Thorley Articles in the Herts and Essex Observer



3 January 1914 p4 col 7

Admiral Vander Meulen’s Bequest

Four King’s Cottages have this week been completed at Bishop’s Stortford under the will of the late Admiral FS Vander Meulen. The block comprises two cottages for married couples and two for single persons, and furnished complete they are let  at the nominal rent of 9d and 6d per week respectively. The trustees have elected those who are to occupy the cottages.

P5  col 2

Funeral of Mrs EC Poole

The funeral took place in Thorley Churchyard on Saturday of Mrs Eliza [C] Poole, mother of Mrs Laurie Frere of Twyford House, and widow of Dr Reginald Stuart Poole [ ] of the British Museum. The deceased [ ], and died

Entry incomplete because newspaper damaged.


21 Jan 1914 p5 col 2


The Bishop’s Stortford Coursing Club coursed on Monday over Shingle Hall, Thorley Hall and Moor Hall, by permission of Messrs J Lukies, G Patten and F Newman. It was a record day, with plenty of hares and good long courses, a good day’s sport being enjoyed by all, the land walking more like it does in Spring.


14 Feb 1914 p8 col 6

Thorley Entertainment

A successful entertainment arranged by Miss Procter and Miss Mitchell, was given in the Thorley School on Tuesday, the room being filled with a large and appreciative audience. The following took part: Mrs G Patten, Miss K Gwynn, Miss Mitchell, Miss J Glasscock, Miss Lane, Miss B Bird, Mr T Hurford, Mr Barbar, and Mr Beney. In the course of the evening light refreshments were handed round, and at the conclusion the Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) proposed a hearty vote of thanks to all who had contributed towards the success of the proceedings, which terminated with the singing of the National Anthem.


4 Apr 1914 p8 col 5

Thorley Cricket Club

A meeting of the members of the Thorley Cricket Club was held in the School on Wednesday. Mr G S Streeter (President) occupied the chair, there being a large gathering. Mr Laurie Frere, Dr Hartigan and Mr Bertram Bull were unanimously elected Vice-Presidents, Mr G Patten was appointed Captain, Mr Thompson Vice-Captain, Mr R Newman Secretary and Treasurer, and Mr K Kent Assistant Secretary. The following were chosen as the Committee for the ensuing season: Messrs GS Streeter and R Newman, the Rev JEI Procter, and Messrs G Patten, Thompson, Kent, T Doe, D Reed and W Clark. It was decided that the practice nights should be Monday, Wednesday and Friday and that the practice should begin on Monday April 13th. Mr Reed again allowed the club the use of his meadow for the coming season. A hearty vote of thanks was proposed, and unanimously carried, to Mr Streeter for the interest he had taken in the welfare of the Club and to Mr Reed for lending the ground.


18 April 1914 p8 col 5

Thorley Easter at the Church

The Church looked exceedingly pretty on Easter Day. The east end, the lectern and windows were decorated by Miss Procter, the communion rail by Mrs Bull and Mr Horace Newman, the font by the Misses Frere, the reading desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, and the pulpit by Mr Kent, head gardener at Thorley Place. Several members of the congregation sent cut flowers for the decorations. The congregations were good at all the services, and the offertory, which was on behalf of the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance, amounted to £13/3/9d.


The Easter Vestry was held on Tueday, when the Rev JEI Procter (Rector) nominated Mr Laurie Frere as Rector’s Churchwarden, and Mr Newman was unanimously re-elected Parishioners’ Churchwarden. Messrs GS Streeter, G Patten, D Patten, W Evans, J Lawrence and R Newman were re-appointed sidemen. The Churchwardens’ accounts were passed, and other matters usually transacted at the Easter Vestry were dealt with. The Rector thanked the churchwardens, sidemen, organist, choir and the bellringers for their services during the past year. The Rector also alluded to the illness of Miss Mitchell, the organist, and expressed the hope, which all who knew her shared, that she might speedily be completely restored to health. The Rev JEI Procter, on behalf of the parishioners, thanked Mr Frere for his gift of gravel for the paths in the churchyard.


16 May 1914 p5 col 4

Found Hanging at Thorley

On Thursday, Charles Lewis, aged 63, a labourer, living at Thorley Street, was found dead at his house, hanging from the staircase. An inquest will be held this (Saturday) afternoon at the Coach and Horses, Thorley.


23 May 1914 p3 col 3

Found hanging at Thorley Aged labourer’s Sad End

Dr Collins (District Coroner) conducted an Inquest at the Coach and Horses, Thorley, on Saturday afternoon into the circumstances attending the death of Charles Lewis, a builder’s labourer, who was found hanging in his cottage on the previous Thursday morning,Mr Frederick Bird was chosen Foreman of the Jury and PC Eames discharged the duties of Coroner’s Officer.

Mrs Alice Lewis, wife of deceased, said her husband was 63 years of age last January. By occupation he was a buildr’s labourer and lived at 6 Thorley Street. On Thursday morning at 8 o’clock witness left her husband sitting in a chair by the fireside at home; she was then going to Bishop’s Stortford to work. At that time he seemed about the same as usual, but he had been ill for the past three months. That was the last she saw of him alive, but at about  a quarter past four the same afternoon she met a little boy (her nephew) aged eleven years, near the King’s Cottages, Bishop’s Stortford. He was crying and said to her “Mum, Dad’s hung himself at the bottom of the stairs.” She hurried home, running most of the way, and got there at ten minutes to five. She saw her husband hanging from the stairs with a rope round his neck, quite dead and cold. Deceased had been very ill for the past three months and had suffered a great deal of pain. He had something the matter with his side, but witness did not know what. He had never threatened to do away with himself, and witness never expected him to. He used to have awfully bad nights, and had not been able to get up without assistance for some little time. On Thursday morning witness gave deceased his breakfast – cocoa and toast -  before she left him.

George Edward Chappell, a lad of eleven years of age, said he lived with deceased, who was his uncle, though he used to call him “Father”. On Thursday afternoon he came home from school about a quarter past four, and saw his uncle hanging from the stairs with a rope round his neck. Witness thought he was quite dead because he did not move..

The Coroner: “what did you do then?” “I went and gave the chickens some corn (laughter)” Proceeding, witness said that took him about three minutes. He always fed the chickens.

The Coroner: But you know when anyone is hanging by a rope the first thing to do is to cut them down as quickly as possible, and not go and feed the chickens. In answer to further questions, the witness said he did not tell anyone what he had seen, but ran off to Bishop’s Stortford to tell his “Mother” and his “father” was still hanging.

William Morris, Carpenter, of Hillcrest, Little Hallingbury, said that on Thursday afternoon about 5 o’clock he was working in a cottage at Thorley Street, when a Mrs Clark came after the police constable, but he was out. She asked him if he would go with her as Charles Lewis had hanged himself. With Mr Whitby and Mr Gilson he went and saw deceased hanging on the staircase with the rope produced round his neck. One foot was resting on a  stair and the other hanging. The other end of the rope was fixed round a “stud” in the wall. The body was quite cold and witness thought deceased had been dead for some hours. With Mr Gilson’s help he cut the rope, and laid deceased in the kitchen.

Dr ED Agbew, of Bishop’s Stortford, said that on Thursday evening he was called and saw deceased. He was stone cold and quite dead. There was a mark round his neck caused by a rope. Witness had been attending him for the past three months. About three years ago deceased was operated upon for internal cancer, but this could not be removed, though the operation gave him relief. Deceased was gradually losing strength, and witness thought he suffered a good deal of pain. He saw deceased the day before he died, and he then complained of bad nights. Witness knew he was getting near his end, but he had never noticed anything wrong with his mental condition. Deceased knew he would not get any better and witness thought that might have preyed on his mind. The cause of death was strangulation from hanging.

The Coroner, in summing up, said he did not think he need make any comment. Deceased died from strangulation from hanging, and undoubtedly committed suicide, when his mind was temporarily deranged.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane”.


6 Jun 1914 p8 col 6

Cricket results

Thorley v. Little Hallingbury

Played at Thorley on Saturday, resulting in a win for the visitors by 36 runs. Score:

THORLEY                                                       LITTLE HALLINGBURY

Curtis c Bayford b Sailtmarsh   ….8              J Eldred lbw b Patten                      ….4
Brown b Dorrington                ……2              F Brewster b Curtis                         …12
Eames b Saltmarsh                 ……0              H Saltmarsh c Eames b Patten         ...10
T Doe  run out                        ……0             S Brewster  b Curtis                         ….9
G Patten b Dorrington             ……5             G Jennings  b Patten                         ….2
S Thompson run                      ……1             A Hoare  not out                             ....18
Newman c Stone b Saltmarsh   ….0              C Stone  run out                               ....1
W Doe  c and b Dorrington      ……3              H Bird  b Curtis                               ….4
Gilston c Bayford b Saltmarsh   …2              H Dorrington c Eames b Curtis          ....1
Edwards  not out                       …1              J Bayford  c and b T Doe                ….0
H Harris  b Dorrington             ….0               R Eldred  b T Doe                           ....0
Extras                                    …..5               Extras                                           ….2
                                               27                                                                     63               


13 June 1914 p5 col 5

Thorley Death and Funeral of Mr Charles Fowler

The death occurred at Bishop’s Stortford Hospital, on Friday, of Mr Charles Fowler, a well known and respected farmer in the district. Deceased, who was 72 years of age, was the son of the late Mr William Fowler, of Thorley Hall, and for upwards of 40 years had been in occupation of Butlers Hall. As a young man he was a yeoman, and also a member of the now long defunct Bishop’s Stortford Light Horse, being one of the few survivors of that old volunteer corps. For many years past he had been in failing health which prevented his taking the active part  he would in all probability have shown in the affairs of his native village. Deceased was a batchelor. His life in Thorley is best recorded in the words of the Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) who, preaching on Sunday morning from Isiah vi, verses 1 to 3, at the close of his sermon said: On Friday last it pleased God to tee unto Himself, after a long illness bravely and patiently borne, the soul of one of the oldest inhabitants of this parish. The many anxious enquiries about his condition, the earnest hope that he might be restored to health, and the widespread sorrow when the news of his death became known, showed the great affection felt for him by all who knew him in Thorley, and by many outside the borders of his own parish. His failing health had prevented him for a good many years from taking an active part in public affairs, but in earlier years as Overseer of the Poor, as Parish Councillor, and as a member of the Thorley School Board, he had done much useful work for the parish. He had also been for many years a sidesman of the Parish Church, and at one time he represented the parish at the Ruri-deconal Conference. Owing to failing health he had been unable to attend church as regularly as he would have liked. But he loved the Church and her services, and the great ministrations of the Church had given him great comfort during his last illness. He had the unfailing mark of the true follower of Jesus Christ, namely, love or others, and he was never so happy as when he was helping his poorer friends and neighbours, by whom he will be greatly missed. As an earnest Christian, a loyal Churchman, a kind and considerate master and an unfailing friend, we thank God for his bright example, while at the same time we mourn his death. We sincerely sympathise with his relatives who mourn his loss, and pray God that He will comfort them in this hour of sorrow and bereavement.

The funeral took place at Thorley on Tuesday afternoon, amid many manifestations of respect. The coffin was conveyed from Bishop’s Stortford Hospital to Thorley Churchyard, at the gates of which it was met by the Rector (the Rev JEI Procter). In the church the hymn “Now the labourer’s task is o’er” was impressively sung. The interment was made in an earth grave, next to that of deceased’s sister, who died many years ago. The immediate mourners were: Mr WH Fowler and Mr R Fowler (brothers), Mrs J Waterman, Mrs E Waterman and Miss Fowler (sisters), and the Misses Waterman (nieces), Mr Frank Fowler (nephew), and Mr G Speechly (brother-in-law) and the Misses Speechly (nieces), immediately followed by all the labourers and others employed at Butlers Hall. Amongst others present in the Church and at the graveside were Mr and Miss Morris, Mr and Mrs Kent, Mr and Mrs Harry Cox, Messrs L Frere, GS Streeter, F Newman, Dr Dockray, Mark Halmore (Brighton), H Patten, J Lawrence, John Patten, Z Colls, F Bird, G Patten, P Ashwell, R Newman, W Evans, D Reed, G Watsom, etc.

Floral tributes were sent by the following:

“In loving remembrance, from his devoted and sorrowing sister, Mrs JH Waterman”;

“In loving remembrance, from his sorrowing sisters, Lixxie and Louie”;

“In loving memory of dear Chalrie, from Kate, Isabel and Dorothy”;

Mr and Mrs George S Streeter, with sincere sympathy”;

“In loving memory, from Robert”;

“Mr CH Waterman”;

"From his loving and sorrowing sister Louie”;

“From his loving nieces, Bessie and Winifred”;

“In loving memory, from Minnie and Arthur”;

“With love and deepest sympathy, from Sidney and Maud”;

“With deepest sympathy and remembrance, from the men at Butlers Hall”;

“In affectionate remembrance, from Mr and Mrs TW Rowland”;

“In affectionate remembrance, from Guy and Flo”;

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs Frank Fowler”;

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs Chas Chappell and Agnes”;

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr and Mrs F Bird”;

“In kind remembrance of a lifelong friend, from W and Miss Evans”;

“With sincere sympathy, from LF Newman, Downing College, Cambridge”;

“In kind remembrance of an old friend, with deepest sympathy, Miss Lawrence, Miss S Lawrence, and Mr J Lawrence”;

“With much sympathy from the family, Thorley Post Office”;

“A token of respect and deepest sympathy from  A Flack”;

“With sincere sympathy from the men and wives at Thorley Place”;

“In memory of a dear old friend, from Henry and Grace Patten”;

“With deepest sympathy, Mrs Scrivener and all at Pond Park, Felstead”;

“With much sympathy from Mr and Mrs Laurie Frere”;

“In affectionate remembrance from all at Moor Hall, Thorley”;

“In memory of a good old friend, Mr and Mrs Sydney T Millbank and family”;

“With sincere regard from Mrs JE Patten and Sons”;

“With deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs KW Kent”;

“With Edith and George Patten’s sincere sympathy, Thorley Hall”;

“With deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs Reed and family”;

“With heartfelt sympathy from old friends, PW, AF, A Hale and Mrs S Howell”

“Mrs Clark, Stone Hall”


23 July 1914 p5 col 5

The Hay Country

At the Police Court on Monday morning, before W Holland (in the chair) and H Kent esqs, John Cox, labourer, of Little Canfield, was brought up in custody charged with being drunk and disorderly in Thorley Street on the previous afternoon. Evidence was given by PC Eames, stationed at Thorley Street, to the effect that he saw defendant in the mainroad very drunk and disorderly. He was shouting and swearing and insulting people as they passed along the road. He requested defendant to go but as he refused witness had no alternative but to take him into custody. Defendant admitted the charge, and said that he had come from the “hay country” and that could he have got into a field and have rested for a couple of hours he would have been alright. The chairman said defendant had made himself a nuisance to people, and if beer had the effect on him as described in the evidence he must give it up. Defendant: “I will’”  A fine of 10/- including costs was imposed and defendant on paying 4/- into Court was allowed a week in which to find the balance.


1 Aug 1914 p5 col 4

Petty Sessions Transfer

The licence of the Green Man, Thorley, was transferred from Shadrach Brace to William James Palmer.


22 Aug 1914 p8 col 4

Thorley Parish Church

Large congregations attended the services in the Parish Church on Sunday, when reference was made by the Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) to the war, and special prayers, authorized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, were used. The collections, which were on behalf of the Fund for relieving was distress, amounted to £11/18/2d.

Relief of War Distress

A largely attended meeting was held in the Thorley School on Monday to consider what steps should be taken to relieve distress which may arise in Thorley owing to the war. The chair was taken by the Rev JEI Procter, as Chairman of the Parish Council. It was unanimously decided that Thorley should join with Bishop’s Stortford (if it might be allowed to do so) in organizing the relief. Mr Laurie Frere, of Twyford House, was appointed local Treasurer, to whom subscriptions may be sent, and it was also decided to have a house-to-house collection. The Misses Frere, Mrs and Miss Newman, Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane undertook to carry this out. A local Committee was appointed, consisting of Mrs Frere, Mrs Streeter, Mrs Hartigan, Miss Procter, Mrs Newman, Mrs G Patten, Messrs Streeter, Frere, Newman, G Patten, Watson and the Rev JEI Procter. Mr Frere, Mr Newman, Mrs Frere, Mrs Streeter, Mrs Newman, Miss Procter and Mrs G Patten were nominated to represent the parish on Committees.


29 Aug 1914 p4 col 7

BS Needlework Committee

The Needlework Committee having been absorbed by the Clothing Sub-Committee of the War Distress Fund, those desirous of giving voluntary work should write to Mrs L Frere, Twyford House, Bishops Stortford.

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Bishop’s Stortford and Thorley War Distress Fund

The General Committee of the Bishop’s Stortford and Thorley War Distress Fund met on Thursday evening, at the Urban Council Offices, when Mr E Carruthers was elected Chairman, on the motion of Mr GS Streeter, and there was a large attendance of members, with Mr CJ Hancox and Mr AG Gwynn, who have kindly undertaken the duties of Joint Hon Secretaries.

Mr H Kent asked if it would not be possible to have a card index of the whole of the soldiers and sailors belonging to Bishop’s Stortford and Thorley who had been called up. It would show the person’s rank, the number of children and their ages, what they were receiving, and if they were reservists, their wages before they were called up. He thought such cards ought to be in the hands of the Committee.

The Chairman said he would like to say that that morning he had received a letter from Mr Wright, the Stationmaster, in which he said that the Central Committee of the Great Eastern Railway, in order to prevent overlapping, sent therewith a list of names and addresses of the cases in respect of which they had undertaken to relieve any cases of distress existing at the present time. Continuing, the Chairman said that it was very important they should prevent overlapping, and he was quite sure they were agreed that it must be obviated at all costs.

Mr Tresham Gilbey thought it would be a magnificent thing if they could have the list suggested. He thought, perhaps, Mrs Ross might be able to give them, the particulars.

Mrs Ross said that she only got the particulars of the cases she helped.

Mr Streeter suggested that each district might provide the names.

Mr Tresham Gilbey moved that the Joint Secretaries be asked to obtain the names and addresses, as far as possible, of soldiers and sailors who had gone or who were going away, and that they ask Mrs Ross to give what assistance was possible in her connection with the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association. He also suggested that the Chairman should write to the Observer asking everybody also to assist by sending in names. He was sure they could then get a complete list.

Mr Cooper seconded and the proposition was carried.


26 Sept 1914 p8 col 5

Thorley Harvest Festival

The harvest thanksgiving services were held in Thorley Church on Sunday. The Church was tastefully decorated. The east end was dealt with by Miss Procter, the communion rails by Mrs Bull and Mrs Procter, the reading desk by Mrs Streeter, the pulpit by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, the lectern by Mr Horace Newman, the font by the Misses Frere, and the porch by Mrs Watson and Miss Gladys Seabon. The following also took part in the decorations: Mrs Akers, Mrs Ellis, Mrs G Harris, Mrs Stock, Mrs Waterman and Mrs J Watts. Many members of the congregation sent offerings of flowers, fruit, bread, corn and vegetables. On Sunday morning the Rev JEI Procter (the Rector) preached, taking as his text St Matthew vi, part verse 32. In the afternoon the Rector was again the preacher, his text being Psalm lxv, verse 9. In the evening there was a very good congregation, and the sermon was preached by the Rev JH Peabody (Vicar of St Johns, Ilford)., on the text St Matthew vi, verse 33. The day ws unfortunately wet and stormy, and in consequence the congregations were not so good as usual. The collections throughout the festival amounted to £13/12s, and will be divided between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Herts Convalescent Home and the Bishop’s Stortford Hospital.


17 Oct 1914 p4 col 7

Motor Accident

A somewhat serious motor accident occurred on the main London Road near the Rectory Lane, Thorley, on Wednesday evening shortly before nine o’clock. A taxi-cab, containing a party of five, owned and driven by Mr HA Gordon, of Brondesbury Park, London, was returning from Newmarket, when the car ran up the bank on the off-side of the road and completely overturned. The occupants were thrown out, and a Mr Warnes, of London, sustained a scalp wound and other injuries, afterwards being removed to the Old Bull’s Head Inn, South Mill. The car was also damaged, but the other occupants escaped with minor hurts. PS Elderton and PC Hagger were on the scene, and rendered assistance, prior to the arrival of Drs Agnew and Huxtable.


28 Nov 1914 p5 col 1


Urgently needed for the 4th Bedfords would be gratefully received by Mrs Frere, Twyford House, Bishop’s Stortford.


12 Dec 1914 p5 col 2

Bishop’s Stortford column

Mrs Frere, Twyford House, Bishop’s Stortford, would be glad to receive presents in clothing or money for the 4th Bedfordshire by Thursday December 17th, when she dispatches a parcel to Harwich.


26 December 1914

…. H Saban of Thorley Terrace, Bishop’s Stortford. Who, as briefly stated in our last week’s issue, had been invalided home suffering from rheumatism, gives an interesting account of the doings of the Hertfordshire men since their departure for the Front. On their arrival at Le Havre, Pte Saban says, they marched up country to a rest camp, where they remained two nights, afterwards proceeding to another village where they billeted for about four nights. They then went by motor omnibus  to the firing line, the Germans shelling the road all night. Some of their men through this received light injuries. They entered the trenches about four o’clock, very tired but not disheartened. The weather was also terrible, torrential  rain rendering the circumstances particularly uncomfortable. When morning came they left cover and proceeded for about three miles along a railway line, where progress was slow on account of the large holes caused by the German artillery. Here they proceeded to entrench themselves, and were under fire the whole time, though fortunately the enemy had not the correct range, their shells passing overhead. At night, their entrenchments not being completed, they retired to the reserve line , but owing to their being wet through were able to get little or no sleep. In the morning some of them went to a farmhouse to make tea, when suddenly they saw three aeroplanes dropping smoke bombs in order to be able to indicate their positions and that of their artillery which was stationed to the rear. Immediately the aeroplanes had disappeared the Germans commenced shelling their lines with shrapnel and “Jack Johnsons” and this they maintained throughout the day. Subsequently, the Battalion received orders to advance and occupy an important position close to the enemy but Pte Saban was forced to fall out and was afterwards invalided home, and will on recovery accompany another draft of Herts men to the Front.

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