Monday, November 02, 2009



"The patriotism of many so called patriots starts and ends with their pockets,
it was the same with the coal owners, who grow fat out
of the country's needs,
and risk the country's safety rather than
give the colliers a living wage.
It is the same with the some property owners,
when it comes to compelling them to spen
d money
on their broken down dirty dilapidated houses,
their wails and screeches reach unto the heavens!
But they will do anything rather than their lawful duty"

Councillor J.C. Drenon
The Uxbridge Advertiser 23rd July 1915


"We are the Hayes Munition girls
Working night and day
Wearing the roses off our cheeks

For very little pay
Some people call us lazy
But were next to the boys on the sea
If it was'nt for the munitions girls
Where would the Empire be ?"

The vast majority of Women Munition workers "canaries" were members of the National Federation of Women Workers Union.


Rifleman Mallet of Harefield Road, Uxbridge was one of the local men who joined up. he got to the front somehow but because of
his youth 16 years old, was returned to depot of the Corps at Winchester. January 1916


C.A. Dingwall lost on the Lusitania, 07 May 1915, buried at St Johns Church, Hillingdon


July 1917 Canadian Tunnelling Corps (Canadian Miners) and Canadian signalmen at Denham camp, Buckinghamshire.

Canadian Hospital at Hillingdon House and Canadian Club at 156 or 158 Uxbridge High Street opened in January 1916.

Dolphin Ground, Slough Saturday September 20th 1917. Canadian Lumberjack and Military Sports including Baseball match Canadian Foresters (Smith's Lawn) V ? ? Another ??? ? Log rowling, log sawing, chopping, best turned out, Logging Team

Smith's Lawn is in the southeast corner of Windsor Great Park,
was during the Great War the HQ of the Candaian Forestry Corps and now the home of the idle rich, exclusive Guards Polo Club.


See the William and Henry Palmer (sons of Henry Palmer founder of Hayes Labour Party) ex Hayes residents killed fighting in Canadian Regiments.

William Alfred Palmer, Eastern Ontario Reg (Killed 26 th April 1916 buried Woods Cemetery, Belgium).

Lieutenant Henry Arthur Palmer, Central Ontario Reg (killed 30th
September 1918 buried Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery, Nord France)


Fritz Haber who developed Chlorine gas as a weapon of war was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


T. Langton one of the o
riginal members of the Uxbridgre Company 178th Battalion writes from a Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Switzerland. He reported he had been working in a forest in Lucerne with a party of fifty men for two months, but having completed the work returned to the main camp Chateau d'Oex in the hills and preparing again for another long winter. He stated that they had men of all regiments in the POW camp an that "they are all looking well, but a lot of them are down heated at not being passed for repatriation. we are all looking forward to the time to when we can get back to Blighty" (Blighty - England), and that "they will have to look sharp and get us home, as all the single chaps have married Swiss girls" and that " we must be thankful we are out of Germany". He states that some men had used their time in the POW Camp to undertake motor engineering courses, carpentry, book binding, printing typewriting courses/training etc..."so there is no need for anybody to be idle".

"Forty men have been asked for to learn piano making at
Lucerne, but they do not much like this place as the "square heads" (German's) are there...I have run up against a chap named Slater who used to belong to the Old Company 26 October 1917.

Chateau d'Oex is now a much sought after ski resort, the hostility faced by the POW's was probably because many of the local Swiss population were German speaking and likely to be pro German. It was a grievance of the British POW's that they were being used by the Swiss as cheap labour during their forced confinement in "neutral" Switzerland.


Herbert E Osborn son of Jabez Osbourne (Providence Church, Uxbridge) living at "Kelvedon" spent twelve years in the "Zambesi" region of Africa (Mozambique)as part of a Medical Mission. During World War One he was attached to the Portgauese Army.

He married Miss Z. May Pratt of 86 Cowley Mill Road, Uxbridge.. The Rev F.L.Riches Low conducted the ceremony and hoped to return to Zamesi in the Spring (8th August 1919)

Mr and Mrs Fort aged 73 and 69 evicted from Copthall Farm near Ickenham despite having six sons, five of whom are in army June 1916


Yiewsley Private T.H. Tipping son of Mr and Mrs W. Tipping of 9 Bentinck Road, Yiewsley is now in hospital in Brighton suffering from wounds in the left leg, this is the third time he was wounded, each time in the leg. Private Tipping was serving with the 13th Royal Fusiliers and when he arrived in Brighton found two pals with whom he had long been serving lying in the same ward - Advertiser & Gazette- August 1919


A unique letter home from Reginald Hamaton of Hillingdon
who was in the Army of Occupation in (Cologne) Germany in January 1919, shines a small light on the situation in Germany.

“We are very lucky here as we are in Jerry’s peace time barracks, and have nice single cots, pillows, and soft beds, plenty of coal for the fire, “bags” of electric light, etc. We are not allowed to walk or talk with the civilian population…..I suppose this is the place where they make the Eau de Cologne, but I have not seen any about. Of course, I cannot speak any German, and it is hard to understand the people, but they are very nice and treat us very good – far better than I thought would be the case. It is funny to see Jerry’s bicycles with the patent spilings for tyres. As you know, he has no rubber, and his motor lorries have iron tyres, and it makes the people look when they see all ours using rubber. Another thing they are very short of soap”.


Up to the present time (April 1915) about 200 men from Harlington have enlisted in the army or are in the Navy serving their King and country.

Of that number the fo
llowing Harlington men have been reported in the casualty lists.

W. Pearce - Royal Marines (Missing)
Richard Carrod - Royal West Surrey regiment (Missing)
Arthur Douglas Cook - Royal Scottish (Killed)
William Peggrem - Welsh Regiment (Wounded)
John Smith King's - Royal Rifles (Wounded)
F.W. Stevens - Royal Fusiliers (Wounded)
Frank Stevens - 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Wounded)
Albert Tripp - Welsh Regiment (Wounded)
Thomas Tubb - Field Artillery (Wounded)
Alfred Warren - 2nd Worcestershire (Wounded)


Private Frank Stevens Royal Fusillers, 2 White Hart Cottages, Brickfield Lane, Harlington wounded for a second time a bullit passed right through his body and he is suffering frost bite is now lying in St Thomas's hospital. (Advertiser & Gazette - March 1915)


"Do they believe all the lies and calumnies spread by the daily Liar and Daily Distress against the German nation who are the nearest allied to us by both blood and principle. What can the Brotherhood say of those pathetic and unauthorised meetings between British and German solders on Christmas Day 1914 ? Will they not agree that such an occurrence in itself condemns the war by blundering ambition have no enmity and are jolly fellow on each side" (Botwell Brotherhood February 1915)


Hundreds of Belgium refugees were working in the Hayes munition factories, they even had their own section and union officer of the Workers Union,
Jan Chapelle (Belgium Metal workers union), which had at it's height 5,000 member. (see posting on Hayes Workers Union established in 1914 Secretary Douglas Page and Uxbridge Workers Union established in August 1918 Secretary Mr Russell 90 Bridge Road, Uxbridge.

The Labour Party was heavily involved in the Belgium Relief Committee, especially Councillor Juan Drenon.


Poyle Powder Mills, Berkshire, munitions factory. Mr Cogswell Harrison young manager killed and his assistant Dorothy Moss. Three others including Mr Donath and Ms Fibey and Ms East were all badly burnt. Dr Walker and Nurse K. Robinson were soon at the scene Explosion heard in Botwell, Sipson, Harlington, a window pain of school at Harmondsworth broken. After the explosion an enormous cloud of smoke April 1915

Uxbridge ILP Leader Killed

Leanold W Spencer Uxbridge Independent Labour Party Secretary (Belmont Road, Uxbridge) was also killed, 1st September 1915.

Shot in the head aged just 26. He had been a founder member of
Uxbridge Labour Party, first Labour Councillor in Uxbridge and was the first man to motor cycle up Snowdon, Wales.

L.W Spencer, Regiment took major loses and he underwent terrible ordeal suffer from hunger, thirst, sleepless nights and 7 months on constant bombardment, he slept with his motorcycle by his side doing his Christian socialist duty.

He was in the 13th Kensington Battalion, Cyclist Orderly he is buried at Longuenesse St Omer.


Carl Siebenhuhner, German Prisoner Drowned at Denham, Buckinghamshire. (a village just outside West London)

While bathing in the river Colne at the prisoner of War camp, Denham Lodge, on Saturday 9 August 1919, a German prisoner named Siebenhuhner got out of his depth.

He was unable to swim, and seeing that he was in difficulties, his comrades immediately went to his assistance, but without success and the body disappeared. Dragging operations were at once instituted, and the body was recovered from the water in less than a hour,

At the inquest held at the Lodge on Tuesday evening, by Mr A. E. Charsley coroner for South Buckinghamshire a verdict of accidental death was returned.

The deceased, who was twenty seven years of age was a single man, and had been a prisoner of war since 1916 (taken at the prisoner at the Battle of the Somme). the accident was particularly unfortunate as he was expecting to return to his home in Germany shortly.

The funeral of Private Carl Siebenhuhner took place at Denham on Wednesday,

The coffin covered with a flag, and surmounted with a couple of wreaths of holly and evergreens from his comrades, was placed on one of the motor lorries, and the cortege moved off from the camp at Denham Lodge with a firing party of the Royal Fusiliers leading and the whole of the Prisoners of War numbering about forty, following behind the coffin.

In addition to the two wreaths on the coffin, one of the German prisoners carried a beautiful wreath of white carnations subscribed for by all his comrades.

The first portion of the burial service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev G.C Battiscombe, was taken in the church and afterwards six of his comrades, specially chosen because of their near residence to him in Germany bore the coffin to the grave. Here the rector concluded the burial service, three volleys were fired by soilders from the Royal Fusilers and the last post sounded.

The coffin bore the inscription Siebenhuhner, Carl 133rd Infantry Regiment, died August 9th 1919, aged 27, One of the wreaths was from his friend Erde.

In the 1960's the German War Graves Commission established a permanent site in a pine forest at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, and Karl Siebenhuhner body was transfered to Staffordshire.

Carl Siebenhuhner was reinterred 24th November 1962

Karl Siebenhuhner - German Prisoner of War, World War One.

Many German POW's worked on farms around Denham and Harefield at the end of WW1, its a shame one young German survived the mud and murder of the Somme to die in Colne on a hot summers day.


Kamal Chunchie, born Kandy, Sri Lanka 1886. A policeman from Ceylon joined the Middlesex Regiment in WW1 and was wounded twice. After the war on 9th February 1926 he opened the Coloured Men's Institute in Canning Town, probably the first community organization of its kind.
Died 1953


Miss Eleanor Warrender of High Grove, Eastcote has arrived back in England (January 1913) after serving three months in the Greek Military Hospitals, nursing the wounded. Miss Warrender has been actively associated with the Uxbridge detachment of the Voluntary Aid Organisation. The Balkan War is not her first experience of military service for her name is associated with Mrs George Cornwallis-West of the South African hospital ship Maine . Advertiser and Gazette 3 February 1913.

American Hospital ship was built at West Hartlepool, England and launched in July 1887, Maiden Voyage: 1887, Destruction: Wrecked off the Island of Mull, 1914
"Maine" arrived at Durban, South Africa on January 23, 1900, arriving in time to take casualties from the famous Battle of Spion Kop, The "Maine's" it's Superintending Sister was Miss Mary Eugenie Hibbard. The Maine's sister ship "Missouri" was used as a hospital ship during the Spanish-American War.

I believe Eleanor Warrender was Sir Randolph Churchill's (Winston Churchill's father) personal nurse.


A YWCA hut was established in 1916 in the Hayes Station Wesleyan School to provide rest and food to the thousands of women munition workers in Hayes. Providing 500-600 meals a day. Mr F. H. Stace as the energetic leader
of the Wesleyans recognised the need and Miss Galilee 1 Bushey Villas, Harlington took charge with a band of ethusiastic workers who "are doing their bit" also involved Mrs Hollingum, Mrs Robinson. Mrs Denman and Misses Brown, Miss Purvis,Mrs Head, Mrs Fidler, and Mrs Belch, Miss Philp, Miss Hunt, Miss Whetnall. Miss Heyward, Miss Brown, Mrs Smith, Miss Carter. A purpose built YWCA hut opened in August 1916 in Keith Road.

Major Ernest John Webster Bruce

Tithe Farm, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

Formally Melbourne, Australia

Died 17th April 1919 aged 43

Major E.J. Bruce was well known in Melbourne, Australia as the Managing director with firm Paterson, Laing and Bruce.

Major Bruce was the son of late Mr J. T. Bruce and brother of Stanley Bruce MHR

Brother captain S.M. Bruce. Federal MP for Flinders constituency.

Served in 1st Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa during Boer War, which he had Joined at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Injury to left arm sustained in South Africa

Beginning of World War One in 1914 tried to rejoin but was rejected on health grounds.

And returned to Australia in 1914.

In July 1915 returned to England, Joined the Royal Field Artillery 18th Brigade in France Royal Rifles Artillery for three years

January 1916 served 94th battery as Subaltern until February 1918, when promoted to Acting Major of D/18 Battalion

Observation officer at Vimy Ridge, awarded military cross

Fought at the Somme, Vimy, and Ypers at the age of 40

Three years fighting undermined his health

Involved in great push of august and September 1918

“As an artillery subaltern, when over 40 years of age, was a task of great endurance”

He suffered from ulcerations and sleeplessness

His failing health undoubtedly caused his suicide, Major Bruce shot himself in the mouth with a service revolver.

Coroner Mr A.E.W.Charlsey for South Buckinghamshire

verdict “suicide while temporarily insane”

He left a wife May Lindsay Graham-Clarke (formerly Bruce, nee Jackson), of Glenrhos, Rhayader, Radnorshire and two daughters.

Family living in England four years

Buried Kensal Green, All Saint’s Church

The Argus Melbourne 2 July 1919