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.

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. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Boveney Census 1891

The Census of the population of the United Kingdom was undertaken on 5th April.  The population of the UK that included England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (all the 32 counties of Northern Ireland and what is now the Irish Republic) was 37,732,922.

Details collected include:

Place: street name, house number or house name.

Houses: inhabited, uninhabited or a building and the number of rooms.

Names of each person who was resident in the house on the night preceding the census.

Age and sex of each person: The actual age in years or months for babies under one year are recorded in the 1891 census.

Rank, Profession or Occupation.

Birthplace, county and country.

Whether Blind, Deaf or Dumb.

The Superintend Registrar's District was Eton, Bucks and the Registrar's district was Burnham. Enumeration District No. 1. The enumerator is unknown.

The area for the 1891 census included was the entire parishes of Dorney and Boveney.

The 1891 Census reveals that there were 86 households, ten houses that were unoccupied and one was under construction. 402 people in residence in the parish of Boveney at midnight on the 5th April. The oldest person, Fredrick Pollett at the age of 87, she was born in 1804. There was one other resident in their 80’s. There was one child recorded at age 3 month, Jack Crabb was the fourth child of Issac and Alice. Jack was the only baby born in the first three months of 1901.

Click on this link to see our transcription of the 1891 census records for Boveney.. We will be looking deeper into what the census reveals about the growing village and publish our findings in future articles.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Changes - And All Stay The Same

The eighteenth century brought a new look to the village in other ways. The earliest change resulted from a decision of the Court Baron of 1st April 1700 that 'no geese or gander be kept at any time hereafter upon the Commons'. A small event perhaps, yet not a trifling one, meaning far more than the removal of the birds from the rural scene though they may still have been kept in cottage gardens. Living as we do in an age when most of our food and possessions are bought in shops, it is difficult to imagine that three hundred years ago the. People of Eton Wick, and every other village lived in a  subsistence economy. Most food was grown, gathered or gleaned; bread was baked and beer brewed by the housewife, and a goose that fed itself mainly on the common pasture was a cheap and very welcome source of meat and eggs.

Sheep, hogs, oxen, cattle and horses could still be pastured on the commons and Lammas lands during the proper seasons. The livestock was put in the charge of the parish hayward, each farmer paying 2d per head of cattle and the townsfolk and villagers 4d. This was not discrimination in favour of the farmers but merely because the stint (or restriction) allowed the pasturing of only one beast for each house and then more according to the number of acres owned or rented: for example an extra head of cattle for every five acres farmed and a sheep for each acre. Sheep must have been' a familiar sight, for the regulations confirmed at the Court Baron concerned themselves with the time and place for washing the wool. Spinning and weaving were still household tasks a spinning wheel or loom was a valuable possession, as the will of Elizabeth Fennel showed when she left her weaving apparel to her niece.

The eighteenth century saw many changes in agriculture - new crops, new breeds of livestock and new ways of husbandry; but, country people being notoriously conservative, the new ideas were slow to spread. So it is surprising to discover the same Court Baron of 1700 recording that every farmer was allowed to grow two acres of turnips for every twenty he farmed. Turnips were still revolutionary farming. In earlier centuries and still for many more decades to come, in many parishes, a great proportion of the cattle were killed each November because there simply was not sufficient hay to keep them alive during the winter. With the introduction of root crops such as turnips, such slaughter was no longer necessary. Whenever the Manor Court first allowed this innovation it must have been accompanied by much head-shaking and speculation until the idea had proved successful.

Crown Farm, 1797 Land farmed by Robert Mills, tenant farmer
Hedged boundaries  ---- Boundaries without hedges or fences

However attractive these new ideas in agriculture appeared, it was difficult for an individual farmer to take advantage of them until his cattle could be kept separate from all the others in the village, and until he could plant what he liked on his own land and not comply with the farming practices of others with strips in the common fields. Neither could he make use of the new farm machinery until his land was in large enough plots to make it practicable; it was often advocated that the only way in which this could be achieved was to enclose the open fields and the commons too. Such enclosure could be accomplished by private Acts of Parliament,  private agreement, or later under one of the Acts. Usually, an Inclosure Commissioner was appointed to survey the parish and rearrange the land holdings so that as far as possible each owner's land formed compact blocks; rights of pasturage were usually extinguished and the commons divided up. Only rarely were the cottagers compensated for their loss of rights. This Is perhaps too simplified a summing up of a very complicated story, but the important fact about Eton Wick Is that none of this happened.

The exchange of strips so that two or more lay side by side had occurred from early times, as surviving records from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries clearly show. One of the earliest and most detailed concerns eighteen scattered acres owned by Sir William Stratton exchanged for sixteen acres of John Jourdelay, almost all of which lay next to each other's land. From the sixteenth century onwards there are mentions of closes, small hedged fields in the modern sense, such as Bushy Close, Shipcote Close, Ferny Close and Cony Close which were part of Saddocks Farm in 1650. It Is clear that in general most of the closes remained subject to Lammas rights and the amount of 'in-land' around the Farmsteads and homesteads was small. Encroachment on to the waste or commons and the theft of part of the common fields did, however, sometimes occur and people were not always slow to complain. In 1459 a court roll records that both Eton College and Thomas Jourdelay 'had done grievous injury to the community by enclosing land for themselves'. The matter was to be brought up again at the next court but there is no further reference to It in the court rolls; so one must assume that the manor tenants did not obtain redress for their grievances. In 1605 complaints were made against Henry Bell because he had enclosed several pieces of the king's waste and also a piece of Lammas ground and added these to his own freehold land. It was also stated that the eight cottages built by Henry Bell and others were very prejudicial to the parishioners and inhabitants in respect that their privileges and benefits of the Common (were) much hindered by those cottages'. Once again, however, the outcome is not clear. 

In the same report of 1605, a detailed description is given of the trees and wooded areas on the Crown lands and in particular those of Saddocks Farm, providing us with a glimpse of the landscape and the changes being wrought upon it. While much of the parish was open and hedgeless, there were abundant fully grown trees and areas of coppice at Broadmoor, Sheepcote, Gudgeons Pool, around the Hide Field and in the vicinity of the farmhouse. Many of the trees were pollarded - eighty in one coppice adjoining the farmyard - and it is interesting to reflect on the many uses of the wood. The report lists the value of the trees and coppice by the potential loads of firewood and timber. Henry Bell does not appear to have had a right to use the timber, but a lease of 1640 to a later tenant specifies his right to take timber for the repair of buildings, carts, the plough and gates belonging to Saddocks. By 1650 much of the woods, if not the individual trees in the hedgerows, seem to have been cut down, and part of North Field had been named Oak Stubbs.

As late as 1778 the cottage which was later to become Manor Farmhouse was without either garden or farmyard. It lay beside the road and the land immediately to the east was divided into very narrow strips. Yet before the end of that century there was a farmyard and early in the nineteenth the necessary exchanges had been made so that part of the North Field had become the in-land of Manor Farm. All this resulted almost certainly from the enterprise of John Penn, who bought the manor in 1793. The house too was enlarged and an insurance plaque still bears witness to the value that John Penn placed upon his improved property. John Mason, farmer, became the new occupant. Land on other farms was being consolidated, in particular near Bell Farm. Sometime between 1754 and 1797 the last of the dispersed strips in the Great Hide Field disappeared, though in this instance they remained subject to pasturage rights.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Joseph Springford (Private No. 940171) - 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters

Joseph Springford (Private No. 94017) - 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters - 117th Brigade - 39th Division. (Formerly No. 8671 The Cambridgeshire Regiment)

Joseph was one of a large local family. He first registered for school at Eton Porny on the 21st October, 1895 and left school in December 1902. In all probability he attended the infants' school in Eton Wick for two years before going to Eton. The family home in 1895 was recorded as 6, Bell Cottages, Alma Road, Boveney Newtown. Later the family moved to No. 4, Hope Cottages, Common Road, and some years later to 3, Victoria Place, a terraced house about eight doors along the same road from Hope Cottages. By the beginning of 1918 there were six Springford brothers serving in the armed forces. Two were destined to die before the November armistice, although Albert and Harry who enlisted early in the war, returned safely.

It is not known when Joseph enlisted in the army at Oxford, or what work he pursued before joining the 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, also known as the Welbeck Rangers. It was June 1st, 1915 when the Battalion was raised by the Mayor and recruiting committee of Nottingham. It was not unusual, at this early stage of the Great War, for Battalions to be raised by local dignitaries, towns, cities and even sporting associations. In October 1915 the 17th went to Aldershot as part of 117th Brigade, 39th Division. The following month they moved to Witley, and on December 10th were taken over by the War Office.

On March 6th, 1916 the Battalion arrived in France. The Battle of the Somme started at 7.30 a.m. on July 1st, 1916, but not until the end of August would the 17th Sherwood Foresters become involved. From the 24th August until the 28th they were being moved towards the front, and on September 2nd went into trenches near Beaumont Hamel. At 5.10 a.m. on the 3rd, 650 men and 20 officers of the Battalion advanced through No Man's Land and by 6 a.m. had taken the German front line. In attempting to advance further they met strong machine gun fire. At 1.50 p.m. they withdrew, having suffered many casualties.

That evening they fell back to Mailly Maillet Wood having sustained 454 killed and wounded of the original 670. The Battalion's first day of action was a bitter experience. Further Somme action followed at the Serre sector front line on September 20th, at Bertrancourt on September 30th and at the Thiepval sector of the front line on October 5th. It was here that the enemy attacked using flamethrowers before being driven back. The 17th Battalion were again in on the front line at Thiepval River sector on the 16th October. Subsequent action involved more hard combat near Senlis and Martinsart Wood.

On November 14th, with Somme battles drawing to an inconclusive end, the Battalion was relieved and sent to Warloy, Three days later they entrained at Candas for St Omer. In July 1917 the Battalion, still part of the 117th Brigade, 39th Division, were in the XVIII Corps of the Fifth Army and involved in the battles of Pilkem Ridge (July 31st) and at Langemarck; the Merlin Road Ridge; Polygon Wood and Passchendaele (in the Third Ypres) between August and November of that year. At this time they were with X Corps, Second Army.
St. Sever Cemetery Extention
The atrocious conditions of the Passchendaele offensive effectively ended in November when the German defence of the ridge was overcome. Three months later The Windsor & Eton Express reported:

Springford, Joseph, Private 17th Sherwood Foresters died 15.2.18 at No. 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen aged 30.

And again on March 9th, 1918 the same paper reported:

Springford, Joseph, Private Sherwood Foresters son of Mr. T Springford of 3, Victoria Place, Eton Wick, died of kidney disease on February 15th, 1918 while in No. 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France.

Joseph was the first of two Springford fatalities. His younger brother Isaac died 4 ½ months later as the result of severe gassing and was buried in Eton Wick. Joseph is buried in the St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen and his grave is No 73, Row K, Plot 6, Block P. The cemetery extension is two miles south of Rouen Cathedral and records 8,356 burials with a further 3,083 in the main St. Sever Cemetery to which the Extension is part. All these burials are of the 1914-18 war. The Extension contains 6,600 U.K. soldiers, 783 Australian, 311 Canadian, 271 Indian, 134 New Zealand, 88 British West Indian, 84 South African, 11 Newfoundlanders, three from Guernsey, one Bermudan, six unknown, one Egyptian, 44 Chinese labour force, 18 Italian and one Portuguese. The large number of different nationalities is due to the fact that the cemetery was for men dying of wounds or sickness in the No. 3 Stationery Hospital.

Joseph is commemorated on the Eton Wick Memorial and 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.

Joseph Springford: The For King & Country page.

The Eton Wick War Memorial page on Buckinghamshire Remembers website. 

Grave registration documents courtesy of the CWGC 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Eton Wick Newsletter - Our Village August 2008

In the first newsletter we looked at the old village of Eton Wick which until 1934 had its west boundary at Bell Lane and the east at the Folly Bridge (the slads).  In the early 1920’s this boundary was moved west, enabling Eton Town to develop Somerville Road and that part of South View.  We will leave the late 19th Century extensions of the village west, into what came to be known as Boveney Newtown, until a further issue and will now take a closer look at the old Eton Wick and its development. 

It is believed that the thorough-fare to Eton and Windsor during the middle ages may well have been the old Kings Highway that passes  from our present day Village Hall, along Haywards Mead, continues past Cuckoo Weir (now the Swan Sanctuary) along Meadow Lane to Brocas Street.  This may, or may not be so, but looking closely and accepting the importance of the early farms, it makes sense that the said highway starts from Bell Lane (south) which itself would have been a muddy cart track from Bell Farm, and is joined by the old Sheepcote track that crosses our present road by the church.  This track, now Sheepcote Road, was almost certainly made by the traffic of Saddocks and Manor Farms several hundred years ago. The rutted highway gives us a fair indication of what roads were like all those years ago.  Many of us can remember Sheepcote Road just that, a muddy, gated track in the 1920 – 1930s.  

Thinly populated, Eton Wick had no school; hall; gentry homes or church until 1840, when a school room 29’ x 21’ was built along the Eton Wick Road, on the end of the Greyhound Pub (established 1833) garden.  Remember at this time dwellings along either Common Road or Eton Wick Road often had a small holding/garden stretching as far as the other parallel road.  The Greyhound’s ground being about 100 metres long.  Dr. Judith Hunters’ excellent book tells us ‘The Walk’ derived its name from ‘Deverill’s Walk’, Deverill being the pub landlord and ‘Walk’ on account of the well trod track from the main road to the public house.  It was 1902 before the track, so named, was developed and built along.   It was thought the houses along ‘The Walk’ were the first Eton Wick newly built homes to have piped water installed. 

In 1866 the Village got its first church in St. John the Baptist C of E.  Queen Victoria gave ½ acre of the Crown land of Sheepcote and a £100 donation.  It would be 26 years later before the churchyard was consecrated and the first village burial took place. 

With the sudden influx of children in the newly developed Boveney Newtown (west of Bell Lane) during the 1880’s, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the small school to accommodate them all.  Strictly speaking the children of Boveney were expected to attend a school in the Burnham area but it was not acceptable for them to all trek to Dorney, so it was decided to build a larger school in Sheepcote.  Again, Queen Victoria gave ½ acre and £100 towards the £1,000 the new school would cost.  It opened in 1888.  The girls were expected to complete their education in the village but the boys only attended until 7 years old and then were obliged to attend the Eton Porny School.  Many walked along the unlit; unpathed road four times a day - there was no such thing as school meals, buses, cars and very few cycles.   At that time there were no buildings between the church and Willow Place, apart from the sanatorium.  The first four pairs of houses in South View were not built until after the 1914 – 1918 war when Eton Wick Council had them built as rented homes for returning ex-servicemen.  Perhaps this bold move prompted the Eton Council to ask the village to agree to the boundary move that gave them the area to complete South View beyond the sanatorium and to develop Somerville Road. The name Somerville is derived from the Eton Council’s Chairman’s name, as he had negotiated the land swap with Eton Wick.   

Meanwhile the first school building was used by young men and boys as an institute.  In 1902 this came to an end when shopkeeper, Mr. Pratt of Eton & Windsor, purchased the site and Eton Wick’s first purpose built shop was erected and opened in 1904.  With the Institute closed the village benefactor Mr Vaughan (a Classics Master at Eton College) again came to the rescue and made Wheatbutts Cottage temporarily available.  Meanwhile, he set about freeing a plot of his land from restrictive lammas rights and then donated the plot and paid for The Institute of Eton Wick and Boveney, which is now known as The Village Hall. It was opened in 1907 and has been extended and improved over the years to meet the changing requirements.  Originally the entrance to the hall was on the east side, now used as the library entrance.  It had an equipped gymnasium upstairs and in fact the old climbing ropes will still be in that east facing room on the upper floor, but are concealed by the modern ceiling slats.   

Boys continued to attend Eton Porny School until 1940 when Ragstone Road School took the lads from ‘Porny’ at the age of 11 years. 

Apart from the Boveney Newtown and post World War 2 developments it just leaves the Recreation Grounds that first appeared circa 1904.  We can perhaps look at those in a later issue covering sports and clubs. 
Frank Bond 

The Our Village Collection is currently under construction and it will eventually hold the complete series of the Eton Wick News Letter. Click here to go to the Collection page.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

1914 to 1920 : Relevant Facts and Local Newspaper Reports

1914 to 1920: Relevant facts and local newspaper reports, a set of notes compiled by Frank Bond for a History Group Talk.

The small regular army with which Britain entered the 1914 war was backed by a large contingent of reservist recalled to the colours who made up 60% of the Expeditionary Force that went to France. This army was quite inadequate and appeals for volunteers by Lord Kitchener brought in another 2,250,000 volunteers.

This number was reinforced by the introduction of the conscription act in 1916 which by 1918 had brought the Army ration strength in 1914 of 164,000 to 5,363,352.
The Royal Flying Corps which in 1918 became the Royal Air Force (RAF) had a strength at the end of the war of 30,127 Officers and 263,410 other ranks.

The animal ration strength rose from 27,500 in 1914 to 895,770 in 1918.
Army/RFC fuel consumption per month in 1914 was 250,000 gallons rising to 10,500,000 gallons per month in 1918.

The railways, taken over in 1914 were the first limitations put on private companies who had to administer the government orders placed upon them. The demand for munitions forced more governmental control in the management of the economy resulting in an increased number of civil servants and government departments. County Agricultural Committees were formed in 1915 but were not very effective. Daylight Saving Time was introduced in May 1916 and met with protest from Farmers and Industrial workers.

By 1917, due to the sinking’s by German U Boats, there was only about three weeks supply of food in the country. The formation of the Women’s Land Army took place to help overcome the agriculture labour shortage. A limited system of food rationing was also introduced. Two-thirds of the industrial workforce was also subject to government regulation. License hours were introduced to curb drunkenness among munition workers and the government took over some pubs installing managers.

Initially, there was a certain amount of euphoria amongst people for the war with hotels and restaurants thronged for feasting and every girl seemed to have her man in khaki ... Many soldiers had gone to war eagerly in 1914 to the sound of cheering crowds but the reality of trench warfare soon dispelled all hints of romance.

For most of the war, there was stalemate since neither side had the necessary force to break through the opposing defences. This resulted in the eventual construction of approximately 6000 miles of trenches. The trench system enclosed a world of barbed wire and mud of which Passchendaele is best remembered where there were 144,00 casualties in 1917.

It is said that death was a matter of luck, but this was not the only sacrifice as gassed, injured and shell shock men staggered back from the war to a life that would never be the same again. Of the 8,000,000 men said to have been mobilized some 2,000,000 were wounded and by the year of 1922 approximately 900,000 war pensions were being paid.

Civilian voluntary organizations contributed to the war effort by supplying 1,742,947 mufflers, 1,574,155 pairs of mittens, 6,145,673 hospital bags, 12,258,536 bandages, 16,000,000 books, 232,599,191 cigarettes.

1917 to 1919.
The combatants were now suffering from war weariness and the revolution in Russia ended in victory for the Bolsheviks. Britain was also thinking in terms of reconstruction of a changed society. Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, said at the time "The Nation was in a molten state."


March 21st. Ludendorff opened German offensive that they called Michael to split the allied front with 192 Divisions against the Allied 173. Haig had 180,000 fewer men than in 1917 and nearly half a million men would be required to fill the wastage. The British government started on a call-up of recruits by age groups, cancelled exceptions and combed out the munition workers.
The German first attacks shattered the 5th army and in April they attacked in the Ypres area. The two great battles by 120 German divisions cost the British 300,000 casualties. These German offences broke the deadlock of trench warfare that had existed since the end of 1914.
In spite of these victories, the Germans were convinced by mid-August that to fight on was impossible. On September 29th the 4th army broke through the Hindenburg line and on the 5th October the German government asked President Wilson to arrange an armistice.

9th November
The Kaiser abdicated.

November 11th. The Armistice was signed and came in to force at 11 am on the day.

When the war ceased 8,000,000 men and 1,500,000 women were serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Munitions. The government had spent £6 billion, sold all overseas securities and lent £1,500 million to our allies.

Shipping losses were over six million tons and the food situation had been saved by increasing pre-war harvest by a third.

From 1914 until 1918 cost of living had risen by 125%.

February 1915 to November 1918 there were 115,000 British Officer casualties and the Empire had lost about 1,000,000 men.



February 2nd.
G. Banham (husband of Mrs Banham) of 4 Shakespeare Place, Eton Wick, Private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, dangerously ill in No. 70 General Hospital, Cairo. Suffering from gunshot wounds to the right foot. 
February 15th. 1918
Joseph Springford, son of Mrs J Springford, 3 Victoria Place, Eton Wick. Private in Sherwood Foresters. Died of Kidney Disease in Rouen, France.
Thomas Wall, 17 Tangier Place Eton.Torpedoed on H.M.S. Aragon. December 30th, 1917. He was aged 35.

The Eton Central Kitchen opened in February of that year. Pea Soup  2d, Meat Stew 2d., Rice pudding and Jam ld., There was a great demand for the service run by volunteer ladies.
New ration cards were issued early in November.
The weather turned extremely cold at the end of the month. Early morning school at Eton College was discontinued for the week.
The influenza pandemic was taking a big toll of human life and there were many deaths in the district.

March 8th, 1919
Meeting at Eton Wick to discuss war memorial.
Volunteers collecting subscriptions ... Mr A. Percy, Miss Nottage, Miss Ashby, Mrs Miles, Mrs Howells and others.
Mr Ashman appointed Hon. Secretary,
Mr E. W. Howell appointed Hon. Treasurer.
Some 400 men from Eton and Eton Wick had served in the forces.
Heavy rains at this time brought the river level up and the Brocas and Eton Playing fields were flooded for a short time.

Sunday April 7th, 1919

A commemoration service was held at Eton Parish church. A request to the Bishop of Buckingham by the local territorial association to remember their fallen comrades. The sermon was given by the Dean of Windsor.
The council discussed and started on plans for a housing scheme at what is now Sommerville road area. Sommerville was the chairman of the council at that time. There was much discussion about the allotment area that was there/that had been created during the war years on the proposed site. It was not Lammas land and the lord of the manor at the time was prepared to sell The problem was identical to that of Tilston Field after World War Two, the allotments at the site had been beautifully cultivated and there was a little opposition from the allotment holders.  ( I think that is correct).

May 1919

Much discussion by Eton Wick churchwardens and Reverend McNally (E. W. Vicar) about burial fees. Reverend McNally drew attention to the discrepancy in burial rates between Eton Wick and Eton. The fees fixed in 1870 were Eton 4/= and Eton Wick 15/- Eton Wick charges were as follows:
Burials ...
            Child under 14 years with bearers    2/-
            Adults with Bearers and Bier           3/-
            Adult with Hearse                             3/-
            Adult with lead coffin                       5/-
            Buried in Vault.                            £1/1/-
            Brick grave                                        5/-
            Double brick grave                            5/-
            Re-opening brick grave                     5/-      

July 19th 1919

Peace Day Celebrations (Windsor & Eton)

Demobilized Sailors, Soldiers, RAP and members on leave, Hospital Nurses, VAD Members, WRNS, WRAP, WAAC, OTC Volunteers, Cadet Corps, Special Constables, Munition workers, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides were requested to take part in the parade that would start from Batchelors Acre at 11 am. The Band of the Coldstream Guards led the parade with and Ex-serviceman band also taking part. The route was from the Acre via Sheet Street, High Street, Peascod Street, Eton College (Burning Bush). Eton College OTC lined the street of Eton from Barnes Pool Bridge to Queens School with the Eton Cadet band playing over this section. Everyone taking part in the parade received a souvenir badge.

Mr Sommerville, Council chairman, said that Eton and Eton Wick would make their own arrangements for their local children entertainments.


The committee of the Institute gave a supper on July 31st. to men of Eton Wick and Boveney who served overseas in the Great War. Eighty invitations were issued, owing to the limited accommodation available the committee have been unable to extend the invitation to men who joined up, but did not go overseas.

August 30th, 1919

Extract from the Windsor and Eton Express.

An old lady living in Windsor, Mrs Hannah Deadman, had passed away aged 92, having never heard of the Great War.

The fact was religiously kept from her through tout the campaign, though her relatives often found it extremely difficult. Although blind and partially deaf she had a keen sense of reasoning and followed up any casual remark passed with awkward questions.

She had twelve or more grandsons and granddaughters serving in the forces, the latter as nurses. When one grandson went away from home she was very persistent as to his whereabouts. She was told that he had gone to fresh employment at Reading, where in fact he was with the army in France. Week succeeded week and still the grandson did not come home. At the end of two years the old lady became exasperated and remarked, "Two years and no holiday, why I would not work for such a master". She also expressed great surprise at the increasing cost of food and remarked that it never used to be so.

During the campaign grandsons returned home on leave at intervals and in them the old lady displayed great affection. She never knew they were in uniform because of her failing eyesight and often when shaking hands with the lads they turned up their sleeves in order she should not discover the military buttons.

Sometimes they took their coats off when visiting in this way she was kept in total ignorance of the conflict. Curiously enough the house in which she resided with her relatives at Helena Road faces Victoria Barracks where thousands of fine troops passed through the gates on route for France, but she still never knew.