War Remembrance

In remembrance of those who fought and died at war, particularly in the First and Second World Wars.

Here we record:

  • the six war graves in the churchyard of those who died in service in the First and Second World Wars;
  • the four family graves naming others who died in service in the First World War and are buried overseas;
  • the two war memorials in the village, naming (almost) all those who died in service in the First and Second World Wars; and
  • the Rolls of Honour naming those who served in both world wars.

War Graves in Little Gaddesden Churchyard

There are six war graves in Little Gaddesden Churchyard, three from each of the two world wars. One has a recumbent family gravestone, and five of them have headstones in the standard Commonwealth War Graves Commission pattern.

Each of the men buried in these graves has his own page, setting out what we know about him and his war service. Click or tap on the names to find out more.

Graves Naming War Dead Buried Abroad

Four soldiers who served and died in the First World War and are buried in Belgium or France are named on family graves in the Old Churchyard.

Again, each of these men has his own page, setting out what we know about him and his war service. Click or tap on the names to find out more.

War Memorials

There are two war memorials in Little Gaddesden, one in the Church and one on the Village Green.

Church War Memorial

Photo of the war memorial in Little Gaddesden church

The war memorial in the church is an oak memorial positioned on the left side of the arch leading into the Bridgewater Chapel, commemorating the dead of both World Wars. It is divided into two panels and, above the upper one, the dates

1914 + 1918

are recorded.

On the upper panel (in two columns except for the final name, centrally placed) below the heading

IN MEMORY
OF

the names of the 23 men who died in the First World War are engraved in black. Each man is listed just by his initial and surname, in order of initial.

A Bierton
A Fowler
A Garment
A Johnson
A Mead
A Whitman
B Gentle
C Batchelor
E Groom
F Johnson
F Purton

G Hoar
G Pinnock
G Talbot
J Dunn
S Oakins
V Batchelor
W Cook
W Cooper
W Fenn
W Holland
W Mayling

W White

On the lower panel, also in two columns and below the heading

1939 + 1945

the names of six of the men who died in the Second World War are listed – but not in order. The name of William O’Kelly is not included.

H Gordon
D Gray
L Hing

I Patterson
W Newman
E Rogers

Below the bottom panel is the inscription

+
REQUIESCANT IN PACE

Village Green War Memorial

Photo of Little Gaddesden War memorial on Village Green

The village’s other war memorial is on the Village Green, outside John O’ Gaddesden’s House. The brick and stone structure was designed by Mrs Wheatley, a cousin of Lady Brownlow and wife of Colonel Wheatley, the Ashridge Agent. It was built by Ashridge estate bricklayers and the timber work supporting the central roof was made by local carpenter Harry Temple. Under the ridge are bottles believed to contain the names of villagers of importance before and during the First World War.

Photo of the War Memorial on Little Gaddesden Village Green, taken in 1921
The War Memorial on Little Gaddesden Village Green, in 1921. Photo courtesy of Lyn Hyde.

The memorial has three sections:

  • outer, flanking walls incorporating 24 Italian moulded stone medallions said to have come from Ashridge House,
  • large stone tablets, bearing inscriptions including the names of the dead, and
  • a central section, recessed under a tiled, sloping roof.

The inscription on the left hand tablet, which was amended after the Second World War, reads:

+
In Honour
of the
Men and Women
Who Went From The
Villages Of
Little Gaddesden
Hudnall
And Ringshall
And Served In The
Wars Of
1914 – 1919 And 1939 -1945
The Names Of Those
Who Gave Their Lives
For Their Country
Are Cut
On The Stones Here.
1939 – 1945.
Henry Gordon · Gordon Highlanders
Duncan Gray · Rifle Brigade
Leonard Hing · Royal Artillery
William Newman · Royal Air Force
Ian Patterson · Royal Artillery
Edward Rogers · Suffolk Regt

As with the church war memorial, the name of William O’Kelly is not included.

The right hand tablet bears the inscription:

1914 + 1919
Charles Batchelor · Bedfordshire
Vernon Batchelor · Hertfordshire
Albert Bierton · Middlesex
William Arthur Cook · Beds Yeomanry
William Cooper · R.F. Artillery
James Dunn · Machine Guns
William Fenn · Hertfordshire
Arthur Fowler · Shropshire L.I.
Alfred Garment · Northamptonshire
Bertram Gentle · Royal Rifles
Edward Groom · Royal West Surrey
George Hoar · Hertfordshire
Walter Holland · Rifle Brigade
Alexander Johnson · Royal Engineers
Frank Johnson · Royal Berkshire
William Mayling · Hertfordshire
Alfred Mead · Bedfordshire
Samuel Oakins · Royal Engineers
George Pinnock · H.M.S. Black Prince
Frederick Purton · Bedfordshire
Geoffrey Talbot · R.N. Air Service
William Henry White · R. Fusiliers
Arthur Whitman · Hertfordshire

The village green war memorial has been catalogued by IWM: “Little Gaddesden, Ringshall And Hudnall” (WMR 63601) https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/63601

Rolls of Honour for 1914-1919

Little Gaddesden Church has two Rolls of Hounour remembering those who served in the First World War. The first (the “Scrap of Paper”) dates from around 1919. The second is a 2018 revision.

The “Scrap of Paper” (ca. 1919)

A Roll of Honour, dating from approximately 1919 was discovered in a battered state in the Parish Chest in 1987. It had the two panels of names and regiments re-written and was framed and hung in church in 1991. This names 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the First World War and has been catalogued by IWM “Little Gaddesden, Ringshall And Hudnall Roll Of Honour (WMR 40253) Little Gaddesden Hertfordshire”. https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/40253.

Photo of Church Roll of Honour
Click or tap for larger image

This Roll of Honour now hangs on the South wall of the Bridgewater Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, Little Gaddesden.

The inscription “The Scrap of Paper” does not, incidentally, refer to the physical state of Little Gaddesden’s Roll of Honour when it was found in the Parish Chest. Rather, it refers to the Treaty of London of 1839, which guaranteed Belgium’s independence. The treaty was breached by Germany invading Belgium in the early days of the First World War. The words “für einen Fetzen Papier” (“for a scrap of paper”) were used by the German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to seek to belittle the treaty during a fateful meeting with the British Ambassador Sir Edward Goschen on 4 August 1914, the day on which Britain declared war on Germany. The phrase became something of an ironic rallying cry for the cause of the war, as evidenced by the subtitle of the Roll of Honour:

Men who have answered their Country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”

The 1919 Roll of Honour uses what seems to have been a popular pre-printed template. As well as the prominent words “The Scrap of Paper”, the template contains an extract and facsimile copy of the signatures from the treaty, all within a patriotically decorated border. Blank templates, intended to be filled in by any parish, school or other institution, could at the time be bought from the Fine Art Publishing Co Ltd, who printed them under licence from the Foreign Office. 

In a further irony, history was almost to repeat itself shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. In September 1938 Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, brought a written agreement back from a meeting in Munich with Adolf Hitler that was supposed to resolve the Czechoslovakia crisis. Chamberlain famously voiced his belief that it was “peace for our time”. A year later, Germany had invaded Poland, Britain was again at war with Germany, and Hitler derided his written agreement with Chamberlain as another “scrap of paper”.

2018 Revision

A 2018 Revision of the Roll of Honour for Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall 1914 – 1919 was hung in the church in March 2019. It hangs on the right hand side of the arch leading into the Bridgewater Chapel. The entries are transcribed below.

Photo of Roll of Honour (2018)
Click or tap for larger image

Names on the 2018 Revision of the Roll of Honour for Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall 1914 – 1919

These are the names of all those known to have served in the First World War. Those marked “RIP” died in the war. Links are given to further information, where available.

NameUnit
ARNOLD Henry G Army Ordnance Corps
AUSTIN Stanley Royal Navy
AUSTIN William 9th Bn. Worcestershire Regt.
BAIL Alfred Royal Naval Air Service
BARLOW Albert 3rd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
BASFORD Albert Royal Engineers
BATCHELOR Charles R.I.P. 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
BATCHELOR Vernon R.I.P. 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
BEARTON Ernest 1st Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
BEARTON Oliver Army Service Corps Remounts Service
BELLAMY Sidney 10th Bn. Essex Regt.
BIERTON Albert R.I.P. 23rd Bn. Middlesex Regt.
BIGNELL Charles Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regt.)
BOARDER Albert 3rd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
BRAZIER Fred Army Service Corps Remounts Service
BUNN Edward Royal Navy
BUNN Godfrey Hertfordshire Yeomanry
BUNN Sidney Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt.
BUNN Walter 9th Bn. Suffolk Regt.
CASH George 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
CATT Harold 4th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
CLARK George 10th Bn. Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regt.)
CLIFTON George Royal Garrison Artillery
COLLIER Philip Suffolk Regt.
COLLIER Victor Royal Horse Artillery
COOK William R.I.P. Bedfordshire Yeomanry
COOPER Archibald Royal Navy
COOPER William R.I.P. Royal Field Artillery
CRACK William 1st Royal Montreal Regt.
CUTLER Frederick Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
CUTLER Harry 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
CUTLER John Army Veterinary Corps
DARBY Walter 1st Bn. Norfolk Regt.
DOVE Frank R.I.P. 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
DUNN James R.I.P. Machine Gun Corps
EDGE Kenneth Royal Navy
FALDER Frank Army Ordnance Corps
FENN Herbert Machine Gun Corps
FENN William R.I.P. 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
FLOWERS Herbert Royal Garrison Artillery
FLOWERS Rupert Inns of Court Officer Training Corps
FOWLER Arthur R.I.P. Royal Engineers
FOWLER Matthew Royal Engineers
GARMENT Alfred R.I.P. 1st Bn. Northamptonshire Regt.
GENTLE Bertram R.I.P. King’s Royal Rifle Corps
GENTLE Oliver King’s Royal Rifle Corps
GIBSON Arthur Royal Navy
GIBSON Samuel Merchant Navy
GOODMAN Donald W Northamptonshire Regt.
GRANT William 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt
GREEN Francis 3rd Bn. Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry
GREEN Gerald Royal Navy
GROOM Edward R.I.P. 1st Bn. Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regt.
HALSEY Arthur Labour Corps att. Army Service Corps
HALSEY Bernard 2/1st Bn. Sussex Yeomanry
HALSEY Horace 7th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
HALSEY Hubert 1/9th Bn. Middlesex Regt.
HARRISON Douglas Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt.)
HART Sidney 10th Bn. Gloucestershire Regt.
HING Edward Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
HING James Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
HING Joseph 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
HING Lewis Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
HOAR Edward 9th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
HOAR George R.I.P. 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
HOAR Richard 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
HOBBS Percy Royal Flying Corps
HOLLAND Jesse 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
HOLLAND Walter R.I.P. 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade
HORN Sidney Army Service Corps Forage Dept.
NameUnit
HUCKLESBY Charles Royal Navy
HUCKLESBY Harry Army Service Corps Horse Transport
IMPEY Herbert 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
JACOBS Herbert Machine Gun Corps
JANES Ernest Hertfordshire Yeomanry
JOHNSON Alexander R.I.P. Royal Engineers
JOHNSON Archibald Royal Engineers
JOHNSON Arthur Royal Army Medical Corps
JOHNSON Frank R.I.P. 1st Bn. Royal Berkshire Regt.
JOHNSON Henry F 1/1st Bn. Hertfordshire Yeomanry
JOHNSON Thomas Royal Fusiliers
JOHNSON Walter Royal Canadian Engineers
JOHNSON William 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
JONES James 2nd Bn. Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry
JONES Sidney 3rd Bn. Northamptonshire Regt.
KINCHINGTON Mark R.I.P. 10th Bn. Hampshire Regt.
LEE Walter 3rd Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
LIBERTY George Royal Engineers
LUNNON Arthur 3rd Bn. Northamptonshire Regt.
MAUNDERS Arthur 4th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
MAUNDERS Joseph 3rd Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
MAUNDERS William Labour Corps
MAYLING John 10th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
MAYLING William R.I.P. 3rd Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
MEAD Alfred R.I.P. 7th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
MILTON John 5th Bn. Coldstream Guards
MOORE Ernest 8th Bn Lincolnshire Regt.
MUNDEN Matthew Royal Field Artillery
MUNDEN William 1st Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
NEWMAN William Cycle Corps; Durham Light Infantry
NICHOLES Ernest R.I.P. King’s Royal Rifle Corps
NICHOLES William A Hertfordshire Yeomanry
OAKINS Samuel R.I.P. Royal Engineers
OAKINS Stephen PHILLIPS Bernard
PHILLIPS Bernard Royal Navy
PINNOCK Arthur Royal Navy
PINNOCK George R.I.P. Royal Navy, H.M.S. Black Prince
PRATT George 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards
PRATT William E Royal Garrison Artillery
PURTON Bertie Royal Engineers
PURTON Edwin Oxon and Bucks L.I.; Machine Gun Corps
PURTON Ernest Royal Engineers; Leicestershire Regt.
PURTON Frederick R.I.P.6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
PURTON Reginald 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
ROGERS Ernest 1st Reserve Bn. Suffolk Regt.
ROGERS Frank Army Service Corps Horse Transport
ROGERS Sidney 9th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
ROGERS William 47th Bn. Canadian Infantry
RUFFETT Ernest Royal Naval Air Service
RUFFETT Horace 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
SAUNDERS Edward 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
SHORT Charles King’s Royal Rifle Corps
STANBRIDGE Alban 3rd Bn. Suffolk Regt.
TALBOT Geoffrey R.I.P. Royal Naval Air Service
TALBOT Humphrey Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
TEARLE Walter Hertfordshire Yeomanry; Lancashire Fusiliers
THAME Frank Hertfordshire Yeomanry; Dorset Yeomanry
WELLS Archie 1/1st Bn. Hertfordshire Yeomanry
WELLS Herbert 9th Bn. Royal Fusiliers
WELLS William 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt.
WHEATLEY Philip Royal Horse Artillery
WHITE William R.I.P. 8th Bn. Royal Fusiliers
WHITMAN Arthur R.I.P. 1st Bn. Hertfordshire Regt.
WHITMAN Francis J 1/1st Bn. Hertfordshire Yeomanry
WHITMAN James  
WHITMAN Joseph National Reserve
WIBDEN John Royal Air Force
WILLMORE Percy 1/9th Bn. Middlesex Regt.
YOUNG Reginald Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport

Photo credits: Jane Dickson, Barbara Sheard
Header image: Ypres, Reservoir Cemetery and the Prison 1918 (detail); credit: Greg’s War Collection