The 1914-1918 War and Tring
The reminiscences of John Bowman, a former Tring postman . . .

The meadows in the Vale of Aylesbury were in great demand for the production of fodder for horses, many thousands of which were used for transportation and supply by the Army, at home and in France.

At Paynes End, just over the county boundary in Drayton Beauchamp parish, the Royal Engineer (Signals), have established a small unit engaged in radio communications. They are housed in tents and a portable canvas hut. The lady in a cottage nearby was asked if she could supply hot water for the soldiers’ ablutions. She said she would, but that she had no fuel to heat the "copper" in the outhouse. The next morning there was a visit from the Bucks policeman from Aston Clinton. He asked if the family had seen anybody passing with “wooding” trolleys, as a quantity of timber was missing from Pavis Wood. Later that day the estate policeman came and asked the same question. Of course, the woman denied having seen anybody passing. When she next went to the outhouse, she found it was full of logs!

During 1916 the British and Commonwealth armies took over most of the front extending from the Somme River to a point north of Ypres where the remnants of the Belgian Army held the front to the Channel coast. Preparations were made for a major attack to be made in the area north and south of Albert, which we now know as the Somme offensive. The battle raged for four months.

During this time many names were added to the Tring Roll of Honour, many men were posted as missing, believed killed. On March 19th the Church Council discussed the building of a war memorial to commemorate the young men of Tring who gave their lives during the war. It was suggested that the memorial should take the form of a crucifix, similar to the roadside memorials which are found in France and Belgium. This would be very familiar to all the soldiers who had served and would be a fitting reminder to the living and memorial to the dead. It was agreed to commission a design showing Christ crucified on a cross.

War savings groups are being formed. Street Marshals collect the pennies in exchange for stamps which are affixed to cards. When full (15/6d) they were exchanged for a certificate worth a pound sterling in five years. This type of saving continues to the present day in a similar form with the National Savings Bank.
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