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 School – A new term in 1915: Win Bourne

1882 school

Headmaster Evans looked out of the classroom window pensively. He wondered just how many children would arrive at the school gate this miserable, cold January morning. He wouldn’t blame the young ones if they stayed at home in the warm. But then he knew that, in some cases, they would be warmer in school than they would in their homes, so he had ignited the fires in the classrooms very early that day in an effort to remove the chill.

He knew from previous years that the numbers would be lower than they should be as some children may have no coats, some no boots- some lacking in both, poor little souls. Even in the finer weather the older children were often missing from class, the girls being kept at home to look after their younger siblings while their parents were both working in the fields or farms, and the boys working alongside their parents – all to earn a few more shillings.

According to the law, if children did not attend school for any reason bar illness, he was supposed to inform the attendance officer, Mr John Page. But he knew in his heart that he wouldn’t do that – times were so difficult for families in the valley at the moment he had no intention of causing them more problems.

John Henry Evans had been teaching at the St Mary Bourne elementary school since 1896 when, at the tender age of 33, he arrived with his widowed mother Anne. He had been born in Bridgend, Glamorgan to Anne and her husband David, a blacksmith in the town.

In October 1905 he had married his wife Victoria in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, and brought her to live at the school house. She was a Somerset lass 7 years younger than him and in 1910 they had a lovely son called Owen.

As he stood at the classroom window, John reflected on his past years at the school, remembering some of the pupil’s faces as they had first appeared. The Sellwoods, the Randalls, the Bunces, the Allens and many many more – all had sat cross-legged in rows on the classroom floor- some in the old school across the road – singing their alphabets and chanting their times tables.

As the terms progressed the children had grown in stature, as well as in their knowledge. Some had thrilled him with their academic capabilities, or their musicality, while others were totally non-academic and couldn’t wait to attain the age that they could leave school and start earning a living.

Years later – he remembered with a smile – he had been walking along the street towards St Peter’s Church with his wife and son, when a confident young man, driving a horse and cart, greeted him with a huge smile and said “Morning Sir, Ma’am” as he tipped his cap to them and he had recognised the lad as being one of his old pupils.

He remembered standing at Summerhaugh and listening to the Salvation Army band playing. The young girls among the crowd were singing along with the band, while the lads stayed self-consciously yet nonchalantly at the back by the George Inn. As the boys tapped their toes to the songs, he recognised that they were similar to the tunes that he had taught most of them himself at the Sunday school when they were small.

Still in a reflective mood, he reminisced another, more recent occasion, when, once again at Summerhaugh, he had observed Lt Col Cooper speechifying to the lads, encouraging them to “Take the King’s shilling and answer the call to arms”.

Suddenly, coming to his senses and the reality of this cold January morning, he realised that the classroom was filling up with steaming, thawing, small children. He looked at his watch and said to himself “Oh well, I’d better get outside and ring the school bell or some of the stragglers will be late for assembly”

“No Mr Page,” he thought to himself ” you can stay in the warm behind your shop counter – you’ll get no call from me this morning.”

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.

 

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.

Charles James Knight and William John House

Cheering_wiltshires_1918_005

Cheering Wiltshires in 1918 via Commons wikimedia

Andover Advertiser 30th October 1914

FOR KING AND COUNTRY – After passing the cross roads at
Chapmansford, the first block of two cottages on the road to Hurstbourne
Priors has peculiar interest to the passer by. Each has sent its manhood to
fight for King and country. From the first cottage Charles James Knight has
gone with the 1st Wiltshire Regiment, and has not been heard of for a
fortnight.

In the next cottage live the wife and two children of William John
House, 1st Wiltshire Regiment, who was wounded on 9th September in the
battle of Chesny, taken prisoner, and now lies in the Royal Reserve Hospital
in Potsdam, about 18 miles from Berlin.

Mr House went through the biggest part of the Boer War, and helped to capture Piet Cronje, the Transvaal General, who, after a skilful and determined resistance to Lord Methuen at Magersfontein, surrendered with 4000 of his army to Lord Roberts on the
Modder river on 27th February 1909. Mr House obtained the South African
medal, which his wife shows with pride.

On the declaration of war last August Mr House went to Devizes, the depot of the 1st Wiltshires, saying that it was his duty to go, although it was a sore wrench to leave his wife and children. He went with his regiment from Tidworth, his wife received a note from him saying that he had landed safely, and a few days afterwards he appears to
have been wounded in the arm at the battle of Chesny.

Mrs House received the intimation as to her husband’s whereabouts from the American Embassy not having heard from her husband after he intimated his safe landing,
although she has written to him each week. Mr House has two brothers who
are with the navy in the North Sea, and his youngest brother (19 years of
age) is in the Territorials.

The First Wiltshires

At the start of World War I, the Wiltshire Regiment, like most of the rest of the British Army, consisted of two regular battalions (1st and 2nd), a reserve battalion (3rd), and a Territorial Force battalion. Eventually, the Wiltshire Regiment expanded to ten battalions, seven of which served overseas.[30] These included three additional Territorial Force battalions (1/4th, 2/4th, and 3/4th Battalions) as well as four service battalions (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th battalions) formed for the Kitchener Army formations.[30]

Regular Army battalions

Upon mobilization and declaration of war, the 1st Wilts deployed to France as part of the 3rd Infantry Division‘s 7th Brigade, landing in France on 14 August 1914. The 1st Wilts remained with the 3rd Division until the 7th Brigade was transferred to the 25th Division on 18 October 1915. The 1st Wilts served with the 25th Division until was transferred on 21 June 1918.[31] On 21 June 1918, the 1st Wilts joined the 110th Brigade, part of the 21st Division, with which it served for the rest of the war.[30]

‘Tipperary’: The Western Front And The Home Front United In Song

The mood in Henry Fisher’s refreshment rooms that morning (the part of it reserved for the men) was a little downbeat. The war had not been going for two months yet, but no one now seemed to think it would all be over by Christmas.

The chaps had fallen to talking about what they would normally be doing on the first day of October. There was a pleasantly seasonal nip in the air which reminded them that today signalled the start of pheasant shooting and there was nothing to prevent them except a general feeling that it would be in poor taste to engage in shooting for sport at a time when the lads were at the front, shooting for their lives.

‘Come on, fellows, this won’t do!’, said Albert White of Barford House, going to the piano and striking up the new tune, which everyone seemed to be humming or whistling these days – whistling in the dark, perhaps, but still effective.

Tipperarytitlethis morning's gossip

"Tipperary!" (click to enlarge)

The Guns’ Obligato*

The day after the Canadians attacked Vimy Ridge my battalion of the Royal Fusiliers advanced from Bully Grenay to a chateau on the outskirts of Lieven under heavy shell fire.

At the back of the chateau a street led to the main road to the town.  There, despite the bombardment, we found a Cockney Tommy of the Buffs playing “Tipperary” on a piano which had been blown out of a house into the road.

We joined in – until a shell took the top off the chateau, when we scattered!

L.A. Utton, 184 Coteford Street, Tooting, S.W.


 

You may have seen Gareth Malone’s explanation of the popularity of Tipperary, in which he says:

On the Western Front, marching bands were sent to accompany the troops. Soldiers would regularly put on concert parties and almost every division had its own entertainment troop. In the long periods of waiting between battles, songs played an important role in staving off boredom and boosting morale.

‘A Long Way to Tipperary’ was the first hit of the war – a lively tune with fond thoughts of returning home soon. Songs about home resonated throughout the war, with ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, released in 1914, remaining popular throughout. As war continued, upbeat messages about staying cheerful and carrying on, such as ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’, played a vital role in keeping spirits up. The songs united people in a shared experience whether they were at home, on the Western Front or stationed further afield.


 

*Extract from

Memoirs & Diaries – The Best 500 Cockney War Stories – Not Yet Blasé and Other Stories

Published in London in 1921, The Best 500 Cockney War Stories comprised, in the words of its newspaper publisher (The London Evening News) “a remembering and retelling of those war days when laughter sometimes saved men’s reason”.

via First World War.com

 

Harvesting Experiment

Clerks as harvestersClerks as harvesters - CopyGoodness knows how The Daily Mirror had got hold of the story, but John Notley hoped that the first batch of Londoners he was getting on Friday evening would indeed have ‘all the enthusiasm of amateurs’. He certainly had plenty of work left for them to do, and plenty of acres for them to do it in.

John and his son Charles had run Egbury Farm as the bailiff for Mr Rouyer when he owned Dunley Manor. And they had continued with Mr Francis Holman when he bought the Dunley estate in 1902.

© Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence via geograph.co.uk

© Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence via geograph.co.uk


They were a Dorset family originally, but like several others from the county had moved up to Hampshire in the 1890s when the economic difficulties in farming hit home and several farms became available at very reasonable prices. In Hurstbourne Tarrant, there was George Miles and in Ibthorpe John Bound, both also originally Dorset families.


 

A note on sources

The information about the Dunley estate and the Notleys is taken from 59A03/7 in the Hampshire Record Office. They also appear in the various trade directories.

Daily Mirror

The Daily Mirror was a popular daily newspaper and claimed that it had a “Certified circulation larger than that of any other Daily Picture Paper”. It was a tabloid rather than a broadsheet. It had a long standing relationship with the labour and trades union movement and was aimed at the middle and working class households.

It was one of the first dailies to introduce photographs to its pages and a quarter of the paper concentrated on photographs of the war and those associated with it. It cornered the market for the bizarre and aimed to amuse as well as to inform. It minimised its news content to a double page, leaving space for adverts on female interests, such as ‘Infant feeding’ and ‘Grey Hair’. Its Human Interest articles covered stories such as “ ‘Spiritualistic’ Quacks in War-time”, which told of Mediums, Crystal Gazers and Palmists being bombarded with female believers, worried about relatives at war.

It featured a political cartoon; adverts for clothing outlets, tobacco and food; short stories “Like all other Men” by Mark Allerton being one of many; ‘This Mornings Gossip’; a sport and entertainment page; ‘A thought for today’ and ‘In my Garden’ also featured regularly. It often featured Winston Churchill as he wrote a column in the ‘Sunday Pictorial’ for the Paper.