The Bedmond Craft Group have painted over one hundred stones with a commemorative poppy and the name of a man from the Parish of Bedmond that served in the Great War. The stones were prominently displayed at the Tin Church throughout 2018.
The Project was recently contacted by Steve Cornock. His wife’s grand-parents, William (Bill) and Eliza (Tot) Johnson lived at 39 Adrian Road at the time of the Great War. William worked as a Coal Porter at the Leavesden Asylum and was conscripted in 1916, and served for the rest of the War with the Royal Garrison Artillery. The photo shows Bill and Tot with members of the Post Office Rifles that were billeted with them outside 39 Adrian Road.
Sales of the Project’s book “NOT Just a List of Names” have exceeded expectations and there are only a few copies remaining. Weighing five and a half pounds, the book, which includes nearly 700 pages, contains the stories of 667 men and women from Abbots Langley and Bedmond that served in the Great War. Copies can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Invitations are being sent to over 150 people who have assisted, supported or performed in the Back to the Front events and activities from the start of the project and throughout 2018 are being invited to attend a “Thank You” afternoon. The celebration will be held on Sunday 24th February at the Bedmond Village Hall from 2.30pm.
In 2019 the War Memorials at Abbots Langley, Bedmond and Langleybury will all be one hundred years old. The Memorial at Langleybury was unveiled in August 1919, and those at Abbots Langley and Bedmond in December of the same year. Several men have been identified by the Project research that died in service as a result of the Great War, yet for unknown reasons they are not listed on these memorials. Plans are underway to re-dedicate the memorials later in 2019 and the missing names can now be added.
The installation of the new Mud & Memorials Project’s War Memorials has been delayed. Issues with finding a suitable location for the Abbots Langley memorial have now been resolved and it will be installed on the wall of the Abbots Langley Club in Trowley Rise. A second memorial will be installed on the wall of the Bedmond Village Hall. It has taken longer than planned for all of the tiles to dry, to be fired, glazed and re-fired, but this work is now almost complete, and planning is underway with Barnes Construction of Abbots Langley for the final installation and unveiling, which is hoped to be complete by the Spring.
Over 1,500 people packed Abbots Langley High Street and St Lawrence Churchyard for the annual Remembrance Day service. This year was the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the Great War. Around thirty wreaths were laid on behalf of local organisations, including the Back to the Front Project.
The final three performances of “Only Remembered”, the Back to the Front Project’s WW1 production were all sold out at the Henderson Hub last week. Director Simon Ash took the stories of local people, press reports, letters and diaries to write a script which painted a picture of life in the village and at the Front during the Great War. This was set against a varied selection of well and lesser known songs from the time chosen by Musical Director, Brenda Southorn. The production formed a poignant, emotive and respectful tribute to those from the village that served in the Great War.
Brother and sister Roy and Diane Barnes visited the Back to the Front exhibition at St Lawrence Church at Abbots Langley this week. Their great uncle, John Barnes, was Abbots Langley’s youngest soldier, having joined up in 1914, aged 12½ years old. The exhibition continues until Sunday 18th November.
Back to the Front worked with Year 6 at Divine Saviour Junior School to develop their School Assembly on the topic of Remembrance. But the credit for what was an outstanding Assembly must go to the children and Class Teacher, Ciara Sullivan. The Assembly concentrated on the subjects of remembrance, national and local Great War themes, and calls for world peace. Well done Year 6.