Edward Hoar

22376 Private Edward Hoar, Bedfordshire Regiment, later 12716 Training Reserve and 240549 Labour Corps

Born on 25th August 1879 in Little Gaddesden
Died on 1st January 1957 in Gaddesden Row

Family and Home 1, 2, 3, 4

Edward (Ted) Hoar was born in Little Gaddesden in 1879, the eldest of the ten children of Edward Hoar and Sophia née Whitman. He was baptised at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden on 14th March 1880.

His siblings were:

  • Sister: Nellie, born 5th October 1880
  • Brother: William George, born 5th July 1882
  • Brother: Frank, born 1st May 1884
  • Sister: Annie, born 30th December 1886
  • Sister: Lily, born 15th December 1889
  • Brother: George Hoar, born 1892
  • Brother: Richard Hoar, born 26th April 1893
  • Sister: Edith, born 27th October 1894
  • Sister: Mary, born 12th June 1897

In the 1881 Census Edward’s family address was “Butcher’s Shop, Little Gaddesden” and his father was a Butcher. That Census does not number the properties, but, assuming that they were recorded in order along the village street, which looks probable from the position of the entries for the School House (No 26), the Grocer’s  (no 42) and the Manor House, then the Butcher’s Shop was located beside the village green between Denison House and the Manor House.

Education 5

Edward Hoar attended Little Gaddesden School. His starting date is unknown, but he was there by 10th November 1884. His family had moved to Hudnall, where his father was farming Hudnall Farm. The School Log Book records that the Headmaster, Mr Worall “received message this morning from the parents of the following children, stating that they are ill and unable to attend School.” The children named included Edward Hoar from Hudnall.

A Sad Accident in the Harvest Field 5

The School Log Book entry for 27th October 1890 reads:

We are thankful to hear that poor Ted Hoar has been going on well since his sad accident in the harvest field, which took place about a month ago. As there is not the slightest hope of his being able to attend school again for months to come, and as he has now been away for nearly seven weeks, & has a Labour Certificate, we have taken his name off the Registers.

Fortunately Ted Hoar recovered sufficiently to return to school on 5th January 1891.

The 1891 Census shows the family living at Hudnall Farm where Ted’s father was the farmer. Edward, 11, Nellie, 10, William, 8, Frank, 6 and Annie, 5, were all at school; Lily was 1 year old.

Working on his Father’s Farm 5

The School Log Book entry for 17th August 1891 notes that:

Edward Hoar of Hudnall has been absent & engaged on his father’s farm, for the last five weeks, & not likely to turn (up) till after the Harvest Holidays, so his name has been removed from the School Registers.

However, he was re-admitted to school on 6th October that year.

Stone Picking on the Estate 5

On 25th April 1892 the Log Book stated that:

William Fenn, George Gadbury, Edward Hoar & Jim Janes having Certificates of Proficiency are gone stone picking on the Estate for an indefinite time.

Full Time Employment 4

The 1901 Census shows 21 year old Edward living and working for his father at Hudnall Farm, as was his 16 year old brother Frank. Nellie, 20, and Annie, 15 were engaged in domestic work at home, 18 year old William was a Carpenter’s Apprentice while Lily, 11, George Hoar, 9,  Richard Hoar, 7 and Edith, 6 were at school. Mary, 3 was still at home.

Marriage and Children 4, 6

On 22nd December 1906 Edward Hoar married Rose Henley at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Dagnall. By that time, his address was Southings Farm, Gaddesden Row, where he was working for his uncle Richard Hoar.

Rose was the niece of Edwin Boarder, father of Albert Boarder; in the 1891 Census, she was recorded, aged 9, staying with her uncle and aunt at 1 Hudnall, almost next door to Edward’s family at Hudnall Farm.

Edward and Rose’s eldest son Edward John Hoar was born on 22nd April 1907, followed by William Richard on 16th April 1908 and Francis George on 8th August 1909.

The 1911 Census shows Edward at Southings Farm, Great Gaddesden. Aged 31, he is recorded as “Farmer’s Son working on farm for Uncle”. His wife and children, however, were all staying with relatives. Rose and Francis George aged 1 were with Rose’s mother and step-father at School Lane, Eaton Bray while Edward John (just called John) aged 3 and William aged 2 with their paternal grandparents, Edward and Sophia Hoar at Hudnall Farm.

Edward and Rose’s fourth son, Alan James Hoar, was born on 8th May 1914.

Military Service 6, 7, 8, 9

Edward, a Carter, living at Southings Farm, attested at Watford on 4th August 1915 and was appointed to the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was then aged 35. He joined the regiment at Bedford on 7th August and was posted to the 3rd Battalion a week later, serving as a Private, Service Number 22376. The 3rd Battalion was a Reserve battalion, which trained men for front line units and provided home defence around Harwich and Felixstowe.  

On 29th October 1915, Edward, however, transferred to the 9th Battalion, which remained in England as a Reserve battalion and, in August 1916, became part of the 28th Battalion, 6th Training Reserve Brigade. Edward served as a Private in the Training Reserve, Service Number 12716. The 28th Battalion was then based at Maidstone.

Service in the Labour Corps 6, 9

Then, from 7th March 1917 until 27th March 1919, when he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z Reserve, Edward served as a Private, Service Number 240549, in Agricultural Companies of the Labour Corps.

  • 7th March 1917 – September 1917, 656 Agricultural Company
  • September 1917 – 28th March 1918, 429 Agricultural Company
  • 29th March 1918 – 27th March 1919, 433 Agricultural Company at Bedford

Men in the Agricultural Companies were generally insufficiently fit for front line service and were used for farm work, which was vital to ensure food supplies at a time of major labour shortages. With his farming background, Edward would have been well suited to this work.

Thus Edward was involved entirely in Home Service. His medical category on demobilisation was B1. Category B signified that he was free from serious organic diseases and fit for service on lines of communication in France or garrison duties in the Tropics.  B1 showed that he was able to march 5 miles, see, shoot with glasses and hear well.

Brother George Hoar Killed in Action 10, 11

On 31st July 1917 the men of the 1st Herts Battalion were heavily engaged on the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres, losing over 450 men during their assault on St. Julien. Two of the 1st Herts men lost that day were Edward’s younger brother Private George Hoar and his first cousin Lance Serjeant Arthur Whitman, both of whom are commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Birth of Twins 1, 6

On 5th August 1917, Edward’s wife Rose gave birth to twins, Edith and Robert.

Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper” 4, 6

Edward Hoar is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. On the original Roll, his unit is listed as Army Service Corps, However, his Service Record does not support this and it is possible that it was mistakenly thought that Agricultural Companies were linked to that Corps. On the Centenary Revision of the Roll, his unit is listed as 9th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, in which he served after his initial training.

Also listed on the Rolls are his brothers George Hoar R.I.P. and Richard Hoar, his uncle Joseph Whitman and six of his first cousins, all grandchildren of James and Eliza Whitman. They are: Donald W Goodman, Samuel Oakins R.I.P., Stephen Oakins, Arthur Whitman R.I.P., Francis Whitman and James Whitman. His wife’s first cousin Albert Boarder is also listed, as are two of his brothers-in-law, Sidney Jones and Horace Ruffett.

Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver

Six more Children 1, 3, 4, 12

Between 1919 and 1928, Edward and Rose had six more children, bringing the total up to twelve. They were:

  • Daughter: Rose Hoar, born 18th February 1919
  • Daughter: Constance Mary Hoar, born 6th July 1921
  • Son: Horace Edward Hoar, born 26th March 1923
  • Daughter: Nellie Hoar, born 12th July 1924
  • Son: Ronald Hoar, born 25th April 1926
  • Son: Harold Joseph Hoar, born 15th December 1928

The 1919 Electoral Register records Edward and Rose’s address as The Row, Great Gaddesden, i.e. in Gaddesden Row. However, between 1921 and 1926, it is again recorded as Southings Farm. In 1921, with six dependent children at home, and only his eldest son working, Edward was recorded as out of work. By 1929 the family had moved to 1 Widmore Cottages, Gaddesden Row.

The 1939 Register 3

The 1939 Register shows Edward, Rose and nine of their children at 1 Widmore Cottages, Gaddesden Row. Edward was a Farm Horseman while Rose and their daughter Rose had “Unpaid Domestic Duties”. Their two youngest sons, Ronald and Harold, were at school and Horace was incapacitated. Their other five children were working:

  • William: a Brick Moulder
  • Francis (Frank): a Lorry Driver
  • Alan: a Laundry Boilerman
  • Constance: a Sewing Machinist making light clothing
  • Nellie: a Machine Operator in a Paper Bag Factory

Death 13

77 year old Edward Hoar, an Agricultural Worker, died on 1st January 1957 at 1 Widmore Cottages, Gaddesden Row. He was suffering from Carcinomatosis and Cancer of the Colon. His widow Rose died, aged 80, in the 3rd Quarter of 1962.


1. https://www.findmypast.co.uk England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcriptions

2. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947

3. https://www.ancestry.co.uk The 1939 Register

4. https://www.findmypast.co.uk 1881 – 1921 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcriptions 

5. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1872 – 1887 and 1887 – 1906

6. https://www.findmypast.co.uk British Army Service Records 1914-1920 Transcription

7. http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/

8. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/training-reserve/

9. http://www.militarian.com/threads/fitness-categories-grades.3948/

10. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1614314/hoar,-george/

11. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/914036/whitman,-arthur/

12. https://www.findmypast.co.uk Electoral Registers 1832 – 1932

13. https://www.findmypast.co.uk England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 and copy (pdf) of the Death Certificate of Edward Hoar

Do you have any questions about the information recorded here? Or do you have any further information that you can share with us about those from Little Gaddesden who died or fought for their country? In either case, please contact Jane Dickson at war-remembrance@littlegaddesdenchurch.org.uk.

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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson