Sunday, 15 April 2018

GEORGE F. PERCY - ROYAL WARWICKSHIRE REGT.

George Frederick Percy (Private No. 34891) - 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment - 10th Brigade - 4th Division

The Percy Family - George 2nd from left standing.
George was a village lad and the second son in a family of six sons and six daughters. He was born on October 21st 1898, and attended the Eton Wick Infant School until he was 6½ years old; he then went to Eton Porny School, starting there on May 1st 1905. The family home was at No. 1, Castle View Villas in Sheepcote Road, not to be confused with Castle View Terrace in Boveney's, Victoria Road. Castle View Villas was a terraced row of eight houses on the west side of Sheepcote Road and having an uninterrupted view, over allotments and fields, of Windsor Castle, approximately 2½ miles away. All of this area was redeveloped after the Second World War.

George was very young to leave the village infants school, and showed something of the same haste to leave the Porny School. It was in fact midterm, and three days before his 14th birthday, when he left school and gave as his reason for leaving "To Be A Houseboy". Presumably this was work in an Eton College boys' house. We do not know if it was a "live in" occupation, but with at least seven younger brothers and sisters at home it would have had advantages if he had been accommodated at his place of work.

His older brother Alfred was in the pre-war Royal Navy. Certainly he was listed as serving on the Royal New Zealand Navy ship Philomel by September 1914, and by the time the war ended four years later he was a Petty Officer, Gunnery Instructor. In 1914 George was barely 16 years old, and at this time the Percy family were living at "Bangor Place" in Boveney Newtown. No date has been found when George enlisted in Slough, but in view of his age it was probably not before 1916. By this time the 1st Warwickshires had seen plenty of fighting, suffered many casualties and frequently had drafts of young replacements.

In 1915 they had been used to seal a breach in the defence caused by an enemy gas attack. Well over half the Battalion became casualties. By 1916, when George may have joined the Battalion, they were fiercely involved in the opening assaults of the Battle of the Somme on July 1st. The 4th Division suffered a total of 4,692 casualties. The Battalion was in and out of the front line until July 24th when they moved to the Ypres sector. In September 1916 they were again back on the Somme, taking up positions east of Lesboeufs, before moving on to Guillemont and Bernafay Wood. The Somme offensive died down in November.

In 1917 the Battalion, as a unit of the 4th Division, were actively involved in the Battle of Third Ypres, culminating at Passchendaele and all the appalling conditions associated with it. The following year brought ever increasing numbers of American troops onto the continent. Conscious of the effect these fresh troops would have, the Germans launched a massive assault along the allied line on March 21st 1918. Their attack was preceded by a shattering bombardment by over 6,000 guns. Both sides suffered heavy casualties and the allied line was forced to fall back alarmingly. As enemy pressure was renewed, still more ground had to be vacated.

Ploegsteert Memorial
n April a determined thrust was made in the Lys River region, and it was here that the 1st Warwickshires were defending the line. General Plumer decided to shorten the line by straightening it during the night of 15/16th April. This meant giving up all the ground so bitterly won during the Passchendaele fighting of only a few months earlier. It was here, at La Bassee, on April 15th that George Percy was killed. His body was not identified, and having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the missing, on Panels 2 and 3. The memorial is on the same site as the Berkshire Cemetery Extension, 9 miles south of Ypres and 4½ miles north of Armentieres, in Belgium. The memorial records the names of 11,447 missing men who fell in the battles of Armentieres and Aubers Ridge 1914; Loos 1915; Fromelles 1916 Estaires, Hazebrouck and Outtersteene Ridge 1918.

One year after George's death the local paper reported:

Percy - George F. 1st Warwickshire Regiment, the second son of Mr & Mrs A Percy of Bangor Place, Boveney, Eton Wick. Reported as wounded and missing on April 15th 1918 now officially confirmed as killed on April 15th 1918 "Sadly missed by family and friends".

George was one of Eton Wick's youngest fatality at 19½years old. John Carfrae Clark was also 19 years, but his exact age has not been established. George is commemorated on the Eton Wick Memorial and on the Eton Church Memorial Gates. The village family grave also bears his name.

Eighty two years later there was still a Mrs Percy living in Bangor Place. She was the widow of a younger brother to George, and her own son, David, together with his family, lives in Victoria Road, Eton Wick.

This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone  
and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.

Grave Registration courtesy CWGC

Panel List courtesy CWGC

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Eton Wick Newsletter - Our Village April 2009

Eton Wick and its development post World War II 


We have previously covered the development of Eton Wick between the 18th and mid 20th centuriesBy the mid 1800's those cottage long gardens were being used for housing along the village main road. raising the population to around four hundred. Between 1880 and 1900 Boveney Newtown was developed as a separate community, with a population of about five hundred. In total now around thousand in 1900.
and the resulting population growth. In 1800 there were about one hundred people living mainly along Common Road. 


For forty years between 1894 and 1934 both Eton Wick and Boveney Newtown each had their own five member Parish Councils, independent of each other, and of Eton. This would have added to the separateness of the two communities who although benefiting from excellent representation were very disadvantaged by a low rate Income. Eton Wick was without adequate street lighting; refuse collections; main drainage and only bucket or cesspit sanitation. Some homes shared water pumps and outside toilets. In 1934 we lost the individual Parish Councils and became part of the Eton Urban District Council. In time services improved. Pre 1934 associations; clubs; the War Memorial and Institute (now Village Hall) all had the prefix of “Eton Wick and Boveney". Now no longer necessary It is an Indicator of our older organisations/structures. Eton Urban Council did much for Eton Wick but alas after another forty years (1974) we became part of The Royal Borough where certainly, with just two representatives in fifty nine. we were to believe we had a diminished voice.

Apart from the eight South View houses built in early 1920's by Eton Rural Council we had no more Council homes until the late 1930's, when twenty dwellings comprising Vaughan Gardens were built opposite The Shepherd's Hut. As World War II came to a close twelve prefabricated homes were built alongside Vaughan Gardens. They were given an estimated ten years of useful life but in fact lasted over twice that long. As millions of service personnel returned from the war the national need of more houses became an overriding concern. Eton was no exception. There was no land in Eton and Lammas or common rights restricted village land available. All building materials were difficult to obtain but despite all, the Council quickly completed the development of the Vaughan Gardens and prefab field with ten more houses, six facing across the main road and four along Moores Lane.

They next bought from the College a large area west of Moores Lane that reached to Roundmoor Ditch, formerly part of Tilstone Fields and for fifty years used for allotments of Boveney and Newtown. This next move ambitiously planned one hundred and sixty two houses and flats, a new Recreation Ground and space for five police houses to be built by Eton Rural Council. This was along the north side of the main road, plus Boveney New Road, Colenorton Crescent and Stockdales Road. Meanwhile squatters. including ex-service families, had occupied the numerous empty Nissen huts on Dorney Common that had been vacated by the WWII anti-aircraft battery. Sadly, the big flood of 1947 inundated and trashed much of the family possessions. By 1952 the new estate was nearing completion and a young Duke of Edinburgh formally opened the Stockdale's Rec.

Already the Council had moved on by purchasing the Brewers' field, adjoining The Shepherd's Hut and building a parade of seven shops. Opened in 1951 they were Barnes (Game and Wet Fish); Arnold (Butchers); O'Flaherty (Chemist), Clinch (Bakers); Darville (Grocer); Anderson (Newsagent) and Bond (Greengrocer). After the shops, the field was developed with Princes Close houses and fiats (1953). Until this time Victoria Road was a cul-de-sac but now had access through Princes Close to the main road. In late 1950's the Council built Haywards Mead and provided a site for the village's first R.C. Church (built 1964). Again this was a development that was made on a large allotment area and later yet another allotment site was used to build flats, along the east side of Sheepcote Road. Probably the allotment areas were used because by public consent the land had been freed of the Crown, Lammas or Common rights when the need for allotments came about in the late 1800's. Other allotments opposite St. Leonard's Place and 'Old Parsonage' were closed when the lease expired in c.1994 but being designated as Green Belt could not be built on. There was another long strip of allotments behind the Village Hall but around mid 1960's the plot was incorporated into the Haywards Mead Recreation Ground. The Council then built Clifton Lodge on a site previously covered by six Harding Cottages, then using the land of Common Road; Thatch Cottage and Victoria Terrace they built Albert Place flats.

In the 1960's the prefabs, along with two farm cottages in Bell Lane and a terraced row along the east end of Alma Road were demolished, making room for Bellsfield Court flats and a second parade of shops (1973). The Council wanted to develop Wheatbutt Orchard but in the event it was sold by Eton Collage to private developer's c.1981. Perhaps had the Council purchased the Wheatbutts site it may not now be the village's one fenced-in estate. Some Councillors later expressed regret they had not built a through road connecting Queen's Road, Cornwall Close and Tilstone Close, but hindsight is a luxury. However, they had done a good job, built needed homes; straightened and widened the road In places and by 1974 had a village estimated population of around 3,000.

Looking at the private sector, one of the first post WWII developments was the building of homes along the east side of Tilstone Avenue by Jim Ireland and later, homes of Tilstone Close. Pre-war village builder Alf Miles bought the large site south and west of Victoria Road from George Nuth which, as with Tilstone Avenue, had been used for pigsties. He then proceeded to build houses along Queen's Road (1960's) before he developed Cornwall Close. Meanwhile, Jim Ireland purchased a site south and east of Victoria Road from Mr Hearn and built along that end of Queens Road. It is often said they had not planned to connect their respective site roads, but eventually they did. It is easy today to see the midway point where they met. A terraced row of quite good houses along the west side of Sheepcote Road was demolished making way for private bungalows and houses that now face onto the Council flats.

Bunces Close was a considerable private estate that was perhaps only possible because the large area would have been freed of restrictive use; i.e. Lammas or Commons. when the eight South View houses were built there in early 1920's. Common Road being the oldest part of the village may have been redeveloped first but in the early post WWII years the old houses were still homes in a time of dire needs. Today the only semblance of the old Common Road is Wheatbutts Cottage and The Greyhound. Hope Cottages are still there but bear no likeness to earlier years. At the east end, the thirteen terraced Clifton cottages there were replaced by Georgian style houses, six west facing houses of Albert Place were replaced by Albert Place bungalows; and Ye Olde Cottage was replaced by four modem houses (1952/3).

West of 'The Greyhound' pub had stood two old dwellings; ready to be demolished in 1939 but pressed back into use for wartime evacuee families. After the 1939/45 war they were replaced privately by two bungalows, but these have been replaced with about eleven homes. The long garden of the 'Three Horse Shoes' was the only undeveloped plot along Common Road until around the 1960's, when it was developed along with the site of semidetached Rose Cottages. The new homes built there were adjacent to the village's larger pond that was sadly filled in about that time.

Builder Alf Miles purchased from Harry Prior 'The Homestead' and its orchard, making way for several bungalows and houses at the north end of Bell Lane. This was yet another private sector development, again in the mid 1950's. Since that time four larger houses were built just north of the orchard site and adjacent to the only allotment area we have today. Inevitably the eight shops - seven of them cottage adaptations of the pre-war era were much affected by the Council parades and in the fullness of time all closed and became residential, four of them turning into flats (see photographs on page 6). Today we have one non Council shop 'Bracken Flowers and Julies Florist'.

Just as the Council-built shops hastened the demise of the old shops, they in turn are now suffering the ascent of the Superstores. In my lifetime the village had been serviced by the home and cart; the front room shops; the Council shops and now largely by the out of village Superstores.

Many other non-Council homes were built on various sites, including plots In Alma, Inkerman, Northfield and Victoria roads and several along The Walk.

Sadly the common's stream is now less attractive. Its shoddy rustic fencing and of course loss of the dairy cattle has resulted in reduced grazing with the consequent result the stream Is barely visible on account of brambles, something we did not have in earlier years.

This concludes my village growth musings but perhaps in a later Issue we can look at the early characters who shaped our village before any of us were born!


Frank Bond

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Boveney Census 1881

The United Kingdom Census of 1881 recorded the people residing in every household on the night of 3rd April 1881, and was the fifth of the UK censuses to include details of household members. The total population of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (all the 32 counties of Northern Ireland and what is now the Irish Republic) was recorded as 34,884,848 persons.

Details collected include: address, name, relationship to the head of the family, marital status, age at last birthday, gender, occupation, and place of birth.

The registration District was Eton, Bucks and the sub-district Burnham. Enumeration District No. 1 and the enumerator was Edward Groves.

It should be noted that in 1881 only houses included in What was to become Boveney Newtown were the two cottages opposite the Beerhouse at Eton Wick. The Enumerator's district included part of Dorney Parish and the whole of the Liberty of Boveney.

The 1881 Census reveals that there were 3 households and 14 people resident in Boveney Newtown on the 3rd April. The oldest person, Sarah Bradbrook was 60 and was born in 1821. The youngest at 4 years old was Albert Trotman. The cottages opposite The Beerhouse were in Bell Lane and there was one further cottage being built.

We will be looking deeper into what the census reveals about the development of Boveney Newtown and Eton Wick and publish our findings in future articles.

Click on this link to view the 1881 census transcription for Boveney Newtown. Or copy and paste this URL into your internet browser search bar.

https://1drv.ms/x/s!AhEYVTOfCz1Z60eMze15npcIOX8B 


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A Bruce Highland Light Infantry

Angus Bruce D.C.M. Company Sergeant Major No. 19160 14th Battalion Highland Light Infantry (Formerly 12th Battalion) 120th Brigade - 40th Division

Angus was a Scot from Uig on the Isle of Skye. He had been a regular serving peacetime soldier and a former Pipe Major with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

At the time the Great War started he had most probably served his term of service and was living with his wife Lottie and two children at 5, Primrose Alma Road in Boveney Newtown. He enlisted in London. The name Bruce was first recorded locally in a Parish Magazine of 1904 which stated that a son was christened Angus George on January 11th that year. They also had a daughter named Ailsa, both good Scottish names. The father, Angus, was 23 years old when his son was christened and was almost certainly still in the Scots Guards.

August 4th 1914 found the 1st Scots stationed at Aldershot as part of the 1st Guards Brigade. 1st Division. They landed at Havre 10 days later and on August 20th they were transferred to the 2nd Brigade. The Battalion was very actively engaged during October and November in what was later termed the First Battle of Ypres. From October 26th they were holding the line near Chateau and three days later were fiercely resisting a strong German dawn attack. One estimate suggested there were well over 1000 German dead, with the Scots saving the day, despite their own heavy casualties.

When First Ypres finally ended the Battalion was reduced to one officer and 69 men, and of the B.E.F. it was said "The country's peacetime army had gone to its grave". Fresh drafts brought the Battalions back to numerical strength and September 1915 saw the 1st Scots Guards in action at the Battle of Loos. On the third day of the battle, September 27th, the Guards Division was brought up in support of the 21st and 25th Divisions, and although they made an initial advance they were later repelled. After two days of fighting the Brigade had suffered losses of 42 officers, and 1266 men.

The real loss, however, was not just measured in the numbers but in the irreplaceable experience of the professional soldiers. Of the few survivors, many were needed to train and command the tide of fresh volunteers and later, conscripts. joining the army. At some time Angus Bruce was transferred from the Scots Guards to the 12th Battalion Highland Light Infantry. There he won the highest decoration awarded in the Great War to any soldier recorded on the Eton Wick memorial.

Recorded in "The London Gazette of January 14th, 1916 is: C.S.M. 19160 A. Bruce 12th Highland Light Infantry D.C.M. and two months later we have the citation dated 11.3.1916: C.S.M. 19160 A. Bruce 12th H.L.I. citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and ability. After all his officers had been put out of action in an attack on the enemy’s front trench, Company Sergeant Major Bruce took command and handled his men with the great ability. He gave throughout the action a fine example, to all with him, of devotion to duty.

Angus served another two years before himself being killed. At some time he is thought to have been transferred to the 14th Battalion H.L.I. This was a Bantam Battalion which had been formed in Ayrshire in the summer of 1915 and arrived in France the following June. Perhaps Angus joined them on their arrival there. Bantam Battalions are made up of men below the normal acceptable height for soldiers.

The movements of the Battalion during the next 18 months are not very specific until the spring of 1918 when, perhaps conscious of the stream of American troops reinforcing the British and French, the Germans launched a massive attack along a 50 mile front on March 21st. This followed a shattering artillery bombardment by 6,500 guns. The 14th H.L.I., along with the other Battalions of the 40th Division, were being held in reserve. The front reached from three miles north of Arras to Le Fire, with the British Third Army north of the line and the Fifth Army to the south.

By the end of the first day, the 40th Division was brought forward from reserve in an attempt to stem the enemy advance against the centre of the Third Army positions. By April 5th, when the assault ended, the Germans had advanced up to 40 miles and taken 1000 square miles of territory. The British armies had suffered 160,000 casualties including 22,000 killed, 63,000 wounded and 75,000 prisoners of war.

Angus Bruce is recorded as being killed during the first week of the great battle, between March 21st and 27th 1918. The C.W.G.C. give the 27th as the accepted date. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Arras on Bay 8. One year later, on March 29th 1919, The Windsor and Eton Express printed:

Angus Bruce - In proud and loving memory of Angus Bruce ex-Pipe Major of the 1st Scots Guards and Regimental Sergeant Major of the Highland Light Infantry D.C.M. Killed in action March 21st to 27th 1918. From his wife and two bairns - Angus and Ailsa Bruce of Boveney Newtown, Eton Wick.

Better lo'ed ye canna be 
Will you no come back again.

This appears to be wrong, as no evidence is found of his being the Regimental Sergeant Major and all records list him as being a Company Sergeant Major. Lottie and the children lived on in Primrose Villas for many more years.

The Arras Memorial records the names of 35,928 men who were killed in the area and have no known graves. It stands at the entrance to the Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery which itself contains 2,677 military graves. It is situated 1 ½ miles north-west of the Arras rail station.

Angus was 37 years old; he held the highest rank among the village's Great War Dead and was awarded the highest decoration given to an Eton Wick man in the conflict. He is commemorated on the village memorial and also on the Eton Church gates.



This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone  
and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.

The Eton Wick War Memorial page on Buckinghamshire Remembers website.
Grave Register courtesy of CWGC

The entry for C.S.M. Angus Bruce in the War Graves Register refers to his widow, Lottie as living at 5, Primrose Villas, New Boveney instead of Boveney Newtown.


Memorial Panel List courtesy of CWGC.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

THE CHANGING FACE OF ETON WICK

Housing and the Village Club 

by Councilor Mrs. F.I. Wilson

It is probably true to say that at no time in its past history, has Eton Wick changed so rapidly, as it has during the past four or five years. The need for houses made urgent, measures necessary as soon as the last war ended, and the Council embarked on a housing scheme which has gone forward steadily, and as quickly as Ministry of Health licensing permitted.

As a result, Eton Wick has lost much of its old character, as a straggling, rather untidy, rural village.

First came the twelve prefabricated bungalows which were originally intended to be temporary, with an estimated life of ten years, but may, in fact, remain for a very much longer period. Then came the building of the first post-war houses on the Bells Field Site, on land acquired by the Council prior to 1939. These ten houses, with their flanking walls, have done much to improve the appearance of Vaughan Gardens by giving privacy to their backs. While, figuratively speaking, we have no dirty linen for which we fear publicity, the family wash, its lines and its unsightly posts, are very much better kept to ourselves. One block of these houses received an experiment in the way of a (so-called) Tyrolean finish, owing to the shortage of facing bricks, but it was not sufficiently popular to repeat.

Then came the purchase of Tilston Field from Eton College for the main scheme, and a proposed layout for 162 houses and a small recreation ground, this age group often drift away too.

Our Village Club, which meets at the Village Hall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, is primarily for the youth of the village. The fact that about half of its 60 members face a long cycle ride to come to Eton Wick, speaks well for its popularity, but we are always ready to welcome more
local members.

We play all the usual games, have our own canteen, a darts, billiard and table tennis league; dancing classes during the winter; weekend camps; a two-week summer camp; cycling; two affiliated football teams, and many other activities and functions which vary on demand. Apart from the football section, all club activities, including the management of the canteen, are run by club members with the minimum of guidance. Our success depends on members' own efforts, and the day to day running of the club on members' own contributions.

With your good-will, your constructive, and not unjust, criticism, we know that we can play an ever-increasing part in the life of the village.
This article was originally published in the Eton Wick Newsletter in the early 1950's.

Florence Ivy Wilson was born in 1903, in 1939 she is recorded as living in Victoria Road and later moved to Tilston Close.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Eton Traders Index: No.1 and 3 High Street

During his retirement, John Denham the History Group first treasurer and archivist undertook a number of research projects. One of these was on the Traders of Eton. The index that he produced from trade directories and other sources cover the period from the late 1700's until 1939. His index records can be found here.


Tom Brown Tailors have traded in Eton since 1784. First from Keats Lane and the 1841 census records that the business had moved to  No. 1 High Street. It expanded into No. 2 High Street in 1890.



No. 3 High Street has been a Grocers since 1779. The 1841 census shows that John Atkins was a grocer. His son, also John ran the business until the1870's. In the 1877 edition of the Post Office Directory for Buckinghamshire Barnes Brown is recorded as being an Italian Warehouseman. By 1891 the grocer's shop was owned by Sidney Stevens in partnership with Albert Harris.




With the courtesy of Google Streetview, both of these businesses can be been seen to be still trading as tailors and grocers at numbers 1 and 3 High Street in Eton.


Page 1 from the index of Eton Traders.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Eton Wick Newsletter - Our Village December 2008

Eton Wick and its development: Going West  

Boveney Newtown 1870 —1945


We have previously seen how Eton Wick grew — at first with the farms taking the less floodable land to the north and later in the 18th and 19th centuries homes being established along the south side of Common Road where tenants had the advantage of the stream for water and ponds for their ducks. They could only build between Sheepcote and Bell Lane — approximately 250 metres — because Crown. Common and Lammas lands stretched to the east and south, while west of Bell Lane was in the different parish of Burnham.

In the mid 19th Century the long gardens of the Common Road homes were sold for the development of houses along Eton Wick Roads' northside. The Walk was developed in early 20th Century, as was The Institute (now The Village Hall). Known as the 'Stute' it was the only building south of Eton Wick Road until after 1950, when Haywards Mead and St. Gilberts R. C Church were built on former allotments. West of Bell Lane the main road was known as Tilston Lane and until the 1880's there were only two tracks off Tilston Lane, being Bell Lane and what later became Moores Lane. The few buildings consisted of The Shepherd's Hut public house and a couple of Bell Farm labourer's cottages off Bell Lane.

In 1870 Eton, faced with a sewage problem, purchased Bell Farm from William Goddard and established a sewage farm as part of the farm land within the Eton Wick boundary. Many acres of Bell Farm were in fact outside the boundary and in the parish of Burnham, and was excess of their needs for the sewage and a dairy farm. The excess was most of the land between Bell Lane and present day Moores Lane. Retaining one full length field along Tilston Lane (main road) and opposite The Shepherd's Hut, the Council then sold the remainder to Arthur Bott of Common Road. Unfortunately Bott was now overstretched financially so he sold the land to James Ayres in 1880. James Ayres was listed as a market Gardener and not quite perhaps the image of the shrewd business man he proved to be. Meanwhile the Council engaged Charles Tough as farm manager. His young bride (Annie) nee Moore, together with her newly domiciled father, John Moore, were to play a lasting role in the future village affairs. Pardon the pun, but more about the Moores' at a future time.

James Ayres acquisition resulted in the laying out of Alma and Inkerman roads, followed by that of Northfield. Plot by plot he sold off the land, some for terraced homes, others for semi and detached houses, until within two decades a new community had sprung up covering his purchased enterprise. Not Eton Wick, this community, built in Burnham Parish. was named Boveney Newtown, for obvious reasons. In 1894 it had its own council as in fact did Eton Wick, both independent of each other and of Eton. This lasted for 40 years.

Just as Bell Lane had for so long been Eton Wick's barrier to building, now Moores Lane proved to be Boveney Newtown's barrier until after World War 2. This haste to build from 1880 triggered off other developments along the south side of the main road to Roundmoor ditch (Dorney Common Gate) and also the beginning of Victoria Road, at that time a Cul de sac, with its long. new terraced row. This area was known as `Klondyke: and was part of the Tilston Fields, largely owned by the Palmer family of Dorney. In fact the terraced row and some of those main road houses were built for the land owner who duly sold them. By the early 20th Century the land south of Victoria Road became holdings for two or three families. The holdings reached down to the Boveney Ditch and were quite extensive. In the centre was Mr Hill, who established a small engineering and repair works which by 1920's was sold to William Hearn for his motor taxi business which operated in Eton. Hence the present day engineering works, which came before most of the houses around it.

To the west of Victoria Road came the Nuth family. George was a well known village character with his animals, large mobile home, swing boats and coconut shy hire. These sites were to be used for Queens Road and Cornwall Close respectively, about 60 years later.

Leeson Gardens were built in the early 1930's: the west side of Tilston Avenue in the later 1930's. Vaughan Gardens were built in the late 1930's in the centre of that long field opposite The Shepherd's Hut that Bell Farm had retained in 1880 when they sold the large site. Although Eton Wick and Newtown, with Klondyke, were united in 1934 the old rights of Lammas and Commons still excluded those living along or west of Bell Lane.

The only WW2 development was the building of twelve prefabricated bungalows c.1944-5 east of Vaughan Gardens — now the site of Bell Lane shops.

Post WW2 developments both by Council or private were largely north and west of the main road and Moores Lane. We will cover those and other post war developments in a later issue.

This article by Frank Bond was published in the December 2008 issue of Our Village.

Note – The engineering works mentioned was replaced by houses in 2014. http://publicaccess.rbwm.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=N2OUOJNI0NO00

The complete Our Village Collection can be found here. The Eton Wick History Group republish Our Village with the kind permission of publishers, the Eton Wick Village Hall Committee.