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Ram fairs were held by the Green family
at Felmersham Grange during the early 1900's >
First World War - 1914 to 1918
See Heroes of
the Great War
The "war to end all wars" was
a bloody war with three quarters of a million Britons dying on
active service and over one and half million wounded. The war
touched every community and the parish of Felmersham was no
exception. Sixty four people were called to service and 16 failed
to return, a further 3 died within two years from their wounds.
Erected in 1920 by
public subscription the war memorial records the deaths of all 19
parishioners who gave their lives.
Of the two plaques
in the church, one records the deaths with dates of the original 16
and the other records the names of the 45 Parishioners who
offered their lives for their country, but were not required to lay
them down. The woman who died was Helen Taylor, she served as a
nurse and was the married daughter of Henry Hilton Green.
A local ARP hand bell used
to alert people to a likely aerial attack.
A local ARP hat
in Flanders, Ernest Rust was badly wounded in the stomach and lost
consciousness. He was brought to Portsmouth hospital still
unconscious, he survived and lived a hale and hearty [life]
and the father of a family; a wonderful living testimony to the
efficiency of our Medical and Transport Services during the Great
The Second World War - 1939 to 1945
Heroes of the Second World War
The Second World War left its mark on
all communities, large or small. However, in terms of damage to
property, Felmersham escaped with only superficial damage. The
windows in Felmersham church were damaged by explosions from
disposal dumps, a flying fortress crash near the village and a bomb
was dropped in a field near Carlton Road.
Anglia was the base for the largest fighting force
ever assembled (500,000 men and women of Bomber
Command) and the logistics of the support
operation would have impacted upon the parish. For
instance the Nature Reserve was the result of
excavating sand for Thurleigh airfield. With
airfields in very close proximity to the parish
and with Felmersham and Radwell on the Thurleigh
flight path, the skies would have been very active
with low flying American bombers.
The War Memorial "Lest we forget"
The local community played its part in the war effort and one
family paid dearly for the call to duty. Sir Richard and Lady
Wells lost three sons in enemy action. Their deaths are
recorded on a plaque in the church and the
east window is
glazed to their memory. As a further tribute to their three
sons the Wells family also paid for the addition of
bells and a bell frame in the church tower.
There was an ARP (Air Raid
Precautions) unit and an active Home Guard in the parish with
its HQ in the stables, opposite the Grange. A trench and look
out post in what is now Marriotts Close provided a clear view
of the bridge and an air raid shelter was built at the Grange.
It was said to be capable of protecting the whole village!
During the winter, in order to conform with the blackout
regulations and to conserve fuel, church evensong services
were held at the Grange.
Shrimpton carrying a gas mask during
the Second World War, accompanied by
Shirley Stevens a wartime evacuee.
Class inshore mine sweeper M2627.
Built by: Camper
Completed: 11 May 1954,
Gross Weight: 159 tons
Length: 106 ft, Beam: 21 ft
Crew: 15 (22 in wartime)
Speed: 14 knots max, 9knots when mine
Power: 2 x Paxman Diesels: 550bhp
Info and photo: Mark Teadham
Lion Head Stand Pipe
Kilmarnock, Scotland and installed circa 1935-6 as
part of the Bedford Rural District Council's scheme
to provide water to all parishes not connected to
the mains supply.
There are five stand pipes in Felmersham, two in
<<< A stand pipe outside St Mary's church,
New gates and a lamp were erected at the entrance to
the churchyard in 1894 and these were replaced in
1917-18 by a lych-gate as a gift of the family of
the late H Hilton Green. Lych gates are designed to
provide cover for the funeral cortège at the
entrance to the churchyard.
Mary’s lych-gate was used as a model for the design
of the bus shelter, which was erected circa 1938 to
the memory of Christopher James and Jessie Maltby,
the parents of Lady Wells.
Above - Lych Gate Below -
"Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish"
Felmersham and Radwell local history book.
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