The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.
Twenty four men who died in World War One are listed on the Clophill War Memorial
Here is the list with details from Roll-of-honour followed by the report in the Ampthill News of the unveiling and dedication ceremony.
Click on the names to see their full histories. Thanks to Sue and Richard Pearson for preparing this.
John BONE. Pte. 6487. 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday 9 November 1914. Age 35. Born Lower Caldicote. Resided and enlisted Biggleswade. Son of James & Emma Bone of Victoria Road, Shefford. Native of Northill, Beds. Commemorated: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His brother, George, also served.
Ernest George DIGGINS. Pte. 23332. 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Friday 23 August 1918. Age 27. Born Clophill. Enlisted Ampthill. Son of Mr. Mrs. C. Diggins of Hall End, Maulden. Ampthill, Beds. Commemorated: Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, Somme, France.
Henry Thomas DIGGINS. Pte. 23246. 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday 13 November 1916. Age 19. Born Clophill. Enlisted Ampthill. Son of Charles & Mary Ann Diggins of Hall End, Maulden, Beds. Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
J DOGGETT. Pte 28771. 18th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbys. Regiment). Died 7 March 1916. Age 42. Born Clophill. Enlisted Ilkeston. Derbyshire. Ancestor. Resided Langley. Derbyshire. Commemorated: Brookwood Cemetery. Surrey.
Ernest EDDY. Pte. 4546. 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Died Friday 24 December 1915. Age 18. Born. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Frank Eddy of Back Street, Clophill, Beds. Commemorated: Portianos Military Cemetery, Lemnos, Greece.
Percy EDDY. Pte. 8083. 2nd (City of London) Battalion Royal Fusiliers. (Formerly 4862 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment). Died of wounds Saturday 30 September 1916. Age 19. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Daniel and the late Priscilla Eddy of Back Street, Clophill, Beds. Commemorated: Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme, France.
Arthur William GARDNER. Pte M2/177061. 338th M.T. Company. Royal Army Service Corps. Died Thursday 10 April 1919. Age 32. Born at Clophill, Ampthill, Beds. Son of William & Eliza Gardner, husband of Mrs. D. Gardner of Collyweston Road, Easton, Stamford, Northants. Commemorated: Chela Kula Military Cemetery, Nish, Yugoslavia.
Charles GUDGIN. Corporal 23372. 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday 13 November 1916. Age 19. Born Clophill. Enlisted Ampthill. Son of John & Alice Gudgin of Clophill. Commemorated: Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France.
Bertram HARRIS. Pte. 29650 13th Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment). (Formerly 30815 Notts & Derbys Reg.). Killed in action 26 July 1917. Age 26. Born Clophill. Enlisted Litchfield. Resided Burntwood, Staffs. Commemorated: Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-le-Grand, Somme, France.
Ernest HERBERT. Pte. 33117. 6th Battalion Leicestershire Reg. (Formerly 7775 Bedfordshire Regiment). Died of wounds Sunday 31 March 1918. Age 23. Born Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Son of George & Elizabeth Herbert of Back Street, Clophill, Beds. Commemorated: Le Cateau Military Cemetery, Nord, France.
Thomas IZZARD. Pte. 60168. 32nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. City of London Regiment (Formerly 6485 Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Sunday 14 January 1917. Age 37. Born Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Mrs E. Izzard of Jacques Lane, Clophill. Commemorated: Lyssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Joseph LOMAS. Pte. 200626. 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Friday 27 July 1917. Age 21. Born and resided Clophill. Son of Mrs S.A. Lomas, of Clophill. Commemorated: Jerusalem Memorial, Israel.
John George Chapman MADDAMS. Pte 7545. 22nd Battalion London (County of London) (The Queen's) Regiment. (Formerly 4650. 3/12th London Regiment). Died of wounds Tuesday 10 October 1916. Aged 19. Born Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Eldest son of John and Maria Caroline Maddams of Brickwall Farm, Clophill. Resided Ampthill. Commemorated: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.
Harry Horace QUENBY. Pte. S/827. 2nd Battalion The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment.), Died of wounds Saturday 23 January 1915. Age 42. Born Clophill. Enlisted Hendon, Middx. Son of James Liles Quenby & Harriet Eleanor Quenby of Clophill, Beds. Resided Bedford. Commemorated: Lincoln (Newport) Cemetery, Lincolnshire.
Cecil ROBERTS. Pte. 41465. 10th Battalion Essex Regiment. (Formerly 27132. Northants Regiment). Killed in action 23 March 1918. Age 30. Born Clophill. Enlisted and resided Bedford. Commemorated: Poziers Memorial, Somme, France.
Sidney SHARMAN. Pte 203288. 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday 22 October 1917. Age 22. Born and resided Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Commemorated: Cement House Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Cyril William SMITH. Pte. 276526. 1st/6th Battalion Essex Regiment. (Formerly 6220 Bedfordshire Regiment), Died Friday 22 November 1918. Age 29. Resided Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Henry & Elizabeth Smith of High Street, Clophill. Commemorated: Beirut War Cemetery, Lebanese Republic.
Augustus WEBB. Pte. 23751. 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Wednesday 23 October 1918. Age 29. Born Clophill. Enlisted Ampthill. Son of Mr. Mrs. H. Webb, of Wood House, Beadlow, Shefford. Resided Clophill. Commemorated: Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, Nord, France.
Herbert Charles WEBB. Pte. 23189. 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday 13 November 1916. Age 23. Born Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Son of Henry & Sarah Webb of Beadlow, Shefford. Resided Beadlow. Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Horace WHITE. Pte. G/14876. 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Killed in action 21 October 1916. Age 18. Born Clophill. Enlisted Bedford. Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
George WILDEN. Air Mechanic 3rd Class 81092. 23rd Wing RAF transferred to (543587) 477th Agricultural Coy. Labour Corps. Died: Thursday 13 February 1919. Age 29. Born at Clophill. Enlisted, Son of Frederick & Sarah Wilden, husband of Amy Wilden of 168 Castle Road, Bedford. Commemorated: Clophill (St Mary) Old Churchyard, Beds. In North East part.
John WILDEN.Pte. 47637. 12th Battalion Suffolk Regiment. (Formerly 31313 Bedfordshire Regiment). Died of wounds Sunday 24 March 1918. Age 24. Born Clophill. Enlisted Kettering. Husband of Alice Caroline Almond (formerly Wilden) of Manor House, Helpringham, Sleaford. Native of Clophill. Commemorated: Bac-du-Sud British Cemetery, Bailleulval, Pas de Calais, France.
E.W.YOUNG.Ordinary Seaman J/81852. HMS Africa RN. Died Monday 16 September 1918. Age 36. Son of William and Hannah Young. Husband of Elsie Maud Young, of Riverdene, Clophill. Commemorated: Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery, Sierra Leone.
S.W.YOUNG.Lance Corporal 16740 2nd Regiment South African Infantry. Died Friday 19 July 1918. Age 25. Born, Enlisted, Son of George & Elizabeth Ann Young of Ketton Cottage, High Street, Clophill. Commemorated: Meteren Military Cemetery, Nord, France.
Clophill does not mean to let the memory of its men who fell in the war fade with the present generation. A Committee, consisting of the Rector, Mr. A.H. Tanqueray, J.P. (chairman and treasurer), Miss Seabrook, Messrs. J. Maddams, F.H. Robinson, J. Bone, W.E. Seabrook, A.G. Dunham, W.M. Dawson, J.H. Smith, J. Gobey, S. Barrow, and H. Cunnington, (secretary), have for some time been working on the memorial scheme. Subscriptions amounted to upwards of £150. The type of memorial chosen is very fitting, and has suited all tastes. It is a beautiful polished Aberdeen granite obelisk, with a substantial Portland base, and was supplied by Messrs. Peacock and Co. of Bedford. (Later corrected to Mr. A.M. Peacock of Shefford) The obelisk stands in a prominent position at the entrance to the parish church, and bears the following inscription in raised red letters on the front: "In honoured memory of J. Bone, E. Diggins, H. Diggins, J. Doggett, F. Eddy, P. Eddy ,A. Gardner ,C. Cudgin, B. Harris, E. Herbert, T., Izzard, J. Lomas, G. Maddams, H. Quenby, C. Roberts, S. Sharman, C. W. Smith, A., Webb, B. Webb, H. White, G. Wilden, J. Wilden, S. Young, and E. Young who went from Clophill and gave their lives for King and country in the great war 1914 - 1918. Their name liveth for ever more." On the side facing the pathway to the Church are the words: "This memorial was erected by the parishioners of Clophill in deepest gratitude to the brave men who have fallen and with sincere sympathy for those who are left to mourn their loss." Great assistance was given in the scheme by the late Rector (the Rev. C.L. Matthews), who was asked to dedicate the memorial. The ceremony took place on July 14th and was preceded by a short but beautiful service in the Parish Church. Every available seat was occupied, and more than a hundred had to be accommodated in the gallery. Before the service, the organist played, "O rest in the Lord." The service opened with the singing of "On the Resurrection morning" and the 23rd Psalm, and concluded with the hymn, "O God our help in ages past."
The trio of ex-Chaplains (the Rector, the last Rector and the Rev. H.H. Beresford) then proceeded down the aisle followed by Mr. A.H. Tanqueray, and the ex-service men, marshalled by Captain Rothwell.
These formed a cordon round the obelisk. A notable figure was Colour-Sergt. H. Ashley proudly wearing his old scarlet of the 3rd Bedford Volunteers. An enclosure had been reserved for the relatives of the fallen and the ex-service men.
At the unveiling ceremony, Mr. A.H. Tanqueray said they had welcome home those who had returned. Alas! There were others who had gone out to fight for us and out Allies, in all the pride of youth and strength, but by God's good will did not return. Their bodies rested overseas, but in spirit they were with them at the fete last summer, and now at this ceremony it was fitting to pay a tribute to their glorious sacrifice. The committee thought it would be fitting to invite one whom they all knew and esteemed, who lived among them for some years, and had borne no small part in the long struggle overseas, to perform the ceremony of dedication, and invited Colonel Skipworth, C.M.G., to unveil the memorial.
Colonel Skipworth, C.M.G., who saw considerable active service with the Warwickshires, said that when war was ruthlessly forced upon us by Germany, the men of Clophill, who had previously lived a peaceful country life, went out to fight in the most gigantic and terrible struggle the world had ever known, and to face horrors which those who had not been to the front could not possibly imagine. How they acquitted themselves would stand in history. By their self-sacrifice they were instrumental in removing that menace which had been steadily growing and over-shadowing the peace of Europe, and ever becoming a menace to our very existence as a country. They fought and died as heroes for the glory of old England, and the loyalty of anxious ones at home was a fitting background to the glorious heroism of those fighting in the line.
It was the duty of the living to those who were now dead to see that Germany never again attained a position in which she could threaten the peace of the world.
The thanks of the congregation to Colonel Skipwith were expressed by Mr. Cunnington, who mentioned that of the 24 names recorded on the memorial 20 were those of his old scholars. The dedication was performed by the Rev. C.L. Matthews with the words, "To the great glory of God, and in memory of our glorious dead we dedicate this monument. For them we pray that they may rest in peace, and that light everlasting may shine upon them, and for ourselves that we, like them, be enabled to do our duty even to the end. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The late Rector said that all who remembered these men for the good fellows they were should find in the memorial a message to look upwards, and smile through their tears - smile with a great pride that, thank God, their men did not fail, but answered the call even though it cost them everything they had. They gave their lives for a better England, a better world, even a better Germany, and had left a sacred trust that that work should not be allowed to rest until it was finished. The greatest things in the world were not, and the greatest happiness did not come from wealth or possessions, or position, good as those things were, but through the possession of that brotherhood and comradeship, which was so wonderful a characteristic of the armies in the field.The names of the fallen were then called out by the Rector, and as each name was read relatives came forward and laid floral tributes round the memorial, before the list was completed, the base of the memorial was hidden by a wealth of flowers. A representative party of school children placed flowers there in honour of the old boys of the school. There was a special wreath from the ex-service men of the parish, and two of the wreaths were made by Mrs. Cunnington and Miss Pennemore, of single flowers brought by all the children in the schools.
After the singing of "Abide with me" the "Last Post" was sounded by Mr. Henman, and a very touching ceremony terminated. A collection was afterwards made, which realised £14 2s. 6d. The committee have been able to defray all costs.