1915 May

Frank Harradine

There was very little news reported in the papers this month and it was all related to the war and in particular the Belgian relief fund.  The Bury gardens were opened, thanks to the generosity of Mr & Mrs Wolverley A Fordham. An entrance charge of 1d was made but only 3s-3d (16p) was taken.

Ashwell children helped the Belgian Fund again with the assistance of Mrs WA Fordham. The children collected dandelion roots to sell in London. They raised £1-7-6d to which was  added 4s from the ‘TAF’ and the 3s-3d from opening the Bury gardens, and all sent to the National Committee for Relief of Belgians in Belgium.

The sister of Lance-Corporal Frank Harradine received a letter saying he was missing. The paper says he was about to celebrate his 20th birthday. Records from other sources say he was 21. Whatever his age it was another tragic loss for the village.

Lance Corporal 4/6760 Harradine enlisted in Bedford in the 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment, 21st Brigade, 7th Division. Born in Ashwell, he attended The Merchant Taylors’ School.  He was the son of Emma and Arthur Butler Harradine who lived in the High Street. I believe it was No. 55, the ‘Guild House’. He was killed in Action during the 2nd Battle of Ypres on 17th May 1915.

Annual School Visit

On the 27th May the Master and Wardens of the Merchant Taylors Company paid their annual visit to the school in Mill Street. In addition to the Company there were also present many village worthies notably the Rector Mr Webb, Mr and Mrs W A Fordham, Mr and Miss Cooper, Mr and Mrs J Sale, Mr and Mrs Christy and Mr Chote. The proceedings began with a selection of patriotic songs including the national anthems of the Allies – Russian, French and Belgian, and the song ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ by A C Benson set to music by Sir Elgar. Then followed some recitations including one written by Miss Chote entitled ‘We English folk at home’ There were also questions in Arithmetic, History, Grammar and Geography and some boys gave an account of the cause of the Great War. After the usual complimentary speeches the Master of the Company presented a new shilling (5p) to each boy on the books and a new half-crown (12.5p) to 52 boys for regular attendance. This happy afternoon was completed when all retired to the church for an organ recital by Miss Chote.


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