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.
Major Tanqueray Willaume and Lieut. Tanqueray have been in residence at Ivy House this Christmas tide. The latter is Acting-Captain in the King's Royal Rifles, and is giving tuition in gases.
Two at least of the Clophill men are in Italy. They have both seen much active service in France, and only returned there recently after recovery from wounds. Trooper Bert Gibson, Royal Irish lancers, son of D.C. Gibson, has left Ireland for France. Pte. W. Pigrum has again left for the front.
Many letters have been received from the lads at the front expressing thanks for the postal orders sent from the village. Mrs. Maddams and Miss Seabrook, who organised the funds, are well rewarded for their efforts on behalf of our heroes
Pte. George White has been severely wounded in the leg in the Cambria district, and is in Southampton Hospital. Pte. Herbert Harris, Bedfords, a prisoner of war in Germany, has written to his wife at Bedford Cottages, stating that he is in robust health and contented with his surroundings. He is following his profession. Chief Seaman Arthur Young, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Young, has received his discharge. His three soldier brothers are still across the seas. Pte. James Sharman, Bedfords, after several months in hospital and convalescent stations, has received his discharge. Ptes. William Jefferies and Frederick Gudgin have been transferred to Labour Battalions. Pte. William Bushby, of Jacques Cottages, is still in hospital in Palestine.
Pte. Hubert Whittamore, of the Cheshire Regiment, is home from leave on the front as is also Pte. Hubert Young, of the A.S.C.
Sergt. George Bone, of the Bedfords, is now at the Command Depot at Ampthill Park. At the outbreak of the war he was a reservist and has had over three years active service in France. He has been wounded three times, and has lately been discharged from hospital having been sent home with trench feet. He has recently been promoted to sergeant.
Ptes. William and Charles Coleman, of the Canadians, have been spending their leave from the front with their uncle, Mr. Albert Coleman, of Clophill. The father of the young men, Mr. Charles Coleman, emigrated from Clophill many years ago, and is now a prosperous farmer in Ontario.
NEWS FROM PALESTINE
Pre. Cyril Smith, Essex Regiment, writes from Palestine:- "It seems such a long time since I heard from you. Our mails are few and far between, though I suppose we must not grumble. Parcels are things of the past, butt I should be quite satisfied with letters, if they only came regularly. Will you send some paper and envelopes, as it is not possible to buy any up here far from canteens, etc. We can buy plenty of brown bread, tobacco, oranges, almonds, and eggs. Fancy me spending my Christmas in the land where Christmas was first kept.. I don't suppose we shall know it is Christmas, as things will go on as usual. I hope you will have a good time. Don't I wish I could taste your Christmas dinner? I hope the war will finish before another Christmas, and that I shall be home again."
In a later letter posted Dec 28th, he says:- "I received your parcel, No. 19, posted on September 19th. Transport is the cause of the delay. The roads and tracks are in a bad condition. We are experiencing the same conditions as the fellows in France. It rains most days. I was in the advance party all the way from Gaza to here, and have been with the battalion all the time. Did you read what Sir Archibald Murray said about the division in the first Gaza battle? We are always in front and Johnny is beaten. Whenever we make an attack he retreats without often putting up a fight. The sooner he packs up the better. One of the places we stopped at is supposed to be the burial place of St. George, near there St. Peter raised Dorcas to life. What kind of Christmas did you have? We are on Outpost in an orange grove. Three of us were in a "bivy" tied between two orange trees. It rained all day. The menu was: Breakfast, 1 rasher of bacon; dinner, bully and biscuits; tea, jam. I wonder what you were having for dinner. We had no Christmas puddings. I suppose the French boys had them!"
Corpl. George Appleby, of the A.S.C., M.T., is home on fourteen days leave from the front, after being out for 16 months.
Pte. Jesse Titmas, R.A.N.C., writes that he is fit and busy.
Pte. John Wilden arrived from France on Monday looking very fit.
Pte. Ernest Herbert, of the Leicesters, after fourteen day's leave, has returned to France.
Corpl. George Appleby, A.S.C., Motor Transport, has returned to France after the usual leave.
Sergt. Sidney Dickson, R.G.A., has visited his friends recently. He has seen service in Africa, Salonica, Egypt, Belgium, and France. His duties have caused deafness.
Pte. William Richardson, of the Bedfords, who has been wounded on several occasions, is still undergoing treatment at Bedford Hospital for his facial wounds received near Ypres.
Lieut. W. Gillett, R.N., has been home for a few days. He is second in command of one of H.M. Destroyers, and his ship is being refitted after being rather badly knocked about by rough seas on her last trip.
Pte. John Wilden, Suffolk Regiment, has returned to France after the usual leave.
Lieut. Gillett, R.N., has returned to his ship after about a week spent at home.
Pte. William Jefferies has been transferred to a Labour Battalion, his duties being a motor cultivator.
Pte. Harry Case, eldest son of Mr. W. Case, is still in hospital suffering from injuries received from shrapnel and explosion.
Pte. Ernest Osborne, of the Leicesters; Pte. George Bushby, Middlesex Regiment, and Pte. William Billington, of one of the Labour Battalions, are all home on leave from France.
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Webb are the proud parents of six soldier sons. The eldest, who was a reservist in August, 1914, served a considerable time in France until his term of service expired. The other five are serving now - one in Egypt and the other four in France. The youngest boy, who is in the R.F.A., left for France quite recently.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Willmore of High Pole Farm, Sutton, near Keighley, have been officially informed that their son, Private Vivian Willmore, formerly of the York and Lancaster Regiment, has received the Military Medal for saving dispatches which likely to fall into the hands of the enemy. Pte. Willmore was born in Clophill, and educated at the village school, He has two brothers serving with the colours.
Privates Harold Matthews and Ernest Johnson are at home on leave from France.
Co. Q.S.M., George Whittamore, K.A.S.B., is home from France, having been recommended for a commission. He enters into training next week.
Srgt. George Bone, Beds Regiment, son of Mr. James Bone, of the Homestead, as a Reservist was called to colours when war broke out, was badly wounded, rejoined his regiment at Ypres, and saw a lot of fighting before he was removed to hospital and brought to England. At the Ampthill Command Depot he made rapid progress but a cycle accident caused his removal to hospital, and he is at present at Cambridge, where he has undergone amputation.
Sapper William Billington, R.E., arrives home on leave last week. In the Ypres district he had a brief conversation with Bomb. Frank Hinton, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hinton of High-street.
Trooper Harold Gibson and Pte. Ernest Shotbolt have both been discharged from the army as unfit for further military service.
Pte. Ernest Willmore has been home on leave.
Pte. Augustus Webb, of the Bedfords, has arrived at home from convalescent home at Clacton-on-Sea, after being in hospital in London. He was sent from France suffering from a wound in the shoulder and trench feet.
Germany's all-out gamble for victory began with the launch of the first of a series of successive spring offensives on the Western Front. The Saint Michael Offensive, named after Germany's patron saint, began after a five-hour 6,000-gun artillery bombardment as 65 divisions from the German 2nd, 17th and 18th Armies attack the British 3rd and 5th Armies along a 60-mile front in the Somme. At first it seems destined to succeed as the thinly-stretched British 5th Army is quickly overrun and wrecked. Using effective storm troop tactics, the Germans recapture all of the ground they lost in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and press forward. However, during the two week offensive, the British 3rd Army manages to hold itself together and prevents the Germans from taking Arras and Amiens, key objectives of the offensive.
News has been received by Mr. Frank Eddy that his son, Pte. Thomas Eddy, of the King's Royal Rifles, has been dangerously wounded by a gas shell.
Ptes. Wm. Bushby and Percy Garner are enjoying the healthy breezes and picturesque scenery of Palestine. Neither have received parcels sent to them. Pte. Augustus Webb, who was badly wounded in France, has been transferred from as convalescent centre to the Ampthill Command Depot.
News has been received of three of our lads who are all in the same battalion of the Bedfords. Pte. George Gobey is seriously wounded and gassed and is in hospital in France; Pte. Leonard Izzard is wounded and gassed, and has been sent to hospital at Nottingham; and Pte. Fred Willison has been gassed. These three casualties occurred on one day.
The majority of public houses throughout the village this Easter exhibited the placard, "No beer."
Ptes. George Gobey, Leonard Izzard and Fred Williams are making satisfactory progress. News has been received that Pte. John Wilden has been wounded.
The offensive was launched against the Allied line in the low-lying, British-held sector on both sides of the Lys river in French Flanders. The German objective was the important Allied rail centre of Hazebrouck. If the town could be captured there would be an opportunity to push the German advance further west to reach the French coast and, in so doing, cut off the British, French and Belgian forces holding the Ypres Salient in Belgium.
By 29th April the German offensive had been blocked and no further attacks were made. The Germans had not captured any of their objectives as the Allies had held onto Hazebrouck and the Channel ports
Pte. Augustus Webb (Bedfords), son of Mr. Henry Webb, of Beadlow, is at the Command Depot at Ampthill, where he was trained. Though still lame from his wounds received near Ypres, he is making satisfactory progress.
Pte. John Blackburn (Bedfords) is now in Italy. He has had some very narrow escapes; his helmet on one occasion being shot through.
Mrs. Sherrell has received the sad news that her nephew, aged 19, has been killed by a sniper.
We regret top record the death from wounds of Pte. John Wilden, Suffolk Regiment. News came that he had been wounded on March 24th, and later his wife received a telegram stating that he had died the same day. In February he was home for 14 days' leave after spending a year in France. He was a fine manly fellow of 23 years old, of a most cheerful disposition, and was beloved by all who new him. Much sympathy is felt for his widow and little child, and also for his parents.
Pte. Thomas Eddy, Bedfords, who was severely wounded about three weeks ago, is now in hospital at Bristol, and his condition is still serious. His sister, Mrs. William Whittamore, paid a visit to him while in hospital in France. Ptes. George Gobey and Leonard Izzard, who are in hospital in England, are making satisfactory progress, and Pte. Fred Williams is in convalescent camp in France. These three boys from the Bedfords were all gassed on the same day.
Cecil Sharman, a seaman in the Royal Navy, is home on leave.
Gunner George Rolfe, R.F.A., writes that he is still well, and in the thick of it.
Pte. Frank Webb, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Webb,, of High-street, was badly gassed at Armentieres, and is in hospital.
Trooper Lewis Ansell, has again been wounded, and is in hospital in France.
Q.M. Sergt. George Whittemore, Royal Scottish Borderers, wounded early in the war, is now at Cambridge as a Cadet.
Acting Capt. D.A. Tanqueray, King's Royal Rifles, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Tanqueray of Ivy House, is aboard a destroyer.
Pte. Cyril Smith, Essex Regiment, writes home from Palestine that he is remarkably well, and gives a fine description of rural life there.
Relatives are very anxious about their husbands and sons on the Western front, having received no correspondence for more than a month. Several letters have been received from Salonika and Italy.
Lieut. Gillett, R.N., was recently home for as few days leave before his ship left for a foreign station. He has sent word that somewhere in the Mediterranean he met with Lionel H. Cunnington, a wireless operator on one of H.M. Patrol boats, who was looking remarkably fit and well.
Mechanic W. Warwick, R.A.F., has been home on sick leave after a month in hospital. He was at work underground when he and his two comrades were buried beneath a fall of earth. He was the first to be dug out, and the other men were dead when they were disentombed. Warwick sustained some severe injuries, and was unconscious for a considerable time. He has fortunately made a good recovery, but his escape from death was a narrow one.
Military Driver John Willmore, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Willmore, has been wounded and gassed, and is under treatment in hospital. His brother, Pte. Vivian Willmore, Yorks. and Lancs. Regt., who recently won the Military Medal "for saving dispatches that were likely to fall into the hands of the enemy" has again won distinction for bravery.
Pte. Pigrum, who previous to enlistment was in the straw hat trade, is still in hospital, but hopes shortly to be well again. Pte. Ralph Rainbow, of Beadlow, has been taken prisoner near Armentieres. Private Arthur Richardson, who has been a prisoner in Germany since the Battle of Mons, has escaped (false) and is expected home shortly. Q.M.S. Horace Wootton, Hampshires, has been promoted Sergeant-Major. He has come through the various recent engagements without a scratch, though not without some very near escapes. He was recommended for a commission but declined. Mr. Ernest Young, R.N., is now stationed at Sierra Leone. He says the climate is delightful. Cpl. Bruce Huckle, Lancers, in one of the recent cavalry engagements, had his charger killed, and his leg severely injured. He is making satisfactory progress.
Anxiety is felt by the parents of Pte. Ernest Herbert Burton who is reported missing. A comrade of his from Flitwick writes that he is a prisoner of war and Ernest Herbert of Clophill is with him. Pte. Ralph Rainbow is also a prisoner. Other boys from whom no news has come for some time are Pte. Harry Case, of the A.S.C., M.T. and Sapper Platt, R.E.
Pte. George Gobey, Bedfords, who was gassed very badly on March 23rd, is now out of hospital, and is spending his sick leave at home. He is still far from well.
A letter has been received by Mrs. Peek stating that her son, Corpl. A.S. Peek, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty during the German offensive of the 21st and 22nd March. Corpl. Peek, who is not quite 21 years old, was formerly one of the most active of the 1st Troop Boy scouts in Clophill. He joined the Bedfords but was afterwards transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. He has seen much service in France, and fortunately came out of the affair for which he received his decoration unhurt. On April 20th he was admitted to hospital suffering from dysentery.
Co. S.M. Stewart, R.E., Signals, has left Hitchin with a draft for the East.
On behalf of the Bedfordshire Regiment the ladies canvassed on Friday, disposing readily of flags and mementoes. The fund was most satisfactorily augmented.
Several soldiers Labour Battalions are assisting in agricultural pursuits. German prisoners are regularly engaged in various land operations.
Pte. Arthur Richardson, of the Bedfords, who was captured in France two years ago, is now interned in Holland. He has been seriously ill and is not yet out of danger. He has written to his wife that he will never forget the time he spent in Germany. His captors took everything he had from him, even his child's photograph, and he suffered great cruelty at their hands. The statement that he had escaped from Germany was incorrect.
The Rector (the Rev. C.L. Matthews) is in England on leave. He hopes to be in Clophill at the weekend, and, if possible, to take part in the services at the Church on Sunday. He has had throat trouble for which he has undergone an operation, and his officiating on Sunday depends on his ability to do so. His people will be delighted to see, and if possible to hear him, as it is about 21 months since he preached at Clophill, which he did when he was at home on leave from France.
Sapper Walter Webb, R.E., after serving with the railway construction department in Macedonia, Salonica, and other parts of the war area, visited his native village on Saturday.
The esteem felt by the parishioners of Clophill for their Rector and Mrs. Matthews has been proved, if proof were necessary, during the week-end. News of their visit was received on Saturday after a favourable report by the specialist, who is treating the Rector for throat trouble. Short as was the notice there was a good assembly of villagers waiting at the Rectory to welcome them. The Rector celebrated the Holy Communion, and preached morning and evening. In the afternoon he baptised four or five children, so that he had a fairly busy day. Mr. and Mrs. Matthews were at home at the Rectory. The congregations were large in the evening, the church being crowded. Mr. Matthews joined the forces as chaplain about 3 years ago , and after short periods at Grantham and Salisbury Plain, left for France, where he has served over 2 years. Lately as Senior Chaplain he has been in charge of 16 large hospitals.
Mr. Fred Bushby has at last had definite news that his son, Pte. George Bushby, of the Bedfords, who has been missing since the end of March, is a prisoner of war in Germany.
Three of the village lads Joined up on Friday - Ernest John Bushby has joined the grenadier Guards, Reginald Grummit the Rifle brigade, and Percy Jeffrey the East Kent Regiment.
The non-commissioned officers of the Beds volunteers visited the village on Wednesday morning to get recruits for the Ampthill Company. Should the requisite number be obtained regular drills will eventually be arranged at Clophill.
Pte. George White, R.F.A., was seriously wounded while his battery was in action, and conveyed to England. Though still very lame, he managed to visit his mother and relatives last week.
Pte. John Patrick Izzard, who was formerly head gardener to the Rev. H.R. Meyer, is a prisoner of war in Germany. He was previously badly wounded.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Peck, of High-street have been delighted with a letter from Lieut. H.K. Sime, Machine corps, informing them that their son, Corpl. A.S. Peck, has recently been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty during the first big German offensive in march last. He is now in hospital in France recovering from dysentery. He is only 20, and previous to enlistment was horsekeeper to Mr. Jesse Burgoine of Ivy Cottage.
A deed of heroism, which ought to be known, has recently come to light. The doer of it has since passed to his rest. He never spoke about it himself, and it was some months after his death that his father, Mr. A W. Appleby, of "Jacques Bungalow," heard of it from the Commanding Officer. Pte. Henry Appleby, A.R.C., was driving a motor lorry in the transport in the early days of the campaign. There were ten lorries carrying ammunition to the guns and to reach their destination they had to leave the high road and go down a narrow lane with a deep ditch on both sides of the roadway. When the lorries had gone down this lane about a mile, they came under shell fire. The first shell hit the leading lorry, which blew up, whereupon the officer in charge gave orders that the lorries were to be left and the drivers to get back on the main road. On reaching the road the officers called for volunteers to get the lorries and their valuable cargo out of peril. Appleby at once volunteered his services, and actually drove nine lorries, one at a time, backwards for over a mile under heavy shell fire and saved them all.
Sergt. George Bone, son of Mr. James Bone, of Glen Farm, has been attached to the staff of the Ampthill command Depot.
Gunner William Perkins, R.G.A., youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Perkins, of Mount Pleasant, has written his thanks for the gift received from the collection for the boys at the front from Clophill. He is suffering from trench fever, and has been conveyed to Newcastle-on-Tyne Military Hospital.
Corpl. Bruce Huckle, whose horse was killed in action, and falling severely crushed the rider's leg, is now progressing, and was able to visit relatives last week.
Farrier William Dimmock, R.F.A., who was seriously wounded near Ypres, has made good progress.
The Second Battle of the Marne was the last major German Spring Offensive on the Western Front during the First World War. The German attack failed when an Allied counterattack led by French forces and including several hundred tanks overwhelmed the Germans on their right flank, inflicting severe casualties. The German defeat marked the start of the relentless Allied advance which culminated in the Armistice about 100 days later. Thus the Second Battle of the Marne can be considered as the beginning of the end of the Great War
Pte. George Gobey, who was wounded in March, has been transferred from the Bedfords to the Machine Gun Corps. He is at home now on six days final leave.
Pte. Augustus Webb, Beds. Regiment, having recovered from wounds and trench fever is home on final leave.
Pte. John Blackburn, whose helmet was pierced by a bullet early in the campaign, has again been conveyed to hospital with dysentery. He was in the thick of it in Palestine, and also in Italy.
Pte. Fredk. Brown (Bedfords), writing to his wife from India, says the climate is very trying. He was drafted thither about a year and eight months ago.
Pte. Ernest Cooper is expecting orders for India.
Gunner George Rolfe, R.F.A., says his battery is still very active on the Western front.
Pte. Fredk. Braybrook has returned from India, and has on account of his age and disablement received his discharge.
Major Tanqueray Willaume and Acting Capt. D. Tanqueray are in residence at Ivy House. The later officer is again going on active service.
An open-air meeting was Held on the Green near Clophill Mill on July25, when addresses on war aims were delivered by Mr. Powys and Mr. F. Duxbury. The Chairman, the Rev. G.J.S. Sherrell, moved a vote of thanks to the speakers, and roused the spirit of the meeting by his reference to the attitude adopted by some of the workers at home, notably those on strike or threatening to strike. The strikers were asking for higher pay, urging as their reason, the right to live, while our service boys at the front were simply asking for the right to die. The strikers were surely receiving a living wage. They might have just claims, but this was not the time to discuss them. He urged the people to back up the boys at the front by adopting the spirit of patience and fortitude. Our men were looking to us to do that. If we would share in the fruits of victory we must also be willing to share in the sacrifice and suffering. The motion was seconded by Mr. Andrew H. Tanqueray, J.P., and Mr. Sherrell was heartily thanked for taking the chair.
Sapper William Billington, R.E., is assisting in France in road surveying. He was formerly in the employ of Beds. County Council.
Pte. Ralph Rainbow, Manchester Regt. Prisoner of war in Germany, and eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Rainbow, of Beadlow Cottage, writes: "I am in the best of health and have nothing whatever to grumble about. It really seems to me like peace time. I am sincerely anxious to receive a letter from you. When you can, kindly send me a good big parcel containing soap, tobacco, and some cake. I am seriously in need of the first mentioned article. Now, mother, be sure and not to worry about me as I am quite all right. My mates, who were taken prisoner with me on that memorable spring morning, wish to be remembered to you. Wee are having lovely weather here,But I still wish this war was over; but we must keep on smiling. I have sent you two postcards since I have been a prisoner, but have heard nothing from you - Your ever loving son, Ralph."
The Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August 1918, was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led to the end of the First World War. Allied forces advanced over 11 kilometres (7 mi) on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war, with Henry Rawlinson's British Fourth Army playing the decisive role.
The battle is also notable for its effects on both sides' morale and the large number of surrendering German forces. This led Erich Ludendorff to describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army". Amiens was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front, fighting becoming mobile once again
Arthur Roberts, a wireless operator in the Royal Navy, has been made a Petty Officer at the rather early age of 23.
Corpl. Sidney Young, whose death in action was recorded last week, had seen much active service. He joined the South African Forces early, and was in German East Africa for eighteen months. He had several attacks of malaria, and was discharged. On his recovery he volunteered again for service in France. He came to England for training, and then went to France. He was killed on July 17th. A letter from the officer of his Company states that in an advance the whole of his section was killed.
The parishioners were able to witness on Tuesday, at a low altitude, the manoeuvres of a member of the Royal Flying Corps, who brilliantly "looped the loop" several times.
The Rev. Cecil Lloyd Matthews, the Rector of Clophill, now senior chaplain to His Majesty's Forces in France, has been offered a living by the Bishop of Hereford, but he declined the offer, as he is anxious when has military duties to terminate, to return to his parishioners.
Lance-corpl. Fred Weeden, Lancashire Fusiliers, has been made Corporal. - Pte. Frank Gudgin is in hospital suffering from pneumonia. -Pte. Fred Kefford is home on leave of absence. Joining up in January after was declared, at the age of 15, and being one of the first volunteers from the village, he was sent abroad in the following March. He went through the Dardanelles campaign without a scratch, afterwards going to Mesopotamia, where he had fever two or three times. After three years of that salubrious climate, with a few other thousands, he volunteered for France.
After a lengthy term of service on the Western front, Pte. John Coleman and Pte. Alfred Richardson, both of the Bedfords, have come home on leave. They seen much fighting and have escaped serious wounds.
Another brave lad has won the Military Medal. Corpl. Frank G. Hinton, R.G.A. youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hinton of High-street, has been awarded the medal for coolness and devotion to duty under heavy shell fire.
Pte. Percy Garner, of the Bedfords, is still in hospital. He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Garner, and received his training at the Ampthill Command Depot.
Pte. Cyril Smith, only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, of "Sunnydale", who has served in Palestine, writes that he has been conveyed to hospital. He hopes soon to be on active service again.
Pte. Frederick Willison (Bedfords) is under treatment in as French hospital.
Cheerful and satisfactory letters have been recently been received by the parents and relatives of Clophill lads in France, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Salonica, and other spheres of the war area.
Gunner George Rolfe, R.F.A., informs his wife that recently south of the river Somme and near Villiera Bretonneux, his battery achieved a brilliantly successful operation. He has had some very narrow escapes and thrilling adventures in the neighbourhood of Château Thierry, being continuously in the firing line.
Pte. Jesse Titmas, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Titmas, of Wood View, who has been connected with the R.A.M.C. Since the commencement of hostilities, has by request been transferred to his pre-war battery of the R.G.A. On several occasions he has refused promotion and recommendation for commission.
Pte. Arthur Richardson, (Bedfords), eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Richardson, who was taken prisoner to Germany on April 19, has after two years of captivity and cruel treatment, been interned in Holland with many other seriously wounded comrades. With upwards of a hundred cripples he arrived in London last week, and has just arrived home an two month's furlough.
Mr. Henry Willisson, S.C., of Church House, has heard from Corpl. John Patrick Izzard., Northants. Regt., prisoner of war, that his wound is nearly healed up, and if all goes well he will be out of hospital in a week or two. This Clophill lad previous to his enlistment, was head gardener to the Rev. H.R. Meyer, Vicar of Hatton, Herts.
Cadet George Whittemore, of the Royal Scottish Borderers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Whittemore, of High-street, is making rapid progress at Cambridge Training Centre. He was wounded early in the campaign, and after convalescence, promoted to Qtr.-Mstr.-Sergt.
Captain D. Tanqueray, K.R.R., son of Mr. Andrew H. Tanqueray, J.P., of Ivy House, was one of the officers selected for the Guard of Honour to H.R.H. The Duke of Connought at Sheerness. He was agreeable surprised on his arrival at the Depot to find that the Padre was the Rev. C.L. Matthews, Rector of Clophill.
Recently two Clophill lads made the supreme sacrifice, namely, Pte. Ernest Diggins and Pte. John Blackburn, both killed instantaneously. The total ascertained has now reached eighteen.
Sapper Tom Hughes, R.E., who left Clophill 3 years ago with the contingent for Salonica, has recently given his friends an hour or two of his welcome company. He is hearty and enjoying robust health.
Pte. Augustus Webb, Beds Regiment, writes that he has been over the top several times without receiving a scratch. The weather was ideal, and they were doing remarkable well. He was in the best of health and looking forward to victory.
Rifleman Jeffrey Thomas Eddy, who was seriously gassed and burnt on the Western front last March, has arrived home on leave. He was first conveyed to Bristol Hospital for treatment, and afterwards to Somerset for convalescence. He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Eddy, of the "Slade", and has been attached to the King's Royal Rifles. He returned to his Depot on Monday.
It is with much regret that we record the death of Mr. Raymond Ernest Cunnington, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Cunnington, of the School house, Clophill. The deceased was 26 years old, served in the Royal navy for nearly four years. A severe attack of pleurisy left a weakness in the left lung, and in 1911 he was invalid suffering from tuberculosis. After a period at home his health improved and he entered the Mercantile marine, making voyages to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he enlisted in the 6th Bedfords, being passed medically sound; but after a month's training at Aldershot his health gave way, the old lung trouble making its reappearance. He was discharged in December 1914. In 1915 he went some months in a sanatorium, but did not derive much benefit. He has since been getting gradually weaker. His long illness was borne with exemplary patience and cheerfulness, and the end came on Tuesday, the 3rd inst.
Pte. Fredk. Willison, of the Bedfords, is home on 14 days' leave from France.
Profound sympathy prevails for the bereaved wife and family of Corpl. Ernest Ambridge, R.G.A., the news of his death being notified on Saturday morning.
Pte. Frank Webb, of the Bedfords, son of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Webb, informs his parents that he is in the thick of it, but has so far emerged unscathed.
Mrs. Ernest Webb has received the sad news that her husband, Seaman Ernest Young, has died of influenza. He was 35 years of age, was called up for service at the end of last year, and elected to join the Royal Navy. After a period of training at Chatham he was drafted to H.M.S. "Africa", where he died. He leaves a a widow and three young children to mourn his loss.
Pte. Arthur Richardson, of the Bedfords, who has been a prisoner in Germany for more than two years, has been released and has visited his parents and friends at Clophill. He is still very lame from the effects of his wounds.
Mr. and Mrs. George Herbert, of the Strand, learn that their son, Pte. Ernest Herbert, of the Leicesters, was taken prisoner on march 20, and died of his wounds on March 21. He was reported wounded and missing in April, and the shock is deeply felt by his parents. Two soldier brothers have predeceased him.
Sergt.-Major Horace Wootton, Royal Hampshires, arrived home at the Post Office on Monday evening. He has been in France since the commencement of hostilities and had some very narrow escapes and thrilling adventures.
On Monday morning, Mrs F. Sheppard, landlady of the New inn, was informed that her brother, Private Thomas Izzard, after being in France about three weeks, has been badly wounded in the leg. He is 18 years of age, and is the youngest of the family of Mr. and Mrs. John Izzard, of Hall End. Pte. Horace Roberts, Bedfords, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Roberts, High-street, has been wounded in the wrist and conveyed to Nottingham Hospital.
Parcels sent to prisoners of war in Germany are now being acknowledged.
Ptes. John Peat and Harry Peat write that they are in hospital, the former in Cairo and the latter in Bermondsey.
Pte. Harry Case, York and Lancaster Regt. was taken prisoner to Germany on March 23.
Spr. William Billington, R.E., formerly in the employ of the Beds. County Council, write that he is still in robust health.
Mr. John Sheppard, eldest son of Mr. David Sheppard, joined up on Monday, leaving a wife and family and a thriving business.
Mr. and Mrs. F. Rogers, formerly of the "Flying Horse" Inn, have received news of the death of their son, Pte. F.W. Rogers, an old volunteer of the "E" Ampthill Company. He was killed in action on September 17th. He joined the 5th Bedfordshire Regt. In 1911 when it went to Gallipoli, and was transferred to another battalion on account of health. He went to France in September, 1916, attached to the London Regiment and was with the regiment until his death.
Pe. Gustavus Webb (Bedfords), writes; "I have had some dreadful hard fighting for more than a month, and been over the top several times. I am, however, thankful to say that I got through it all quite safely, with the exception of a slight bayonet wound in my right arm. I am out of the front line now for a time, and having a much desired rest."
Pte. F. Rutland, Middlesex Regt., has been badly gassed, and conveyed to Rouen hospital for treatment.
Pte. Percy Jeffries, youngest son of Pte. William Jeffries, writes that he met Pte. Geo. Gobey the other day. This latter soldier has been in France after recovering from wounds on three occasions.
Captain Kensale, King's Royal Rifles, has recently received his discharge as unfit for military service. After 21 years service with the colours he retired with the rank of Sergt.-Major, but at the commencement of hostilities in France he volunteered, and was drafted to the West. In a few weeks he was given a commission, and served in the Ypres sector and on the Marne. May he live long to enjoy his well-earned pension.
Pte. Frederick Braybrook, who has received his discharge from India, has been officially informed that his eldest son was killed instantaneously in the recent offensive. Great sympathy is felt for the parents and relatives, the majority of whom reside in Luton.
Pte. Horace Roberts, the Bedfords, is home on sick leave. He was wounded in the wrist during the fighting near Cambria, and has just been discharged from hospital.
Cricketers will be pleased to know that the famous wicket-keeper, Captain Skipworth, of the "Gables", has been promoted Lieut.-Colonel.
Pte. Frank Gudgin, Royal West Surreys, youngest son of Mr. William Gudgin, who has been in France more than two years, is home on leave. -Pte. Lewis Ansell, R.E., son of Mr. William Ansell, Sp.c., is home on leave.
In late 1918, popular unrest in Germany (which had suffered greatly during the war) combined with a naval mutiny convinced civilian political leaders that the kaiser had to abdicate to preserve order. In fact, Wilhelm's abdication was announced on November 9, 1918, before he had actually consented to it. He agreed to leave when the leaders of the army told him he had lost their support as well. On November 10, the former emperor took a train across the border into the Netherlands, which had remained neutral throughout the war. He eventually bought a manor house in the town of Doorn, and remained there for the remainder of his life.
Pte. Jack Sheppard, of the Staffordshire Regiment, is in hospital at Rugeley, Staffs., suffering from meningitis. He had only been called up a few weeks. His wife received a telegram on Saturday calling her to the hospital, as he was dangerously ill. The latest news is that there is a slight improvement. His many friends in Clophill wish him a speedy return to health.
Pte. Frank Rutland has been removed from the convalescent camp to the Base Hospital at Boulogne, his condition being unsatisfactory. He was very badly gassed, in addition to other serious illnesses.
Despite November 11th being the last day of the war, on many parts of the Western Front fighting continued as normal. This meant, of course, that casualties occurred even as the people of Paris, London and New York were celebrating the end of the fighting.
Pte. Taurley, of the Scottish Borderers, is home again on leave
Corpl. Arthur Peek, D.C.M., was home on Sunday with his mate, Pte. John Bushby, of the Grenadier Guards.
Pte. Thomas Clarke, who was seriously wounded by gunshot in the face previous to the capture of Cambria, has been relieved from hospital for a month. He is attached to the Machine Gun Section.
Another of our Clophill boys has given his life for his country in the person of Private Augustus Webb, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Webb, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Webb. Some time ago his younger brother Pte. Bertie Webb, was killed. Much sympathy is felt for the family in their bereavement.
On receipt of the news of the signing of the armistice and the cessation of hostilities the church bells were rung, and at 7 p.m. A thanks-giving service was held in the parish Church.
Pte. Frank Webb, youngest of the soldier sons of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Webb, is home on leave from France. He is connected with the 7th Royal Fusiliers, Intelligence Department, and has emerged almost unscathed. On one occasion, he had just dressed two wounded comrades, and was rendering other assistance when a shell burst close to them and killed them both, leaving him unhurt. His duties often give him the company of Pte. F. Willisson, of the Bedfords.
Pte. Fredk. Willisson has been badly wounded, and is in hospital in France. He stated that he is progressing most satisfactorily.
Several soldiers, who have witnessed exciting experiences in France, have recently been home on leave, and a letter was received on Monday from Pte. Ralph Rainbow, who has been a prisoner in Germany, stating that he has arrived at Calais, and will visit his relations and fiancé in a few days.
Mr. J.H. Smith has received news by telegram that that his only son, Cyril Smith, Essex Regiment, was dangerously ill in hospital at Alexandria. Pte. Smith has seen much active service in Palestine, and during the last operations was specially commended for good work. His many friends wish him a speedy recovery.
Pte. Fred Willisson, of the Bedfords, was wounded in both wrists during the last hours of the fighting in France, on Nov. 11th. He is in hospital in France.
Pte. Ralph Rainbow, of the Bedford Regiment, who was taken prisoner by the Germans on March 21st, has returned home.
The sympathy of the village goes out to Mr. and Mrs J.H. Smith, in their sorrow at the loss of their only son, Pte. Cyril smith, Essex Regiment, who died on 22nd Nov. of bronchial pneumonia, at a hospital in Alexandria. Pte. Smith attested under the Derby Scheme in 1914. he saw much service in Palestine, being wounded in the battle of Gaza. He also took part in the final expulsion of the Turks from the Holy Land, being specially commended in Battalion orders.
Pte. Sidney Matthews has been promoted full corporal.
H.M.S. "Forester," of which Lieut. W. Gillett, R.N., of Glebe Cottage, is second in command, was chosen to convey General Townshend from his captivity to a healthy destination.
Another stalwart Clophill lad, who came over with the Canadian Contingent, has this week visited his parents at Beadlow Lodge. Pte. Frederick Roberts has been right through the campaign unscathed.
Lieut. George Whittamore, formerly of the Royal Scottish Borderers, is now with the Machine Gun Corps, as are also Lce.-corpl. Bruce Huckle and Pte. John Bushby.
The children and teachers of the Mixed School have forwarded £2 5s. 6d. to Sir A. Pearson for the blinded Sailors and Soldiers Fund.
On Saturday, Mr Llewellyn Jones was the presiding officer, and Mr. Cunnington, poll clerk. Women voters were conveyed to the poll by motor car by Mr. and Mrs, Tanqueray.
The Rev. Cecil Lloyd Matthews, Rector of Clophill and Chaplain to H.M. Forces at Sheerness, is in hospital at Chatham. The parishioners are anxiously awaiting his return to Clophill, and wish him God-speed.
The esteem in which the late Private C.W. Smith, 1/6th Essex Regiment, was held is shown by the fact that fifty-eight letters of condolence have been received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith, of Sunnydale. His Commanding Officer wrote: "I should like to offer on behalf of myself, the officers, N.C.O.'s, and men of the Company under my Command, the most sincere sympathy with you in your loss. It may help you a little perhaps to know that your son was a brave man, who never faltered in his duty, and whose conduct has always been that of a good soldier and an English-man. He was well liked by all who knew him, and in the last battle in Palestine did magnificent work, which we shall none of us ever forget. I know at the time when peace is dawning before us that death must come doubly hard, but under the circumstances out here it may be a little comfort to know that your son gave his life for his country just as if he had fallen in the field of battle."
Pte. John Sheppard is making satisfactory progress towards recovery, and Pte. Frederick Willisson, who was seriously wounded in the wrists, will be soon convalescent. He is at present in a French hospital.