1916 September

Edward Copping with his friend Percy Worboys
Edward Copping aged about 10 (seated) with his family outside Chantry House, West End
W A Gale. Formerly assistant master at the Merchant Taylors School

The War

Private Edward J Copping of the Australian Infantry was in France on the 28th July when he was wounded in left hand. He was sent back to a hospital in Epsom where he met again his old friend Private Percy Worboys with whom he emigrated in 1912. Both had signed up in Australia and served at Gallipoli where Worboys was badly wounded. Before emigrating Copping had been a talented member of Ashwell Cricket team. After the war the friends returned to Australia where they both married and had families.

Private Jonah Sole had been reported missing to his wife in August. He was 28 and lived at Quarry Cottages, Ashwell but as yet there was no confirmation of his death.

A picture of Private Leonard Auburn, 19, appeared in the paper two months after the first reports came in. He had been buried twice by shelling and was now recovering. Fuller details are in the July Village News or can be found on the Ashwell Museum website.

Private W A Gale formerly assistant master at the Merchant Taylors School wrote a letter to Mr Chote, the Headmaster detailing his impressions of the French area he was serving in.

Parish News

Early in the month the Parish Council held a special meeting concerning the need for an additional burial ground – various locations were being looked into. Later at a Parish Meeting specifically on the Burial Ground question a site at Baldwin’s Corner opposite the Rec was suggested. The Vicar said there was only 3 years more space left in churchyard. A Public Loan of £250 might be required to purchase the plot but some members of the public questioned whether it could be done privately for less.

Controversy over the Church Clock split the council in 1916. A proposal to transfer responsibility to the Parish Council for winding (it was not electric then) at a cost of £6.50 per annum with any repairs paid by public petition, was agreed by the narrow margin of one vote.

Other news included a report of the death of thirteen year old Dorothy Emily, youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs Charles Reynolds. At the funeral service Dorothy was said to be a popular girl but had always suffered from poor health.

Mr E Snow Fordham, the outspoken magistrate who lived at Elbrooke House, was taken ill while sitting at the West London Court. After consultation with a Harley Street doctor all cases were adjourned and he was ordered not to work for a month.

And to show that some elements of life in the village were still going on as normal the Wesleyan Church held their Harvest Festival followed on the Monday by a sale of the donated produce.

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