M2/082888 Private William James Hing, Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport
Born on 14th June 1881 in Northall, Edlesborough, Bucks
Died on 10th April 1955 in St Paul’s Hospital, Hemel Hempstead
William James Hing (known as James or Jim) was born in Northall, Edlesborough, the eldest of the 8 children of Joseph Hing and Sarah Jane née Ginger.
His siblings were:
- Sister: Jane, born 4th September 1882
- Brother: Edward Hing, born 5th July 1885
- Brother: Lewis Hing, born 14th April 1887
- Sister: Minnie, born 23rd March 1889
- Brother: Joseph Hing (Joe Jnr.), born 27th November 1890
- Brother: Frederick, born 27th March 1893
- Sister: Dorothy Ruth, born 29th January 1895
When Jim was born, his family lived at Pest House Lane, Northall, Edlesborough and his father was a Farm Labourer.
Early in 1893, Joseph, Sarah and their family moved from Northall to Meadow Farm, 1 Ringshall, an Ashridge Estate holding which the family then farmed for 35 years until the Estate was sold. The Little Gaddesden School Log Book of 20th February 1893 notes that:
The spelling of the family’s surname is initially recorded as “Ing” in the School Log Book, and later as “Hing”.
On Census night, 31st March 1901, Jim was a 19 year old Domestic Groom, living in “Rooms above the Coach House” at Bovingdon House, Bovingdon, where he worked for Mrs Katherine Oxenham, a 67 year old widow.
However, his parents and his seven siblings were at Meadow Farm, Ringshall. 15 year old Edward Hing was a Stable Lad (Groom) and 13 year old Lewis Hing a House Boy; Minnie, 12, Joseph Hing, 10, Frederick, 8 and Dorothy, 6 were all at school. 18 year old Jane’s entry recorded “no occupation”.
The 1911 Census, taken on 2nd April, shows Jim as a Domestic Chauffeur, living at 61 Horsecroft Road, Boxmoor, a Boarder in the household of Albert Stanton, a Groom & Gardener, and his wife Zilpah.
Meanwhile Joseph and Sarah were still at Meadow Farm, 1 Ringshall with their sons Lewis Hing, 23, a Chauffeur, Joseph Hing, 20, a Labouring Gardener and Frederick, 18, a Farm Labourer. Jim’s father was the Watchman at Ashridge House and his youngest brother Frederick was the only family member recorded as a Farm Labourer.
On 14th October 1911, William James Hing married Edith Ellen Bradbrook whose family lived at Ponsbourne Park Farm, south of Hertford. The marriage was registered in the Hatfield District. Then, on 4th January 1913 their daughter Margaret Joyce (Joyce) Hing was born in Boxmoor.
Jim’s military service can only be deduced from his medal records. He must have volunteered for the Army Service Corps early in the War, as his Medal Roll Index Card shows that Private William J Hing served overseas in France from 18th May 1915. His Service Number, M2/082888, shows that he served in Mechanical Transport, a very suitable section considering his previous employment as a Chauffeur. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z Reserve on 28th February 1919 and was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
On 22nd November 1913 at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden, Jim’s sister Minnie Hing married Arthur William English of Holwell, Dorset, who subsequently served in the Royal Fusiliers. However, on 12th December 1917 G/53105, Private Arthur William English, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers died of wounds in France. He is buried at Le Cateau Military Cemetery, Nord, France where his Grave Reference is V. D. 13.
After Arthur’s death, it seems that Minnie returned to her parents’ home. Then, on 23rd April 1919, at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden, she married Herbert (Bert) Andrews of 6 Little Gaddesden. By the time the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Grave Registration Reports were compiled in the 1920s, Minnie and Bert had moved to 50 Little Gaddesden, where he worked in the market garden at the Manor House, which explains the following information in Arthur’s entry:
Son of the late Henry English, of Holwell, Sherborne, Dorset. Husband of Minnie Andrews (formerly English), of 50, Little Gaddesden, Berkhamsted, Herts.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
James Hing 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 Mechanical Transport. However, on the Centenary Revision of the Roll, it is listed more formally as Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport. His brothers Edward Hing, Lewis Hing and Joseph Hing are also listed on the Rolls. All four survived the War and all finished their service in the unit by then entitled the Royal Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Jim and Edith’s son, Frederick James Hing was born on 8th December 1919, at which time they lived at 49c Puller Road, Boxmoor. However, by June 1921, Census and Electoral Registers show them living at 73 High Street, Berkhamsted, where they remained until at least 1930. James then worked as a lorry driver for H Lee & Sons, Mineral Water Manufacturers in Berkhamsted.
Jim’s parents, Joseph and Sarah Hing of Meadow Farm, 1 Ringshall, had eight children and nine grandchildren.
A photo taken in 1928 or 1929 shows them all.
2nd Row L to R: Minnie and Gladys Nash, daughters of Reuben Nash and Jane née Hing; Arthur Putman husband of Dorothy; Reuben Nash; Herbert Andrews and his wife Minnie née Hing; Joe Hing Jnr; Edward Hing and his wife Daisy; Edith, wife of Jim; Joyce their daughter; Lewis Hing.
Seated on chairs L to R: Dorothy Putman née Hing, wife of Arthur, with their daughter Iris; Jane Nash née Hing, wife of Reuben; Joseph and Sarah; Jim; Annie wife of Lewis Hing with their son Edward Jnr.
The 1939 Register shows that, by September 1939, Jim and Edith lived at 39 Victoria Road, Berkhamsted. Jim was a Mineral Water Salesman, Edith had “Unpaid Domestic Duties” and Frederick was a Paper Estimating Clerk.
Jim’s wife Edith died, aged 63, on 8th April 1945; she is buried in the Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted.
On 10th April 1955, 73 year old William James Hing, of 39 Victoria Road, Berkhamsted, died in St Paul’s Hospital, Hemel Hempstead.
4. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906
5. Leonhardt, John (ed), 2002, A Century Remembered – a celebration of the Millennium in Little Gaddesden, Rural Heritage Society of Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Ashridge
10. Little Gaddesden Marriage Register 1913 and 1919
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson