About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.

Gerald Holbrooke Killed In Flanders May 19

ANOTHER CASUALTY – The deepest sympathy will be felt with Mrs Holbrooke, of Stoke, whose youngest surviving son, Gerald, was killed in action in Flanders on May 19th. Gerald Howard Holbrooke had led a most adventurous life. He was born in 1879 and educated at the Rev. J. G. Gresson’s Preparatory School, Worthing, and at the Queen’s Service House, Portsmouth. Failing to pass into Sandhurst, he went to South Africa and was farming there when the war broke out. He at once enlisted in the Natal Mounted Police and was present at all the engagements leading up to the Relief of Ladysmith. At Colenso, where he was galloper to General Clery, he had his horse shot under him, and he was wounded at Pieter’s Hill. After the war he went to Madagascar, East Africa and India, wherever adventure was to be found. Later on he went to Canada and after serving in the North West Frontier Police, he bought land and settled down. On the outbreak of the present war he was one of the first to offer his services. He was offered a commission in the 2nd Canadian Contingent, but wanting to get to the front as soon as possible he enlisted as a private in the 18th Canadian Scottish and was present at all the severe fighting around Ypres, when the Canadians so distinguished themselves. He came of a military family which has been connected with the British Army for more  than 150 years. His great grandfather Captain Bernard Holbrooke helped raise the old 97th Foot in 1759 (now the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment) and with them served on the Continent in the Seven Years War, and was present at, and wrote an account of the Siege of Velle Isle in 1761. His grandfather Captain Frederick Holbrooke, served with the 13th Foot (now the Somerset Light Infantry) in Sir Ralph Abercrombie’s campaign in Egypt in 1801, and was present at the battles. He afterwards exchanged into the 14th Light Dragoons, now the 14th King’s Hussars. His father the late Rev. F.G. Holbrooke of Kimpton, served for some years in the old Gloucester Militia, and was just starting for the Crimea when peace was declared. Both Mrs Holbrooke’s other sons are now at the front, Major Bernard Holbrooke, 129th  Baluchis, who was recently wounded at Ypres, and Major P. L. Holbrooke, D.S.C. R.G.A. who won his decoration a few weeks ago in France. Her youngest son Captain Cecil Holbrooke, R. A. M. C. died in India in 1900. Both Mrs Holbrooke’s grandsons are also at the front. Lieut. Austin Williams, 38th  Lancers, Indian Army, and 2nd Lieutenant Leonard Williams, Army Service Corps.

 

 

The Village Celebrates the Grand National

GN1915What a day it had been! Eleanor Black-Hawkins allowed herself a fortifying whisky and soda as she recalled her the Ladies Committee’s success…

It had been a miserable winter, which seemed to go on and on. The war, which was supposed to have been over by Christmas, seemed stuck in the trenches of France and Flanders but showed no signs of ending any time soon. Casualties from the village were beginning to mount up. Money seemed short, and every family missed the strong arms and backs of their young men now at the front.

The Committee had wondered from the beginning whether there was some way they could lighten the load of their fellow villagers, without being patronising Lady Bountifuls. It had been her idea to organise a sweepstake for the Grand National on Friday 26 March, with prizes for everyone who had a horse.

The details had been discussed endlessly as various possibilities were considered at length before being dismissed as impracticable. Finally, it had been agreed that the prizes would be in the form of hampers.

Lady Portsmouth was the obvious first person to approach. She had been very generous, as always, but was a little uneasy about the link to gambling. She therefore decided not to grace us with her presence on the day, but had written the committee a very large cheque. This had enabled us to buy the contents from the village shops, and the big farms had given chits to be exchanged for a pig in due course.

The idea was that the tickets were to be given away – obviously the last thing we wanted was for people to spend money that was scarce and then not get anything in return. Charitable giving is certainly a complicated business! They had roped in Albert White of Barford, who loved to get his teeth into this sort of problem, the job of giving everyone in the village one ticket and no more.  It had been slightly trickier to persuade the Ladies Committee that they themselves should not have tickets (think how embarrassing it would have been if one of us had won a hamper!) . FHB was the rule of the day.

A radio with loudspeaker had been rigged up at the ‘refreshment rooms’ at Fourways and on the morning of the race everyone gathered in the Summerhaugh. All the tickets, with names written on the back, were put into a large copper and drawn out one by one, using the starting prices from the newspaper as a guide to the likely outcome:

6/1 Irish Mail
7/1 Lord Marcus
9/1 Silver Top
10/1 Balscadden
10/1 Father Confessor
100/9 Bachelor’s Flight
100/8 Ally Sloper
100/7 Bullawarra
25/1 Distaff
25/1 Alfred Noble
25/1 Jacobus
33/1 Denis Auburn
33/1 Ilston
33/1 Thowl Pin
40/1 Hackler’s Bey

There was great excitement as the race got under way:

Ally Sloper took off too early at the second fence, landed on top of the obstacle and all but unseated Anthony who, amazingly, was hauled back into the saddle by his brother Ivor, riding alongside him. The horse made another serious blunder at the first Canal Turn , but regained his feet and continued progressing steadily until the last fence where Anthony pulled him out for an effort that saw him fight past the leader Jacobus and score a two-length victory, with Father Confessor a further eight lengths back in third. Appropriately, in the era of the suffragette movement, Lady Nelson became the first female to lead in the winner.

Pos. Horse Jockey Owner
1 ALLY SLOPER Mr J R Anthony Lady Nelson
2 JACOBUS A Newey Mr C Bower Ismay
3 FATHER CONFESSOR A Aylin Lord Suffolk
4 ALFRED NOBLE T Hulme Mr T H Barnard
also BALSCADDEN F Lyall Mr C Bower Ismay
also THOWL PIN W J Smith Mr F Bibby
also BLOW PIPE W Smith Mr A Shepherd
also HACKER’S BEY Mr H S Harrison Sir T R Dewar
also SILVER TOP S Walkington Mr A Browne
also IRISH MAIL Mr L Brabazon Mr Eric Platt
also BULLAWARRA C Hawkins Mr J M Niall
also BALLYHACKLE S Avila Mr K F Malcolmson
also ILSTON I Anthony Sir G Bullough
also DISTAFF E Piggot Sir G Bullough
also LORD MARCUS G Parfrement Lord Lonsdale
also THE BABE R Chadwick Mr F Bibby
also St MATHURIN II T Dunn Mr Adam Scott
also DENIS AUBURN J Reardon Sir G Bullough
also BACHELOR’S FLIGHT H Harty Mr F Barbour
also BAHADUR Mr P Roberts Mr W Gore Lambarde

It had all worked out better than she dared hope. Of course, there were some disappointed faces, but the tea and buns which had been laid on meant that everyone (even the Ladies Committee!) got something out of the day.

Next year, Eleanor thought she might find herself in London…


Note on sources:

I do not know whether there was any attempt to celebrate the Grand National as a village.

se non è vero, è ben trovato?

Harold Moorse and Walter Allen

St Mary Bourne men killed - Moorse

Andover Advertiser 26th March 1915

News has been received that Private Walter Allen, of this village, is at present in hospital at Chelsea suffering from wounds received near the Aisne. We are pleased to note that the wounds are not dangerous.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR – The village has now to lament the loss of the fifth of its brave sons who has sacrificed his life for his country. Mr W. C. Moorse received the saddest news of his life, that his son Harold, 2nd Lieutenant of the York and Lancaster Regiment, was killed in action on the 18th inst. The deceased was originally a schoolmaster with the rank of sergeant in the Hampshire Regiment in India. A short time ago it was reported that he had received a commission and was transferred to the regiment in which he met his death. He had been with the colours just over seven years, and was 25 years of age, so that it can be said that his tasks on earth had been rewarded according to the merits of a real soldier and man. Mr Moorse has three other sons in the Army. Two of these left for the Dardanelles (perhaps we had better not say when) while the other is at Netley Hospital. A telegram couched in the following terms has been received by the father of these military sons from Buckingham Palace :- “The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow. -Private Secretary.” – On behalf of the large number of readers who hold the bereaved family in such esteem, we also feel it a privilege to offer our deepest sympathies. – On Sunday evening after evensong at the parish church, a short memorial service was held. The Rev. P. E. Binns spoke from the text 1 Thess. Iv. 13

 

 

THE FORGOTTEN YEAR: 1915

Defence-In-Depth

by DR NICK LLOYD

2015 is the hundredth anniversary of one of the most important, yet little remembered, years in the history of Britain and her armed forces. Often overshadowed by the rush to war in 1914 and the momentous offensive on the Somme in 1916, the battles that the British Expeditionary Force fought on the Western Front in 1915 (as well as the tragic Gallipoli campaign in the Mediterranean), were a key stage in the development of modern warfare.

In France and Belgium, the British fought in a variety of offensive and defensive actions throughout the year, most notably at Neuve Chapelle (10-12 March), Aubers Ridge (9 May), Second Ypres (22 April – 25 May), Festubert (15-27 May) and Loos (25 September – 13 October). Of these, the battle of Loos was the biggest. When it was fought it was the largest land battle in British military history, witnessing…

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St Mary Bourne Men Proceed On Active Service

 

Andover Advertiser 1915

ON ACTIVE SERVICE – The list of non-commissioned officers and men from St Mary Bourne who are proceeding on active service in 246 Company Army Service Corps, serving under Lieut. Col. H. L. Cooper, commanding 29th  Divisional Train, reads ;- Sergeant Henry Charles Woolford Hibberd, Sergeant William Moorse, Corporal William John Penny, Driver Alfred William Randall, Driver Alfred Cook, Driver Ewart Culley, Trumpeter Ernest Charles Randall.

 

[Margaret] Angela Boys

margaret boys 001 - Copy

from Mrs Spankie’s Scrapbook taken at the time of her engagement

[Margaret] Angela Boys surveyed the kitchen table, which was now covered in the débris from her efforts to ice the christmas cake. This was the first time she had attempted such a thing, and she had been anxious to finish the job before the cook returned to work the next morning.

This would also be their first Christmas at Bourneside*, and she was determined to make it as normal as possible for her father, whom she felt responsible for, now that her mother was not with them,** and her brother Geoffrey was a prisoner of war, having been captured at the Battle of Mons. Of course, one of the reasons they had come to St Mary Bourne was that her Aunt Lucy (Boys Miley) was living at Haven Hill, which was in easy walking distance, and they would probably be having lunch with the Mileys on Christmas Day.

boys family2But she really ought to begin at the beginning, as Miss Jarvis, the headmistress of Conamur had always reminded them. Born in Kensington in 1897 to [later Sir] Charles Vernon and Marion (nee Pollock) Boys, Angela had been sent like other girls of her class to boarding school, latterly in Sandgate, Folkestone. The writer Jocelyn Brooke described Conamur as:

The building at the end of the Riviera later became the Marine Hotel… the school inculcated a breezy and strenuous optimism…Corot and Greuze hung on the walls, while the singular flora of Art Nouveau, sprawling water lilies and fleur-de-lis, burgeoned unexpectedly in corners. Little girls in sage green djibbahs were perpetually tearing breathlessly to and fro as though the school were run on the lines of a military detention barracks.

SandgateConamurSchoolAdAngela was now seventeen and had returned to look after her father and run the household in the absence of her mother and older brother. Some days like today she felt very grown-up and responsible, but at other times – as she would admit only to herself – she felt rather alone and in need of mothering herself. Hill House formerly Bourneside

Bourneside was a large house for the two of them and her father spent much of his time in his study;  it was going to be up to her, she could see, to make some sort of life for them in the village, particularly as he very often returned to London mid-week. She missed her brother very much, even if he did tease her as all boys teased their little sisters, she supposed.

The Bourne Valley was pretty, and seemed rather quaint after London and even the relative sophistication of Folkestone. The house had been built some time between the 1882 Ordnance Survey map, which simply shows fields, and 1907, when it is recorded in property sales. At the time of the Tithe Award in 1841, the land was owned by the Herbert family, owners of Stoke Farm.

Angela gave a final, satisfied look at her cake – well, the cook had made the cake, beginning of course on Stir-Up Sunday, but she had made it beautiful. Even if she did say so herself.


 

Notes

* Bourneside is NOT to be confused with the house in the village street of that name. At this period, what is now Hill House was called Bourneside. The following is the extract from references to Bourneside in the Hampshire Record Office’s online catalogue.

Bourneside 1914

** Charles and Marion Boys had been divorced in 1910

Led Up The Garden Path By Laurus Nobilis

‘The Laurels’ – Doctor’s House (now demolished)

This post is an anecdotal aside about the peripheral perils of local history investigation, meandering along roads not adopted, climbing up eucalyptus trees, and finding oneself up creeks without a paddle.

On this occasion, your correspondent was lured into a lengthy, if arcadian, detour by no less an adversary than the doughty Laurus Nobilis, in search of the residence of the village doctor, known from the 1901 census to be residing at ‘The Laurels’. Following, no doubt unconsciously, in the footsteps of Charles Pooter, there were apparently other villagers who also thus named their residences.

At any rate, one such was Dr William Alexander Slater Royds. Misled by the ambiguous steer of his daughter, Kathleen Innes, we had taken her comments to mean that the doctors lived in the same house as did she, after her marriage to George Innes. We thus in turn unfortunately misled our readers

InnesFinally, serendipity took pity on us and led us to browse, once again, our collection of old post cards – Eureka! Realising it might be a mistake to emulate Archimedes in running through the streets of the village naked from our morning bath, we share our rapture with you instead through the written word, deeming it less likely to end in arrest and incarceration.

Doctors house

Ordnance Survey 1875

The doctor’s house is on the right hand side of the map, parallel to the road, to the left of ‘676’. It has since been demolished and replaced with two modern houses. We are told there was a small doctor’s surgery in the grounds – this seems likely to be the pink rectangle next to the winterbourne stream.

 Farewell To Dr Royds and welcome to Dr Cardwell

Dr Thomas Cardwell moved into the house some time in 1914, according to Kathleen Innes, so we shall assume that this was before Christmas. According to the directory of the General Medical Council, he qualified in 1882, and obtained the MRCS and LRCP (Edinburgh 1885).

Fred and Frank Day

Andover Advertiser

4th December 1914

FROM BELGIUM – We regret to announce that Mr and Mrs George Day
of Lower Rank, has this week received official information that their
eldest son Fred, of the 1st Hampshire Regiment has been missing since
3rd October. The information bears the usual formal notice that this
does not mean that he is killed or wounded, but might have been taken
prisoner or cut off from his regiment. Mr and Mrs Day have another son
on duty with the forces, but this one, Frank, of the Wessex A.S.C. is at
present in the home camp.

Kate And Her Able Seaman – Part One – by Win Bourne

New Barn Cottages

New Barn Cottages – it would probably have been one like this

1911 census Loader

Kate Loader Turnell remembered clearly the first time she saw George Turnell. It was 1906 and she had been shopping in St Mary Bourne for her mother when she saw her older brother Freddie chatting to a strange young man. As she approached, her brother smiled and said:

‘Here’s my sister, I’m sure she will agree that we can make another place at the table tonight’.

George turned around smiling, and Kate was instantly struck by the colour of his eyes – they were almost cornflower blue. He wasn’t a tall lad, well only a couple of inches taller than her, but he gave the impression of being strong and confident. He explained that he was on leave from the Royal Navy and had heard that his father was living somewhere in the village so had travelled, unsuccessfully, to find him.Twenty year old Freddie had taken such a liking to him that he had invited him to eat that evening and probably stay overnight until he could journey back to his base, which was in Portsmouth. He felt sorry that the lad had had a wasted journey and felt sure that their parents wouldn’t mind.

The Loader family lived in New Barn Farm cottages, just out of the village, and beyond the viaduct, on the Harrow Way. Dad was a carter on the farm, as were his sons, Freddie and 14 year old Bert. Kate, who was 17 years old, helped her mother in the house and garden and did seasonal work on the farm.

loader map

Fred was correct in assuming that his parents would be happy to include the wandering matelot into their home and later, after they had enjoyed their evening meal, George was encouraged to recount stories of his experiences in the navy.

He told them he had dreamed of being a sailor since childhood and had enlisted at fifteen years of age, his first opportunity, as a boy cadet. He had spent his first year in training in a place called Portland – an island attached to Weymouth on the Dorset coast.

At first he was on a ship docked in the harbour, called the HMS Boscawen – an elderly three decked sailing ship – where he had been taught the rudiments of seamanship. Following that he had progressed, still in Portland Harbour, to the HMS Minotaur and then finally to HMS Agincourt.

HMS EclipseOn completing his training he had been allotted his first seagoing draft on the ship the HMS Eclipse. After numerous trials, where they seemed to sail around in circles in and out of Portsmouth harbour, the commission really started. He told of his first scary voyage across the Bay of Biscay where the ship was tossed like a cork in the tumultuous seas and the crew had to hang on to ropes and rails down below and were not allowed above decks for fear of being swept overboard, many of them being violently sick. George described the change of the waters when the ship left the ocean and sailed into the warmer, calmer climes of the Mediterranean. He spoke of lying on the top deck of the ship, with a warm breeze, no land to be seen – just a myriad of stars in a midnight sky.

He told them of his first sight of the Rock of Gibraltar and how, along with some of his crew mates, he had climbed the huge rock and seen the apes up there and been surprised as they swung out over the precipice to retrieve a bun or some such. The crew members had all been warned before going ashore, to hold on to their hats and leave nothing loose for the mischievous apes to grab. This had been his first port of call on foreign soil, to eat foreign food and hear foreign language being spoken – and he had loved every minute. The HMS Eclipse had called at many ports along the Mediterranean; he remembered hearing the clanging of church bells across the water before docking in Malta. The ship travelled through the Suez Canal and beyond – all the way to China.

He talked long into the evening of other voyages and Kate and her brothers were enthralled and even more amazed when he took off his jacket, rolled up his right sleeve to reveal a picture – a tattoo of a Geisha girl. The family had seen people with tattoos before but never in such vibrant colours. The youngsters begged him for more tales, but as he had to leave early the next day to get back to his ship in Portsmouth it was time to sleep, though he promised to visit them again when he had leave.

The next time George came to the village there was no pretence about looking for his father. The Loader family welcomed him and treated him as member of their family, and he was so grateful, having known none before.

His visits were irregular, according to whether he was based on shore or was at sea. Whenever he did come back, he regaled them with more tales of his excursions across the world, occasionally bringing them small gifts that he had bought in foreign ports.

He started writing to Kate and she readily replied. On his following few stays it became apparent that, though the sea was his first love, he was becoming smitten with her – and she with him. Sometimes Kate did not see him for months and gradually their romance had blossomed, mostly by post. When he did come home they walked out regularly and became a familiar sight arm in arm in the village, attending church and visiting friends.

They had written frequently, their letters becoming more affectionate as the months went by, and when George arrived in St Mary Bourne for a short weekend, after a very long absence, Kate was overjoyed to see him. When the family had greeted him and then returned to their daily chores he suggested they went for a walk together, and as they walked George asked her to be his bride. Kate had been so happy to accept his proposal. The following day they had arranged to be married in St Peters Church on his next leave.

Before he went back to his ship after his proposal, George told her he had a surprise for her, he rolled up his left sleeve to reveal- yet another tattoo of a geisha! This time the girl had – not the coal dark almond eyes of Japanese – but round green eyes similar to Kate’s own.

When he had gone back to Portsmouth she discovered a beautiful card on the mantelpiece- once again with a picture of a geisha.

Inside it read “My darling, I may have the geishas on my arms but I will always have you in my heart, George xx”

In the following few weeks Kate had busied herself with preparing to become Mrs Turnell soon, with her family’s blessing. She remembered thinking -here she was at 21 years of age in 1910 – about to become married to her handsome blue-eyed seaman – life had looked so exciting!

1911 census turnell

 


Note

There is some mystery about the identity of George Turnell. Although it says on his naval papers, and is repeated on the 1911 census, that he was born in Kew and his father’s name was also George, no trace of the birth of such a person can be found in the usual genealogical sources. There is a George Turnell son of George born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire at about the right time which could conceivably be him but this is of course speculation. One possible explanation might be that he was illegitimate, or an orphan, which might explain why he had gone to sea at such an early age. (Also speculation!).

The tattoos, however, are absolutely real and form part of his naval record ‘Japanese girl on right arm’ and then a couple of years later ‘Japanese girl on left arm’.

Most of the cottages for New Barn Farm have been rebuilt; this is one which would have been there in the Loaders’ time, but we do not know whether this was the exact one they occupied.

Ed.


 

Win