Regiment, who has been in France since the early days of the war, is in hospital in France suffering from trench fever.
Pte. George Gobey, Bedfordshire Regiment, has left hospital, and is home on a fortnight's leave. He was wounded by shrapnel in the left shoulder, near Bapaume, last February, and has been in a convalescent home at Lytham.
Private George White, Canadian Highlanders, has been home on leave, and is looking very fit.
Pte. Roland Herbert, Bedfords, who was wounded in the head two months ago, is out of hospital, and is enjoying 10 days leave. Pte. Sidney Sharman, of the same regiment, is home on final leave. Last week Corpl. Leonard Collins, New Zealand Rifles, paid a visit to his relatives in Clophill. He left England eleven or twelve years ago for New Zealand, and joined up in the early days of the war. He has served in Egypt and France. He was wounded in February, since which time he has been in hospital in England, but has now recovered. Another brother, Harry Collins, who was in Australia, joined the Australian forces and was killed during the battle of the Somme in July last.
Mr. James Lee has now heard in regard to his son that he was buried at Mentin (sic) Road. South Military Cemetery, Ypres.
Pte. John Blackburn, Beds Regiment, has been wounded in the left thigh, and sent to a Canadian Hospital at the Base. He wishes to be remembered to the old boys of Clophill. This lad formerly resided at Church Cottage, and was one of the first drafted to France.
Bombardier Frank Hinton, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hinton, of High-street, is again in the firing line.
Pte. Harry Parkinson, who was badly wounded on the Somme, has been discharged, and arrived home on Friday.
Sapper Hutchinson, R.E., formerly of the Haynes Park Signalling Depot, returned from France last week, and visited many of his friends at Clophill.
Pte. William Peat, R.G.A., eldest son of Mr. David Peat, and Pte. Albert Gibson, youngest son of P.c. Gibson, have been discharged as medically unfit.
Pte. William Richardson, of the Bedfords, who was seriously wounded in the Boer war has again suffered seriously in the head and face from shrapnel.
Mr. Samuel Titmas, R.F.C., youngest of the soldier sons of Mr. F.W. Titmas, of Wood View, has been promoted Sergeant. His two brothers, Jesse and Ernest, are on active service somewhere in France.
Captain the Rev. Cecil Lloyd Matthews has recently been promoted Major, and has now under his superintendence sixteen chaplains and 70,000 men. He has escaped being wounded seriously, though the Huns have hit him on five occasions. In a lengthy letter to Mr. John Smith of "Sunnydale" he asks for the prayers of his parishioners and friends.
Whereas the first and second battles of Ypres were launched by the Germans in 1914 and 1915 respectively, Third Ypres was intended as Sir Douglas Haig's Allied forces breakthrough in Flanders in 1917. Meticulously planned, Third Ypres was launched on 31 July 1917 and continued until the fall of Passchendaele village on 6 November. The offensive resulted in gains for the Allies but was by no means the breakthrough Haig intended, and such gains as were made came at great cost in human terms.
On Flag Day for supplying comforts to the Bedfordshire Regiment, the sum of $6 10s. 2d. was collected.
Private Harry Parkinson, Bedfords, who was severely wounded in the head and shoulder in January, has been discharged from the army as medically unfit for further service. He is the fourth of our Clophill boys who has "done his bit" and been invalid out.
Lionel Cunnington, of the R.N.V.R., has completed his training as wireless telegraphist, and is now serving on one of H.M. Drifters attached to a southern base.
During the week-end there were many visitors to the village. Many people who were nervous of spending their holiday at the seaside elected to come inland instead.
Mr. James Harris, of the Kiln, has received news that his son, Pte. Bertram Harris, has been killed in France. Pte. Harris was originally in the Staffordshire Regiment, but was a afterwards transferred to one of the Yorkshire regiments. The first news of his death came from the captain of his Company. Later the official notification came from the War Office. He was 26 years old.
Private William Richardson, Bedford Regt., who has seen several years service in the second battalion, has been transferred to Ampthill Park Depot for convalescence. He was severely wounded by the bursting of a shell, but his life was saved by his shrapnel helmet, and he is progressing most favourably. His officer states that his courageous endurance of suffering won him the admiration of his platoon.
After more than four months anxiety, Mrs. Harris has heard from the Army Pay Office that her husband, Private Herbert Harris, Bedford Regt., is a prisoner at Limberg. He is popularly known in the district and military circles as "Flanigan," and went through his training at Ampthill Park. Private Harris has written to his wife, saying he would like a parcel each week, but nothing expensive. "Send some big arrowroot biscuits and one of your home-made cakes, and don't forget some tobacco and fags. I should also like some lard or dripping in a tin box. You know I should not ask for these things if I did not really want them. Be sure and not worry my dear, about me, as I am allright, and very lucky to be here. The last battle I was in was simply dreadful. I was with George White, and other Canadians up to the time that I was captured, but I lost sight of them all. During this beautiful weather that we are having I often think of the pleasant walks we had together at Clophill with the kiddies. I hope the war will soon be over. Everybody here has had enough of it. Each day we go out to work from 6 till 1, and have the rest of the day to ourselves, so we do not hurt much. Tell old Dad and my brothers and sisters I send them my best love, and ask them to assist you all they can. I sincerely hope that you have not neglected my garden, but I know perfectly well you have enough to do to feed and clothe the kiddies, Cheer up my darling and hope for the best and kiss all the kiddies for me."
Quartermaster Sergt. Horace Wootton, D.C.M., Royal Hampshires, is out of hospital, and has joined his battalion at the front.
Quartermaster Sergt. George Whittemore, Scottish Borderers, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Whittemore, has again refused promotion, though he was highly recommended.
A LETTER FROM FRANCE
Private Jesse Titmas, R.A.M.C., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Titmas, who has been in France since the beginning of the war, writes to our correspondent:- "I suppose you are busy now digging potatoes. We're having pouring rain, but never mind, the weather will be better soon, and thank God we can say "All's well." I came across Rev. C.L. Matthews the other day, and had a long chat with him. He wished to be remembered to the parishioners of Clophill. The wounded are most complimentary in their remarks about him, and everybody appears to like him. The other day, I was going to see my brother Sam. Our train stopped within five miles of him overnight, but when I woke in the morning I found I was miles away. Well, what is your opinion about the war? Do you think we shall win? All the boys out here are confident of victory, and there opinion is that it is not far distant. I heard rather an amazing piece the other day from an Australian Sergeant. His company had just accomplished an excellent piece of business when his officer came up and says "Come on boys, let's go back on the battlefield and kill a few more Fritz's, and understand we spare none, wounded or not." Immediately on their return they came across a helpless Fritz in a shell hole weakly murmuring "Kamerad." The officer and sergeant bandaged the poor fellow up and gave him a drop of brandy. That's a specimen of the chivalry shown by our lads in France. Well to change the subject, how are the crops looking? They are excellent out here, but they will have the greatest difficulty to harvest them owing to the shortage of labour, but then, the French are exceptionally hard working."
Trooper Leonard Izzard, of the Yeomanry, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Izzard, is home on leave.
Pte. Fred Williams, of the Bedfords, who has had a share in much hard fighting in France, is home on leave. During more than a year's active service he has been wounded once.
Trooper Bert Gibson, of the Irish Lancers, is home on sick leave from Curragh. He has been doing remount work in Ireland, and owing to an accident he has spent some weeks in hospital.
Pte. Joseph Lomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Lomas, has made the "supreme sacrifice." His parents were officially informed on Saturday morning, and very great sympathy prevails for them. He was a great favourite in his platoon.
Pte. James Sharman, also with the Bedfords, formally in the employ of the late Lord Lucas as woodman, and Corporal in the first Territorial force, has been very seriously wounded. His wife recently visited him at a London hospital. He is making slow but satisfactory progress.
Pte. Cyril Smith, only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith of Sunnyside, after several weeks in hospital, has regained convalescence. His subsequent travels in Egypt, Macedonia, and Palestine have given him a varied experience. He informed his mother, though in a cheerful mood, that they have not only the enemy, but the climate, disease, and often scarcity of water to contend with. The most gratifying sight, he says, after traversing miles and miles of desert, and wilderness was a fertile region, where abounded in abundance, groves of palms,fig orchards, beautiful melons, and hedges of lovely pears, which they were allowed to sample.
Trooper Leonard Izzard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Izzard, is at home for a few days previous to embarking again for France. Pte. James Sharman,who was seriously wounded in the abdomen and transferred to Croydon Hospital, was allowed to visit his wife and family on Friday. Previous to re-enlistment he served as a Corporal for six years in the Beds. Territorials.
Lieut. Tanqueray and Major Hargreaves Smith were both in residence during the weekend.
Private Arthur Peck, Machine Gun Corps, who has been home on leave, has returned to France. Pte. Leonard Izzard, of the Bedfordshire regiment, has been home on final leave, and has now left for his second term of active service.
Pte. Arthur Richardson, Bedfordshire Regiment, a prisoner in Germany, at Limburg writing on August 15th to his grandmother, says:- "Very many thanks for your letter dated 26th June. As you may guess all letters are heartily welcome here. They help to cheer us up, and seem to bring friends closer. I should like to write to you oftener, but my correspondence is very limited, and it is really a difficult matter to write at all. I expect there have been a good many changes in the village since I left good old Clophill. It has been a very funny summer with me, the weather, too, has been so changeable. Sometimes hot then cold, and often intermingled with heavy storms. It is really not at all like August now. I am quite well at present. Give my very best respects to Private Gibson, Sam and Sunny, and also to Fred and Alice, and also remember me to Cecil Smith."
Private Herbert Whittamore, who was recently transferred from the E.A.R.E. To the Cheshire Regiment, has been wounded in his foot, and is at present in hospital in France.
Private L. Izzard, Bedford Regiment, has returned to France, and is at present sick in Hospital. Pte. George Gobey has left Ampthill Park for Landguard prior to returning to France.
Captain B. Burrows, 1st Essex Regiment, has been presented with the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery on the field of battle, capturing 70 prisoners and large booty. While living at Clophill Capt. Burrows took great interest in the cricket team.
Pte. Frederick Willison, Bedfords, informs his mother that he is progressing favourably, though still under medical treatment in a French hospital. Q.M.S. Horace Wootton, D.C.M., Royal Hampshires, writing to his relatives at the local post office, informs them that he has experienced some thrilling adventures lately in the front line but has so far emerged unscathed.
Pte. Roland Herbert, Bedfords, who was badly wounded in the head some months ago, has been discharged from the Army, medically unfit. Pte. John Farr, Bedfords, is home on sick leave from hospital. He was wounded quite early in the war in the hand and arm. After a second stay in France he was wounded again, losing an eye. Pte. Fred Palmer, A.S.C., is home from France on 10 days leave.
Pte. Stratton has been promoted corporal and is in Salonica.
There is difficulty in purchasing wood for fuel, though many trees are still lying where they fell a year last March.
Three of the soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Young have visited their parents on leave. One has seen service in East Africa.
Pte. Cyril Smith, one son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, of Sunnydale, has written home from Palestine very interesting letters.
Pte. Ernest Osborn, who was trained at Halton Park, was transferred from the Bedfords to the Leicesters. Having recovered from trench fever he is again in the firing line.
Other village lads at present on leave are Pte. Fred Case, of the A.S.C., M.T., and Trooper Frank Young, of the Beds Yeomanry.
Pte. George Gobey, of the Bedfords, has returned to Landguard after final leave, and expects to be leaving for the front again shortly. Pte. J. Thurley, of the London Scottish, having obtained a month's furlong, has visited his wife and family at Bedford Cottages.
The relatives of Pte. Arthur Richardson and Pte. Herbert Harris (Bedfords), prisoners of war in Germany, have heard good news from them.
Sapper William Billington and Sapper Geo. Burton, formerly employed at the Beds. County council, are assisting in repairing the roads in Flanders.
Corpl. Wm. Cole, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cole, who, previous to enlistment, was shoeing-smith for Arthur Cakebread, is home on leave from France.
Pte. Frank Gudgin, of the Bedfords, trained at Ampthill Park, is home on leave. He has visited the grave of Pte. J. Lee in the Ypres district.. A suitable cross has been erected to his memory.
Q.M.S. Horace Wootton, Hampshire Regiment, grandson of the Postmaster of Clophill, is home on leave from France. He has been with the battalion since very shortly after the commencement of the war, and has seen much fighting.
Co. Q.M.S. Horace Wootton, Hampshire Regimental, and Trooper William Cole, Royal Irish Lancers, have returned to France after 10 day's leave. Private Frank Young's leave has been extended to 14 days.
We regret to record the death of another of our boys in France. Pte. Sidney Sharman of the Bedfords, was killed by shrapnel on October 19th. He had been in France for several weeks, and was going up into the trenches for the first time, when the shell fell that caused his death. Pte. Sharman was for about seven years organ blower at the Parish Church, and was always popular among the young men of the village.
Mrs. Maddams' and Miss Seabrook's activities on behalf of our boys at the the front have always been warmly appreciated. They are busy now in obtaining funds for Christmas parcels, and a jumble sale in that behalf is being held on the 15th inst. We trust buyers will be plentiful.
Pte. George Rolfe, R.F.A., after eighteen months in the vicinity of Ypres, has arrived on leave. He informed our correspondent that the universal sentiment in his brigade is certain victory. Pte. Fredk. Case, A.S.C., M.T., has been promoted to non-commissioned rank, and returns to France this week.
Pte. Percy Garner, of the Bedfords, is home on final leave, He was badly wounded near Ypres, but has recovered.
Lieut. D.A. Tanqueray, King's Royal Rifles, who has received promotion, is the youngest surviving son of Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Tanqueray, of Ivy House. His brother was killed in France at the commencement of hostilities.
Farrier William Dimmock, R.F.A., who has been in France from the commencement of the war, came home on leave on Nov. 8th. Previous to mobilisation he was shoeing-smith for Mr. Arthur Cakebread.
On Sunday evening the Rev. G.J.S. Sherrell held a service in the Parish church in memory of Pte. Sidney Sharman, Bedford Regiment, who was killed in France on October 19th. The sermon touched on sacrifice and its reward.
Trooper Harold Gibson, who has been home from Ireland on sick leave, has returned to Belfast. Early in the year he was badly hurt during a charge in France, and has been in hospital ever since.
Last week the school children received payment for the blackberries they had picked for the Navy and Army. The total weight of the berries gathered was 994lbs, the average weight per child being 11lbs 13ozs. A collection in aid of the fund for supplying Christmas parcels for our lads at the front realised sixteen shillings.
The Battle of Cambrai, fought in November/December 1917, proved to be a significant event in World War One. Cambrai was the first battle in which tanks were used en masse In fact, Cambrai saw a mixture of tanks being used, heavy artillery and air power. Mobility, lacking for the previous three years in World War One, suddenly found a place on the battlefield - though it was not to last for the duration of the battle.
Pte. Ernest Shotbolt, London Scottish, is still in hospital at Curragh Camp.
Pte. Wm. Sharman, eldest son of Pte. J. and Mrs. Sharman, has been wounded in Palestine. It is a gunshot wound in the leg.
Pte. J. Dimmock, A.S.C., and Pte. Frank Webb are home from France on 14 days leave.
Trooper Harold Gibson, who was recently home on sick leave from Ireland, is again in hospital.
Pte. Frank Webb, Royal Fusiliers, who enlisted at the commencement of war, and who has served upwards of two years in France, arrived home on Saturday from Carrickfergus on ten day's leave. He is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Webb.
Pte. Bertie Web, A.S.C., is home on leave from France, also Pte. Jesse Titmas, R.A.M.C.,
Pte. William Webb, Bedford Regiment, who was wounded some time ago, has now recovered and is home on final leave.
Pte. Augustus Webb, of the Bedfords, arrived on Saturday from France on leave.
On the morning of this day in 1917, after Turkish troops move out of the region after only a single day s fighting, officials of the Holy City of Jerusalem offer the keys to the city to encroaching British troops. The British, led by General Edmund Allenby, who had arrived from the Western Front the previous June to take over the command in Egypt, entered the Holy City two days later under strict instructions from London on how not to appear disrespectful to the city, its people, or its traditions. Allenby entered Jerusalem on foot - in deliberate contrast to Kaiser Wilhelm s more flamboyant entrance on horseback in 1898 - and no Allied flags were flown over the city, while Muslim troops from India were dispatched to guard the religious landmark the Dome of the Rock.
After 14 day's leave, Pte. Jesse Titmas, R.A.M.C., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Titmas, of Wood View, has returned to France. While at Etaples he had a pleasant conversation with the Rev. C.L. Matthews, who is senior chaplain of the Depot.
A Food Economy campaign has been instigated in the village. A Committee has been formed, of whom Mr. A.H. Tanqueray, of Ivy house, is Chairman. It is proposed to make a house-to-house visit inviting people to join the League of National Safety, and impressing on them the need of the strictest economy in food, dress, etc. On Sunday sermons on this behalf were preached by the Rev. G.J.S. Sherrell at church, and by the ministers in the Free Churches.
Co. Q.M.S. George Whittamore, M.M., of the K.O.S.B., is home on leave from France until the 27th inst. Trooper Bert Gibson, Royal Irish Lancers, is on final leave.
Sergt. Sam Titmas, Royal Flying Corps, is home on leave from France. He has seen much active service and made several flights over the enemy lines.
Mr. Arthur Garner, certificated headmaster, after several months of clerical duty in the Army, has received his discharge and will possibly resume his scholastic duties after the Christmas holidays.
C.Q.M.S. George Whittamore, M.M., King's Own Scottish Borderers, who has been home on leave, has returned to France.