Thorley Articles in the Herts and Essex Observer



2 Jan 1915 p4 col 7

Thorley Christmas at the Church

The Church was beautifully decorated for the Christmas Festival. The East end was dealt with by Miss Procter; the altar rails by Mrs Bull; the pulpit and lectern by Mrs Streeter; the reading desk by Mrs G Patten; the font by the Misses Frere; and the windows by Miss Newman, Miss Bird, Mrs L Clark and Mrs G Harris. The Rector officiated at all the services and at the Morning Service he preached on the words “The Prince of Peace”, Isaiah lx, 6. The offertory, which was on behalf of The Coal and Clothing Clubs of the Parish, amounted to £5/3s. Mrs Frere and Mrs Streeter have supplied flowers for the Church during the past year.

Christmas Treat

On Wednesday a Christmas Treat was given to the children attending the Thorley Sunday and Day Schools by Mr and Mrs GS Streeter, After en excellent tea, gifts of flannel, calico and comforters were given to the children who had attended regularly at Sunday School. Then the Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) as Chairman of the Managers, presented the prizes given by the Herts County Council to those who had attended most regularly at the Day School. Then came the event of the evening, when Miss Pamela Streeter and George Streeter gave presents to every child. The children attending the Day School were responsible for a little entertainment which afforded much pleasure to their parents and other friends who were present. At the conclusion, the Rector, in the name of the parents and children, thanked Mr and Mrs Streeter and their family.

P5  col 2

Wounded at the Front

There has returned wounded to his home at Bishop’s Stortford another of those gallant heroes of whom the town has sent so many. He is Pte J Curtis, of the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers, son of ex-Sergeant Major WJ Curtis, an old Crimean and Indian Mutiny veteran, who resides at 5 Hugh Villas, South Mill. Pte Curtis embarked with the Army first sent to France and was in the retreat from Mons to the Marne and subsequently in the advance to Yser, being wounded at Ypres on November 28th. He was conveyed to the Base Hospital and subsequently to the 3rd Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, his parents being informed on December 19th of the fact that he had been wounded. As stated, he has since been invalided home, his wound being caused by a bullet passing through the right shoulder and making an exit near the spine. He is fortunately now progressing favourably. Ex Sergeant-Major Curtis has also another son, George Frederick, serving in “C” Company of the Herts Territorial Regiment at the Front.


9 January 1915

Stortford Yeoman sees Air “Sport”

Trooper Harry Tucker, of the Essex Yeomanry, son of Mr HJ Tucker of Thorley, writing from France, says:- I may be home to see you before long as there is some talk of us getting about seventy-two hours leave in England. The weather is very cold out here just now and you know that I suffer with cold feet, so you can guess how I am out here with no fire to go to and warm myself a bit, but I am going to stick it the best I can, as on the whole, we are having a pretty easy time of it. The only fault is that when I came away from home I forgot to bring my gloves with me and am now handicapped as there are no shops  near us and even if there were we could not get any as we have not had any money since we came out. We had some fine sport the other day watching two English aeroplanes chasing a German machine. Which was brought down after a little while. At night the sky is lighted up by the reflection from the big guns, the rattle of which keeps us awake half the night. We are going in the trenches for twentyfour hours shortly, but I don’t suppose that will be very comfortable for us, but we shall have to take it all in good part.

In a subsequent letter to his father, Trooper Tucker further states that among several gifts he received at Christmas were a card from the King and Queen, and also Princess Mary’s gift. The Regiment had been doing a little bit of trenching, but nothing to speak of. The weather was very changeable, enough to freeze one one day. While the next they could almost work in their shirt sleeves. Continuing, Trooper Tucker says:- “We got through Christmas all right, but did not get much sport between ourselves until the evening and then about a dozen of us had a little sing-song on our own”.

P5  col 6

Thorley Parish Church

Services of Intercession in connection with the War were held in the Parish Church on Sunday. The Rector (the Rev JEI Procter) officiated. The collections, which were on behalf of the Fund for the care of the sick and wounded, administered by the Joint Committee representing the Order of ST John of Jerusalem and the British Red Cross Society, amounted to £7/14/2d.


16 January 1915

Saved from the “Formidable”

Midshipman Dennis Pelly, son of Mr Edmund Pelly, late of Twyford House, was among the comparatively few survivors of the ill-fated Formidable, torpedoed in the Channel on New Year’s Day.

P5  col 1

Bishop’s Stortford Column

Mrs Frere, Twyford House, would be glad of woolen comforts for the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment by January 28th


20 February 1915

Another Stortfordian Killed

We regret to record the death of another Stortfordian who has given his life for King and country. He is Pte James William Prior, of the 1st Bedfordshire Regiment, a reservist and a married man, who lived on Windhill. He was formerly employed as a yardman by Messrs P Church & Sons, corn and coal merchants of South Street, and was 31 years of age. His parents reside at Thorley. An official communication was received by his widow on Monday to the effect that he was killed on 19th November. He also leaves two children.


27 February 1915

Thorley. Promoted from the ranks.

Hearty congratulations are extended to Mr and Mrs JA Clark of Moor Hall Cottages, Thorley, in the fact that their son Charles has been promoted from Sergeant to Second Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery. Lieutenant Clark, who has recently arrived in this country from abroad and is shortly proceeding  to France, and has been in the army for fourteen years.


27 March 1915

Thorley. School Children’s Gift to the Herts Regiment

On March 10th the scholars of the Thorley County Council School sent a parcel to the 1st Herts Regiment containing cigarettes, sweets, and woollen comforts knitted by both boys and girls. For some time previously they had been bringing their pennies to school to help pay for the wool etc., and this week they have been rewarded by receiving letters of thanks from the soldiers themselves, and Miss Neate (Head Mistress) has also had the following letter from Major Page Croft:- Dear Madam, I am writing on behalf of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the 1st Herts at the Front to thank you and the Thorley County Council School for your most kind gifts of garments for my men. We are very grateful for the kind thought which prompted the gift, and the labour involved. Yours faithfully, HP Croft, Major Commanding.


10 April 1915 p8 col 3

Thorley Vestry

The Easter Vestry was held on Tuesday, when the Rev JEI Procter (Rector) nominated Mr Laurie Frere as Rector’s Churchwarden, and Mr Newman was unanimously re-elected Parishioner’s Churchwarden. Messrs GS Streeter, J Lawrence, G Patten, W Evans, D Patten and R Newman were reappointed sidesmen. The Churchwardens’ Accounts were passed, and other matters usually transacted at the Easter Vestry were dealt with. The Rector thanked the Churchwardens, sidesmen, organist, choir and bellringers for their valuable services during the past year.

Easter at the Church

The Church looked exceedingly pretty on Easter Day. The east end was decorated by Miss Procter, the Communion rails by Mrs Bull, the pulpit and lectern by Mrs Streeter, the reading desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane, and the font by the Misses Frere. Several members of the congregation sent cut flowers. The congregations were good at all services, and there was a large number of communicants. The Rev JEI Procter (Rector) officiated at all the services. The offertory, which was on behalf of the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance, amounted to £6/18/4d.


24 April 1915

Thorley Parish Council

At the annual meeting on Tuesday evening the Rev JEI Procter (Rector) was co-opted as Chairman of the Thorley Parish Council. Mr George Patten of Thorley Hall and Mr Wallace Evans of Blue House Thorley were reappointed Overseers for the ensuing year.


1 May 1915

Essex Yeomanry and Prince of Wales Cup

Mr HJ Tucker of Thorley has received a letter from his son, Trooper H Tucker of the Bishop Stortford Troop of the Essex Yeomanry, in which he states a Marathon race for a silver cup, presented by HRH the Prince of Wales, is being competed for by the Royal Horse Guards, 10th Hussars, and Essex Yeomanry, and that in the first of three races for the trophy one hundred and fifty men competed, being fifty from each regiment. It resulted in a win for the Essex Yeomanry, who made 100 points to the Horse Guards 55 and the Hussars 45. The Essex men consequently have 45 points to the good for the second race. The writer of the letter finished twenty=fifth – not a bad achievement, as he had never run in a race before. And had not trained for the event.


8 May 1915

Rainfall Measurements at Twyford House

The Thorley Parish Magazine in its current issue contains the interesting information that the rainfall measured at Twyford House, the residence of Mr Laurie Frere, during the first three months of the year showed a total of 7.40 inches, the monthly percentage being January 2.81 inches, rain being measured on twenty-one days; February 3.15 inches, when twenty wet days were recorded, and March 1.44 inches, when rain fell on sixteen days.


15 May 1915

Thorley Roll of Honour

The following is a list of the men of Thorley who are serving their King and Country, and whose names are on the Roll of Honour which hangs in the Porch of Thorley Church:- James Henry Akers, Rifle Brigade; George Benjamin Barnes, Scottish Rifles;  Frank Edward Bird, Essex Yeomanry; George Cornelius Brewster, Wiltshire Regiment; Olave Peter Chappell, Bedfordshire Regiment; George Chappell (wounded), Kings Own, Royal Lancaster; Charles Clark, Royal Horse Artillery; William Clark, Hertfordshire Regiment; Albert James Clark, Royal Veterinary Corps; William John Curtis (wounded), 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers; George Frederick Curtis, Hertfordshire Regiment; Bartle Laurie Stuart Frere, Bedfordshire Regiment; Walter Gee, Hertfordshire Regiment; Walter Charles Gee, Royal Navy HMS Monarch; Frederick Percy Gee, Hertfordshirre Regiment; Albert Isaac Hammond, Bedfordshire Regiment; John Harris, Bedfordshire Regiment; William Charles Harris, Bedfordshire Regiment; John Harris, Middlesex Regiment; Dermot Hartigan (wounded), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Arthur Hill, Bedfordshire Regiment; George William Lawrence, Hertfordshire Regiment; Frank Neate, National Reserve; William Frank Neate, Royal Naval Air Service; Leslie Frank Newman, Army Service Corps; Horace Parmenter Newman, Royal Fusiliers; Stanley Francis Newman, Essex Yeomanry; Alfred Thurlbon Paige, Cambs regiment; Frederick Bertie Pegrum, Mechanical Transport, ASC; James William Prior (killed), Bedfordshire Regiment; Edgar Frank Prior, Bedfordshire Regiment; William Percy Rist, Royal Marines  HMS Lancaster; Henry James Saban (wounded), Hertfordshire Regiment; William Alfred Saban, Hertfordshire Regiment; Arthur Sampford, Hertfordshire Regiment; James Stock, Hertfordshire Regiment; Charles Threadgold, Remount, Army Service Corps; George Frederick William Trigg wounded), Hertfordshire Regiment; Frank Turner, Kings Own Royal Lancaster;  George Turner, Royal Fusiliers; Ernest Albert Wootten, Bedfordshire Regiment; Stanley William Wootten, Royal Navy HMS Monarch.


22 May 1915 p4 col 7


Mr and Mrs F Bird and family of Hither Farm, Thorley, wish to thank all kind friends for their sympathy in the loss of their dear son and brother.


29 May 1915

The Deaths of Thorley Men.

Memorial Service at the Parish Church.

The news of the deaths of Sergeant SF Newman and Corporal F Bird cast a cloud over their native village of Thorley and many were the expressions of sympathy and condolence expressed to the bereaved parents and relatives.  On Friday evening a memorial service was held in Thorley Church, when there was a full congregation, amongst whom were Mr and Mrs F Newman, Mr Horace Newman, Mr Reginald Newman, Miss Winifred Newman, Mr and Mrs George Newman, Miss Newman, Mr and Mrs F Bird, the Misses Bird, Mr D Bird, Mr A Bird, Mr and Mrs Laurie Frere, Mrs and Miss Procter, Mrs GS Streeter, Miss Taylor, Mr and Mrs G Patten,  Mrs JED Patten, Mr D Patten, Mr J Lawrence, Mrs J Patten, Miss Evans, Mr ET Watts, Mr and Mrs Featherby, Mr C Waterman, Miss Lane, Mr H Cox, Mrs and Miss Mitchell, Mr JS Cooper, Mr and Mrs and Miss Neate, Miss Speechly, Miss Glasscock, Mr Percy Ashwell, Mr and Mrs Hurford,  and Mr and Mrs Watson. The attendance was a striking testimony to the esteem in which the deceased Yeomen and their parents are held in the neighbourhood.  The service was conducted by the Rector (Rev JEI Procter) and following the intonation of the opening sentences, the 23rd Psalm was sung, and the lesson was taken from 1 Cor. Xv, chap  v 20.. The selected hymns were “Soldiers of Christ, Arise” (270) and “On the resurrection morning” (409), and the service also included various portions of the Burial Service and prayers, concluding with the Nunc Dimittis sung kneeling, and the playing of the Dead March in Saul,. Miss Eccles presiding at the organ.

In his sermon on Sunday morning the Rector based his remarks on the sad circumstances of the previous week, taking his text from the 14th verse of the 44th chapter of Eclesiasticus:- “Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name liveth for evermore.” He said that the beautiful chapter from which his verse was taken was written in praise of famous men who in various ways had done their duty to God and their fellow men: and towards the end of the chapter there were given certain instances – Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Of those men, we were told, “their bodies now rest in peace and their names live for evermore.” But it was not only to those they read about in the Bible or in the pages of by-gone history that the words of his text were applicable: there were men and women unknown to history, but who had done their duty to God and their fellow men, and of whom those words were equally true. Never in the history of our nation had there been as many, he was convinced, in every class and rank of society who were trying to do their duty. The terrible atrocities at the beginning of the War in Belgium and North East France upon a defencelesss population, committed as they now knew with the authority of the officers of the German Army, the terrible outrages upon the weak, the bombardment of defenceless towns like Southend and Scarborough, the studied use of poisonous gases in defiance of all international promises, which caused agonizing and lingering death to our brave soldiers, the sinking of the  Lusitania , with its living freight of women and children, had aroused a righteous wrath against Germany, who had violated every law, both human and divine, and was prepared to do it again if it suited her purpose. Our country took a long time to rouse, but when it was there was a determination to use every ounce of our strength to bring to an end the terrible strife in which we were engaged. That was the spirit that was animating the people of this country today; there was a desire in the hearts of men, women, and children: “What can I do to help my country in this hour of her need?” And that feeling which gripped the country today had been splendidly expressed in a patriotic letter which the Archbishop of Canterbury had addressed to the Prime Minister, and which appeared in the newspapers on the previous Monday. The Archbishop wrote:- “On behalf of all, whether men or women, for who, I have any right to speak – and to my knowledge they belong to many denominations – I assure you of our eager wish to make available for the public service whatever knowledge, whatever influence, whatever material resources we possess. We have urged that all those that can appropriately and to the public advantage    join the combatant forces should enroll themselves forthwith. Upon those who are precluded by age or health or circumstance  from that form of service we invite you to call without hesitation for such aid as they can render by brain or hand, by voice or pen. We await your call whenever and wherever the occasion bids you make it.” Those words of the Archbishop expressed, he was sure, the feeling of our nation today. As a nation we were prepared to do our duty and amongst those who were doing it the pride of place must be given to those men “who through perils of War are serving this nation.” Everywhere where the War was being carried on and the fighting had been most desperate, there was nowhere more so than in and near that town of Ypres, now so famous in history. And amongst those who had been engaged in the fighting there were men of the Essex Yeomanry, many of whom came from their immediate neighbourhood. He need not speak of the battle which took place on the 13th of May there; it was enough for him to tell them that the Essex Yeomanry took part in a charge which had made their name memorable. It was perfectly successful but, alas, in the glorious charge many gallant men fell, and amongst them two of the most promising soldiers from their own parish – Stanley Francis Newman and Frank Edward Bird. Both were non-commissioned officers, one a Sergeant and the other a Corporal, and their Commanding Officer spoke of their soldierly bearing in the highest possible terms. He himself had known them all their lives and could bear testimony to their manly Christian characters; anything underhand and mean was entirely alien to their natures. Both were loyal sons of the Church, baptized at the font there, and it was his privilege to prepare them for Confirmation. Both were communicants, and one received it on Christmas Day last when he was home from the Front on a few days’ leave, and the other on Easter Day. He did not think he would be betraying any confidence when he told them that both were sons who had never given their parents a moment’s serious anxiety. Surely of such men were applicable the words of the poet in his description of the Happy Warrior:

                        “This is the Happy Warrior;

                         This is he, whom every

                         Man in arms should wish to be.”

He would like to hold up their manly Christian character and example to the men of Thorley. There was something very beautiful in the day on which they passed to their well-earned rest. It was Ascension Day, when they were thinking of the closing scenes of our Lord’s life and His passing from this worldly life of trial and suffering to that place of rest and glory on His Father’s right hand. And on that day their two young brothers, their worldly warfare accomplished. Passed, not to Heaven (for that only came after the Day of Judgement) but into the Paradise of God. There was nothing sad about the death of such as they, they died most gloriously. They died, they believed, instantaneously and without pain, the one moment the excitement of the battle and the next the calm rest of the Paradise of the Blessed. They died indeed young, and yet they had done their duty, and no man, however long he might live, could possibly do more. They were lying in soldiers’ graves, on foreign soil it was true, but they knew the words of the text were true that :Their bodies rest in peace.” They would be remembered in their native home and by their grateful country amongst those heroes who had laid down their lives for their Country and Empire in its greatest crisis. But it was in Heaven that their names would live for evermore. In sympathizing with the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of those they had lost he was sure he was not only speaking for himself but for their friends and neighbours. The large congregation present at the memorial service on the previous Friday spoke eloquently of the esteem in which their young brothers were held and of the heartfelt sympathy for those who were mourning their loss. It must be a great comfort to the mourners to know that they fell in a righteous cause and a still greater comfort to know that they had so lived that they were not afraid to die. Might that same Holy Spirit Who as on that day came down as of old upon the Apostles to comfort them, comfort those who were now mourning those loved ones taken away and sanctify their hearts and lives so that they might meet them again when

                        “On that happy Easter morning

                         All the graves their dead restore;

                         Father, sister, child and mother,

                         Meet once more,

 To that brightest of all meetings

 Bring us, Jesu Christ, at last;

 By Thy Cross, through death and judgement,

 Holding fast.”

p5 col 3


As a result of accidents, two soldiers are now inmates at the hospital, one, Pts L Louisheine, was met with a cycle accident near Thorley Hall on Sunday, by which he sustained injuries to his head and face. And the other Corpl AE Carleton, King Edward’s Horse, who while riding a motor-cycle came in collision with another motor cycle in Northgate End on Thursday evening. He received injuries to his head, face and body.

P5 col 7

How Sergt Newman was killed

Writing on behalf of the Dunmow Troop of the Essex Yeomanry to the late Sergt Newman’s parents, Trooper WCV Schwier says:- “On behalf of the whole Dunmow Troop of the Essex Yeomanry I have been asked to write to you and tell you how much we all regret the loss of our Sergeant, your son, SF Newman. You have by now, no doubt, been officially informed that he was killed in action on May 13th last. He was shot just in a moment of triumph when we had captured the trench we were ordered to take. To this I can add little. He went up that ground full of courage and energy, and the whole Troop was inspired by his example. He died as he had lived, an example of all that a soldier should be. We know how much you will miss him, and we all send our heartfelt condolence to you in your distress, and few people know how much we shall miss him. He was respected by us all, and much as he was respected for his rank, he was more of a deep personal friend and adviser. As a soldier he was surpassed by few – as a civilian, those of us who knew him admired him, and, I might say, loved him. What little personal kit, etc, of his which is to hand has been collected and will be forwarded to you in due course. Will you please convey to Mrs Newman our great sympathy in her deep loss, and to yourself it only remains for me to say how much we appreciate your awful loss and how much we feel that loss with you.”


3 July 1915

Thorley Roll of Service

The following names have to be added to the Roll of Service recently published:- Ernest Perry, Mechanical Transport ASC

Joseph Walter Clark, Herts Yeomanry

Walter Saban, Herts Regiment

Parish Church          On Sunday collections were made in the Church on behalf of the “London-over-the-Border Church Fund.” The sermons, both morning and evening, were preached by the Rev Canon Bayne, the organizing secretary, and the offertories amounted to £7/15/5s.


10 July 1915 p5 col 3

Hospital Saturday collection amounts

……  Thorley £4/7/5d (increase 8/11d) Miss Peggy Streeter, Miss Pamela Streeter and G Streeter.  ……


17 July 1915 p8 col 3

Thorley Four Sons in the Army

Mr and Mrs JA Clark, of Moor Hall Cottage, Thorley, have four sons serving in the Army: Charles, a lieutenant in the RHA, at present in the Dardanelles; William, a sergeant in the 1st Herts Regiment; Albert James, a Corporal in the Army Veterinary Corps; and Joseph Walter in the Herts Yeomanry.


31 July 1915 p5 col 4

Stortfordian in the Thick of it.

From a letter received by Mr H Thurley, of 100 London Road, South Mill, from his son, a private, in the 1st Battn. Royal Fusiliers, one gathers that the writer has experienced some narrow escapes at the Front. Mr Thurley has two other sons on active service, one in the Royal Navy and another in the RFA. In the course of his letter, Private Thurley says:- We are having a warm time: it is hell upon earth at times and I have been in some tight corners, but I’ve been  very lucky. I’ve been hit three times, twice in one night, but got away with it, and the third time was three nights ago. I will tell you how it was ….. We had just had eight days in the firing line and a warm time of it too, and on the afternoon of the day we were to have been relieved there was a bust up. At night I was warned with another private  to go with a Lanc. Corpl to guide our relief up to the firing line. The Germans at the time were shelling us like mad, but we had to go. We got about 1000 yards after a bit and quite all right, but when we got into a little wood on the top without trench or anything to cover us we “copped” it. The only thing was to lie down and take our chance. Four shells burst right into us, one after another, and I thought  we should all be blown to pieces. There were a few others who had just joined us after their relief and one of them got wounded. I thought every minute would be my last, but thank God I got out of it with only a little cut on my face just below the left eye. After a few minutes they sent their shells into another part, so we got on the move. Then to crown all they sent over some gas shells, before I could get my helmet on I was going round like a top and I could not get my breath.  So again I thought I was done, but I made an effort and got my helmet on  and made a dash for it and got out. The three of my platoon got back safely but three others went down, two with gas and one wounded, so you see it’s a bit rough at times. I am now with the bomb throwers.


14 August 1915 p5 col 4

A Recommended DCM home

The first Stortfordian member in the ranks of the 1st Herts Regiment to return home from the Front on leave is Pte George Frederick Curtis, son of ex-Sergt-Major WJ Curtis, of Hugh Villas, Twyford Road, Bishop’s Stortford, whose name, it will be recalled, figured in the list of those recommended by Field Marshall Sir John French (under date May 31st) for gallent and distinguished service in the field. He was granted eight day’s leave of absence, and left the town to return on Tuesday at mid-day, crossing to France the same evening. And expecting to rejoin his comrades in the trenches by Wednesday. Enlisting in the Hertfordshire Regiment some seven or eight months prior to the outbreak of the War, Pte Curtis. who was only eighteen years of age last January, would have sailed for Australia within a few weeks of the declaration of hostilities, but mobilization of course caused a complete abandonment of his of his preparations to emigrate. He proceeded to France with his Regiment in November, and has taken part in their various engagements, and duty in the trenches, fortunately coming through without a scratch. He is a well built fellow, standing over six feet in height and when some months since trench warfare led to a revision in the appliances and weapons employed he was one of sixty-two volunteers from the Guards’ Brigade (which comprises the 2nd and 3rd Coldstreams, the Irish and the Grenadier Guards, together with the Herts Regiment) to offer to undergo a course of training in proficiency in regard to bomb guns and the utilization of hand grenades, a form of admitted to require great nerve and skill, and often great bravery. He was, after receiving his instruction, employed with the 4th Brigade Bomb Throwing Section, in the operations of which contingent it would appear that his conduct and service have been so conspicuous and distinguished as to lead to and merit his recommendation. He has brought back as a memento from the Front a hand grenade – needless to say one that has been rendered harmless – some idea of the size of which may be gathered from the fact that it turns the scale at 1lbs 4ozs. These missiles can be thrown a distance of something in the nature of forty yards, and their subsequent explosion is calculated to be able to take effect over a radius of thirty yards. Pte Curtis’s father is a Crimean and Indian Mutiny Veteran, with a unique record, possessing the Crimean Medal with four bars – Sebastopol, Inkermann, Balaclava and Alma – the medal issued by the Turkish Government for the same War, the Indian Mutiny Medal and also the Meritorious Service Medal, while his period of service to his country embraced forty-one years. Sergt-Major Curtis has also another son, a Lance-Corporal, in the  7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, who returned to the Front in March after having been home some four months as the result of severe wounds sustained during an engagement near Ypres.

Thorley School Treat p8 col 7

Through the kindness of Mr and Mrs Frere, the School Treat was held in the grounds of Twyford House on Wednesday. On arrival the children engaged in races for prizes given by Mr Frere and also played games. Then Mr Frere took some of the children for  row on the river, while others had pony and donkey rides. At 4.30pm, the children were assembled to partake of tea, after which there were more games, followed by the distribution of prizes. At the conclusion the Rev JEI Procter (Rector), in the name of the parents and children, thanked Mr and Mrs Frere and their family for their kindness. A great feature of the afternoon was a band, which afforded pleasure to all present. The weather was perfect, and it was one of the most enjoyable treats held in Thorley.


21 August 1915 p5 col 1

Essex Yeoman’s leave from the Front

Trooper Harry J Tucker, son of Mr HJ Tucker of Langham House, Thorley, and a member of the Stortford Troop of the Essex Yeomanry, arrived home last weekend on a few days leave of absence from the Front. He has been with his regiment during the whole period it has been in France, being attached to Headquarters Staff. Though consequently he has not participated in its exploits in the trenches or in its former charge which earned undying fame, he has nevertheless been under shell fire. Of the memorable charge, Trooper Tucker was able to give some interesting facts and, seen by one of our representatives, he told how Sergeant Stanley Newman, son of Mr F Newman of Moor Hall Farm, Thorley, met his death, being picked off by a sniper while looking over the parapet in a German second line trench captured in the charge. The Stortford Troop abroad now comprises Captain RG Proby, Trumpet-Major Joscelyne, Sergt Holland, Sergt Rex, Corpl Jordan, Sanitary Lance-Corpl T Marlborough and Trooper Tucker and Trumpeter F Levey. Cavalry training is still vigorously pursued and Trooper Tucker supplied some results of Regimental Sports held on August Bank Holiday at a village, and these are appended. The event was attended by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, the Brigade Staff, and Liet-Col Wickham of the Essex Yeomanry, and all the officers of the Regiment,  and others of the 10th Hussars and [RHG]. The results were as follows:- 100 yards flat race, by Waltham Abbey Troop,; ½ mile flat race, 1 Sergt W [Rickie], D Troop, 2 Sergt H Bright, Headquarters;high jump 1 Sergt H Smith, Headquarters; Wrestling on Horseback. 1 C Squadron; VC, 1 Sergt Green A Squadron; Section race, 1 B Squadron; Individual jumping, open to regiment, 1 PTE HJ Tucker, 2 Tpt-Major Joscelyne; Officers horse jumping, ridden by officers, 1 Lieut Weatherby; horse jumping open to Brigade, 1 Sergt AC [Leonin], D Troop, 2 Sergt of 10th Hussars.


2 October 1915 p3 col 3

Thorley  Harvest Festival

Harvest Thanksgiving Services were held in Thorley Church on Sunday. The Church was tastefully decorated. The east end and Communion rails were decorated by Miss Procter and Mrs Newman; the pulpit and lectern by Mrs Streeter and Miss Taylor; the reading desk by Mrs G Patten and Miss Lane; the font by Miss Frere; the porch by Mrs Watson and Miss Bird; the windows by Mrs Bull, Miss Mitchell, Miss G Seebon and Miss M Reed.  Other helpers were Mrs Akers, Mrs Ellis, Mrs I Clark, Mrs J Watts and Mrs G Harris. Many members of the congregation sent contributions of flowers, vegetables, bread and fruit. On Sunday morning the Rev JEI Procter (Rector) preached, taking as his text Genesis 32, v 10. In the afternoon the Rector was again the preacher, his text being Revelations vii, v11. There was a large congregation in the evening, when the sermon was preached by the Rev JJ Antrobus, vicar of Saffron Walden, on the text Psalm 126, v 7. The collections throughout the day amounted to £16 and will be divided between the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Herts Convalescent Home and the Bishop’s Stortford Hospital.

Wedding p5 col 2

The marriage took place on Tuesday of Miss Emmeline Tucker, second daughter of Mr HJ Tucker, of Thorley, and Corporal J Ide, RAMC, who is attached to the Graylingwell Military Hospital, Chichester, where the bride was formerly a nurse. Among the many presents was a handsome marble timepiece presented by the Staff at Graylingwell.


9 October 1915 p5 col 7

Thorley  Foreign Missions

A well attended meeting on behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel was held in the Thorley School on Wednesday. The chair was taken by Mr GS Streeter, who spoke of the valuable work of this Society in Australia. The Rev AM Peckham (Organising Secretary of the Society for the Diocese of ST Albans) gave an interesting title entitled “The Call of the World” illustrated by lantern photographs of Canada, China and India. The collection at the close amounted to [£4.9s]


16 October 1915 p4 col 7

Roadman’s Sad End

The circumstances attending the death of a roadman named Amos Parish, who lived in Latchnore Bank in the parish of Great Hallingbury, and whose body was found on the GER level crossing at South Mill, Thorley on the previous morning, was investigated by Dr Collins (District Coroner) and a jury at the Boardroom of the Guardians’ Institute, Haymeads, Bishop’s Stortford, on Thursday afternoon.

Mr HO Lee was chosen Foreman of the Jury, the Coroner’s Officer’s duties being discharged by Acting Police Sergeant Megaughey. The GER Company was represented by Inspector F Harridine of the Coaching Department. Cambridge and Inspector G Dorrington of the Loco Department, Cambridge, and Inspector J Tyler, Engineer’s Department, Cambridge.

Mrs Elizabeth Parrish, widow of deceased, Living at Latchmore Bank, Great Hallingbury, gave evidence of identification. She said he was sixty five years of age last birthday and by occupation was a roadman employed by Bishop’s Stortford Urban District Council. Witness last saw her husband alive on the previous (Wednesday) morning about 5 o’clock as he left the home to go to work. He then seemed quite well. It was his usual time to go to work,, and every morning he passed over the South Mill level crossing. When he started out on Wednesday morning he told witness that it was foggy and beginning to rain. His eyesight was good and he was not deaf.

Dr HA deMorgan of Bishop’s Stortford deposed that he was called at 7 o’clock on Wednesday morning to South Mill level crossing where he saw the body of the deceased …….

P5  col 7

Almost a Centenarian

Mrs Elizabeth Clark, of Stone Hall, Thorley, one of the oldest inhabitants of this district, has passed away. If she had lived until next April she would have entered her hundredth year. For many years she farmed in the parish of Much Hadham, and during the last 25 years has lived in Thorley. To the last, she was in full possession of her mental powers, and her memory was remarkable. While living with her parents at Uxbridge, she could remember seeing the first train run on what is now the Great Western Railway.


23 October 1915 p5 col 4

Urban District Council - South Mill Crossing

MR WATTS said that this (death of Amos Parish) was the second serious accident that had occurred at the South Mill crossing on the Great Eastern Railway, and he might say almost the third. A lot of houses had been built in that neighbourhood within the last twenty years and the population had increased immensely. It was a wonder to him that they had not had more accidents, and he thought the time had arrived when the Railway Company should be approached with a view to something being done in the matter of a subway. The state of the fences at the sides of the gates also required taking into consideration.

MR KENT said that if they could not see their way to making a footway, steps could be taken whereby the gates could be locked when trains were passing.

MR COX remarked that it was a very dangerous crossing and he himself nearly lost a horseman and horse and cart there a short time ago. There had been many narrow escapes at the spot.

MR COOPER thought they might easily get the side gates locked.

MR WATTS repeated that the fencing was bad on both sides.

MR KENT said that children would get through anywhere

MR WATTS added that a man would also slip over a fence rather than wait for a train. He moved that the Railway Company be written to on the matter.

MR ASHWELL seconded, and the proposition was carried.


30 October 1915 p8 col 6

Thorley “Our Day”

A generous response was made in Thorley to the appeal of “Our Day” on behalf of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The work of organizing the collection in Thorley was undertaken by Miss Procter, who was ably supported by a band of energetic workers. The parish was divided into districts and collectors called at every house. The following is a list of the collectors:- Mrs and Miss Newman, Miss Taylor, Miss P Streeter, Mrs G Patten, Miss Lane, Miss Neate, Miss Bird, Mrs Gee, Mrs Smith, Mrs Curtis and Miss Sampford. The proceeds amounted to £12.

Memorial Service

On Wednesday afternoon a Memorial Service was held in Thorley Church for Private George Cornelius Brewster, of the Wiltshire Regiment, second son of Mr C Brewster of Thorley Street, who was wounded at the Dardenelles and died in hospital at Cairo on September 25th. The Service was conducted by the Rector (Rev JEI Procter). After the opening sentences from the Burial Service, the 23rd Psalm was sung and the lesson (I Cor.xv 20) was read. Then followed a hymn “Let the Saints on Earth in Concert Sing” (221 A&M). After the hymn the collects from the Burial Service were read and the service concluded with the Nunc Dimittis, sung kneeling, and the playing of the Dead March in Saul; Miss Procter presiding at the organ. A number of relatives and friends of the deceased were present at the service. In his sermon on Sunday morning the Rector referred to the manly Christian character of the deceased and to the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.


6 November 1915 p col 7

Thorley “Our Day”

By mistake the name of Mrs Robert Turner was omitted in our last issue from the list of those who collected in Thorley on behalf of the British Red Cross Society on “Our Day”.


13 November 1915 p5 col 2

Charge Against a Soldier from the Front

At the Police Court on Tuesday, before Capt LA Routledge, Charles Hudgell, a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment (at present home on leave from the Front) was brought up in custody charged with being drunk and disorderly in South Street on the previous day. Defendant pleaded not guilty, saying “I was walking down the street when a policeman came and pushed me”. PC E Bradbury deposed that at about 5.25pm he was on duty in South Street when defendant came along rolling from one side of the street …………. Witness, who told him to go home but he refused. The language he used was “dreadful”. Defendant was further accused of assaulting the constable while in the execution of his duty at the same time and place. Proceeding with his evidence, PC Bradbury said that when he spoke to defendant he struck him a severe blow on the left side of his face and also kicked him on the left leg. Witness then closed with him and, with the assistance of two military policemen, brough him to the Police Station. Defendant used filthy language all the way up the street. Defendant: Show me the bruise: and what did you do to me when I got here? Did you hit me? Witness: no. Can you stand in that box and tell that? Witness: yes. Defendant: you are a very false man.

Private Hubert of the RAMC said that on the previous day, about 5.30, he saw defendant standing on the pathway in South Street using bad language. A policeman came along, and witness told defendant to move along or he would get into trouble. Defendant did not seem to understand what witness said, and when the policeman afterwards spoke to him he became violent and used more bad language. Witness afterwards gave what assistance he could to the police (he having his right arm up) after which two military policemen came up and took defendant to the Police Station. Supt Foster: Did you see that man strike the policeman? Witness: Yes. Defendant: You are very false to stand there and say that. Supt Foster said he would ask for  remand till Thursday in order that he might communicate with the defendant’s Regt. The defendant was remanded, and on Thursday was again brought up, before EB Barnard esq (chairman) and other magistrates, when evidence was given by Private R Little of the Military Police. Supt Foster, in reply to the Bench, said defendant was a native of Thorley. He went through the South African war and had recently been wounded in France. Defendant said he was wounded and badly gassed and had only been home a month. The Chairman said the case would be adjourned for a fortnight for the defendant to be medically examined.


20 November 1915 p6 col 3

Urban District Council South Mill Railway Crossing

The Clerk read a letter from the Great Eastern Railway Company with regard to the level crossing at Twyford, stating in reply to the Council’s communication, asking for the making of a footbridge or subway at the spot, that as there was very little foot traffic at this place and people had a full view of approaching trains, they did not think this a crossing where the Company was called upon to provide accommodation as suggested.

MR WATTS said he only expected that kind of answer.

THE CHAIRMAN remarked that he was afraid they could not pursue the matter further

MR WATTS asked whether they could not postpone the subject for six months

MR FOWLER inquired whether it would not be possible to get different appliances with regard to the opening and shutting of the gates.

THE CLERK said they did not ask for a footbridge, but that they should make some provision.

MR COX said that if someone was on the spot the whole of the time they would see if the gates were opened at the proper time.

MR ASHWELL I think our responsibility ends with calling the Railway Company’s attention to the matter.

MR WATTS Oh dear, no

MR FOWLER agreed with Mr Watts, he did not think the Council’s responsibility ended.

MR GEE suggested that they write to the Company asking if they had misconstrued their letter, and thought they meant a footbridge

MR FOWLER said that the present gates were such as were there 30 years ago, of a primitive type  and could be improved upon.

It was decided to write to the Railway Company on the lines suggested by Mr Gee.


11 December 1915 p5 col 3

Local Territorial Killed in Action

The sad news has been received by Mr and Mrs Sampford of 93 London Road that their son Joseph, a private in the 1st Herts Regt has been killed in action, by shell fire, while in the trenches in France with his Regiment.


18 December 1915 p7 col 5

Urban District Council  Footpath at Thorley

MR WATTS said that some time ago he drew the Council’s attention to the footpath down by Mr Doe’s at Thorley. It was now very dangerous and something should be done to protect people.

On the position of MR ASHWELL, the Surveyor was asked to look into the matter and report to the Highways Committee.

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