Cosgrove Newspaper Reports World War I

These advertisements appeared in the Wolverton Express 21st August 1914

Wolverton Express 28th August 1914


The main party of the Bucks Territorials have had a varied experience since the order for mobilisation was issued. Since leaving the railway town, our local detachments after joining their regiments in August Bank Holiday week have been encamped or billeted at Aylesbury, Cosham, Swindon or Dunstable, and other places. The training which they are at present undergoing is calculated not only to fit the men to take their place in the field, but will also build up their bodies in such a manner as must prove of the greatest possible benefit to them when they return to civil life. Their training consists of physical drill, bayonet fighting, route marching and field work, but above all they are trained to discipline.

We are now in a position to outline the various movements of the Regiment since its mobilisation and this is given below.

On the Tuesday in August Week, two days after their short camp at Bovington Green, had been struck, the two detachments stationed at Wolverton were taken to Aylesbury, the County town, to mobilize with the other Bucks Companies, preparatory to being drafted to Portsmouth and Cosham, where they were ordered for garrison duty. Cosham near Portsmouth, where the Bucks men stayed, was entirely in the hands of the military. The men were billeted in public houses and in many cases private dwelling houses. To be billeted on the public is a most unusual proceedings and the restrictions put upon the men were more stringent than they were under canvas for ordinary training. Their work in Cosham was concluded on the following Sunday when the Regiment was moved to Swindon, where they were again billeted. Route marches and physical drills were the order of the parades for the few following days. On one of the days the men who had joined the regiment this year were taken to the ranges at Chisleton, near Swindon, and considering that it was the first time that many of the men had fired with ball ammunition, the scores made were very satisfactory. On another day the whole Bucks Battalion were seen in the GWR Park at Swindon going through various physical drill exercises. They were put through running, hopping, bending and stretching exercises, all of which helped to strengthen the muscles to endure the strain that every soldier must endure in everyday training. After a week at Swindon, the regiment was transferred nearer home, in the Leighton Buzzard district, where the whole South Midlands Brigade was billeted. The two Wolverton units were billeted at Dunstable having to march from Leighton Buzzard Railway Station, a distance of 8 miles. The whole of the Sunday was occupied in travelling, and in consequence the men were given a fairly easy day on Monday. A Battalion drill was held and the Army Act was read, which sets forth the pains and penalties to which they were now liable, and this constituted the day’s work. Tuesday was used for field operations and route march. On Thursday morning the Regiment again “moved off” for fresh territory further east. For nearly a week, the men, in long marches, have been making for ----------------. [censored by newspaper]

In the first day’s march, they covered a distance of 16 miles, between Dunstable and Hitchin, where they were billeted on the public. At all stopping places on the route the men were billeted in private dwellings, public houses and other buildings. Friday’s march took a south eastern direction, 16 miles being covered between Hitchin and Ware. Ware to Harlow, in Essex, was covered on Saturday. The marches were very trying ordeals, the weight of the full service equipment which they had to carry by no means a light one, was making itself felt in more ways than one. Each man, in addition to 100 rounds of ball ammunition carries entrenching tools, spare socks, shirts etc, not to mention the greatcoat and rifle.

A local gentleman who frequently has correspondence with the “Wolverton Express” traced our “terriers” to Dunmow on Sunday, where he found the two detachments billeted in the schools. One detachment occupied the boys’ school and the other the girls’ school. In the schools, our correspondent found the men sleeping upon piles of straw, which were strewn about the floor, and they seemed very comfortable. He found many of them were suffering from sore feet and apart from this they were in the best of health. Leaving the school, he made his way to the centre of the ancient town, where is situated a large pond, or lake, if it may be so called. Encircling the water as a stone wall about two feet high, and upon this he found hundreds of “terriers” seated, having removed their boots and socks and dangling their feet in the cooling balms of the water.

Monday was practically a rest day for them, while on Tuesday they moved off again to Chelmsford. Here our information as to our regiments’ movements cease for the time being.

A chance remark was overheard from one of our “terriers” who said “We are getting quite accustomed now to changing our digs.” This caused quite a laugh among his companions, and his remark was quite justifiable when considering the number of towns they have been billeted in during the past three weeks.

Wolverton Express 4th September 1914


The generous attitude of the L and N W Rly company may be noted from the following copy of the notice issued -

“It has been decided that the wives and families and other dependants of this Company’s men who are called up for service with the Regulars or Territorials or of the men who volunteer for service in the Army during the period of the War shall be given such an allowance by the Company, as will, with Government pay, be sufficient for their maintenance during the time the breadwinners are away from home.

“The same arrangement will be made for the wives and families or dependants of men who are called up to serve as Naval Reservists or Volunteers.

“It has also been decided that positions in the service shall be found for the men on their return, and that the salary or wages will then be paid according to the scale to which they would have been entitled had they not joined the Colours.

“Contributions to superannuation and certain other funds (these include Workman’s Pension and Provident Funds) will be paid by the Railway Company.”

Wolverton Express 11th September 1914

All young men of service age, residing in Cosgrove, have enlisted at the Wolverton Recruiting Office, and have left the village to join the Colours.

Wolverton Express 18th September 1914


Before Mr F W Woollard (in the chair), Mt T Byam Grounds, Mr H C Weston, and Mr A Sharp.


The conduct of two Stony Stratford men, who a few weeks ago discharged a rifle in the dead of night in Old Stratford to scare the civilian constables guarding a bridge over the River Ouse, was strongly condemned. They were sternly reminded that this was not the time for practical jokes at the expense of men who are voluntarily giving up their nights to safeguard the interests of their town.

The would be practical jokers were: Herbert George Norman, a miller and farmer, Old Wolverton Mill, and William Panter, cattle dealer, Old Stratford, who both pleased guilty to “wantonly discharging a gun on the highway on August 19th.” The hearing of the case attracted a great deal of public interest and the court was crowded with farmers, tradesmen and others.

Superintendant Andrews remarked that he was very pleased to hear that defendants had pleaded guilty. He had two independent witnesses, but under the circumstances he would not call them. It appeared from the facts that the two defendants had fired off four shots at Stratford while driving through. There were some volunteer watchmen at the bridge who were rather alarmed, and one old gentleman at Stratford had felt the shock very much. He did not think defendants realised how serious a thing it was and had done it more for a lark. Under the circumstances therefore, he had taken a lenient view, although a summons could have been taken out under the Proclamation Order.

The defendant Panter, addressing the Bench, said he now thought their behaviour very silly. They thought they would have a bit of a lark, but it did not seem much of a lark now, when they came to think of it. He had himself joined the special constables, though he supposed he ought to have done it before.

In imposing the full penalty on each defendant of 40s and 11s 6d, the Chairman said they could consider themselves lucky to get off so lightly. Nothing was to be so much discredited as such an act which would cause a false alarm of that sort. If any other cases of that kind occurred a more serious view would be taken. They might have been sent to Northampton Gaol for trial without the option of a fine if a more serious charge had been preferred against them.

Wolverton Express 25th September 1914


In Monday’s “London Gazette” was announced –

Special Reserve of Officers (Reserve Units). Infantry: 3rd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment – Captain H Grant Thorold to be Major (Sept 22nd).

Wolverton Express October 1914

It is understood that the names of the 34 men of Cosgrave, who have joined the colours, will be inscribed on a brass plate which will be placed in the Parish Church.

Wolverton Express 4th December 1914


Private Charles Jelley, of the 1st Northants, son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Jelley, of Cosgrove, has been wounded in the leg, which wounds he received in action. He is now in hospital. He was on the Reserve, and when the war broke out was called up, He was then employed in the Gas Department, Wolverton. In some of his letters home to friends, he makes some interesting remarks.

In one he states that “there have been several fellows of our regiment killed who come from round about Cosgrove. We have had some close fighting, and have often used our bayonets, but it is a job to get near the Germans, as they do not like the bayonet. When they seem to mean business they run like rabbits. They try all sorts of fakes to try and surprise us. Sometimes they dress up as English and French soldiers, but it is generally a dear game for them as they do not catch us napping.”

“You would be surprised to see how interested the fellows are out here as regards football, and when they get the papers you can hear them shout along the trenches and ask how so and so got on, and they don’t seem to trouble much about shells and wounds.”

In another letter written in the Royal Southern Hospital quite recently, Pte Jelley explains that he was wounded in the shin at Ypres, and cheerfully adds that he is going on well. He also adds that “All the time I was out there I enjoyed the best of health considering the rough time we had, as we were in the think of the fighting, and at one place we were in the trenches for 33 days, and the first week we were in the battle of the Atane it rained day and night, but we had got our trenches so well made that it was like living in a house. It began to get cold the last week or two.”

Mr Thomas Jelley has three sons serving in the Army. Two have enlisted in the New Army. He himself is an Army pensioner and went through many campaigns with the old 38th Regiment (2nd Northants). He took part in the Zulu War of 1879 and in the Boer War of 1881 and was present at the battles of Laing’s Nek and Majuba Hill. In the Majuba affair he was wounded and taken prisoner.

Further years during World War One are being researched at present.

Wolverton Express February 12th 1915


More than ordinary interest attached to the launching of a steam tug, George Hill, at Old Stratford Wharf, on Saturday, from the fact that a little Belgian girl, Mdlle Renee Selbac Corstiaens , performed the Christening ceremony. The vessel has been built by Mr. E. Haynes C.F..., at his Watling Works, Stony Stratford, and it is destined for ___________ for  the purpose of assisting in the loading up of _____________ troops for the front. About three months has been taken up in the work of construction. Similar tugs and launches have been built by the firm for the foreign Governments. One of the launches is now in use in the sea of Galilee for the conveyance of Mahommedan pilgrims on their journey to Mecca. In this case special attention was paid to its construction in view of the sudden storms met with on the Galilean Sea.

The George Hill, before being shipped on a liner, will have to pass about 70 odd locks in its passage along the Grand Junction Canal to the Thames, where it will be put through its trials. The length of the tug is 51ft., width 11ft., depth at side amidships 5ft. 2ins. And draft 4ft. In the way of speed it is expected to make a little over 13 miles an hour.

A number of interested spectators gathered for the christening ceremony including Mr. E. Hayes C.F.., Mr Arthur Hayes, A.M.I.N.A., Mons Corstiaens,(ex-town clerk of Antwerp), Mme Corstiaens, and their grand-daughter, Renee Corstiaens, Mrs Hayes, Mr. A. R. Elmes, Mrs. And Miss Worley, Mrs G. Bull, Mrs Cecil Powell, Mr. C. Boden Brifton, Miss Whiting (Castlethorpe), Mrs. Brown, M. Marsait, M. Van Gastel, M. Van de Bruck.

About an hour was taken up in the work of preparing for the launching, and then amidst cheering, little Renee Selbac cut the string and a bottle of champagne burst against the bows. The vessel slid gracefully into the water, but the wash on the other side caused a few spectators to find safe quarters.

At the masthead was flown the Union Jack and then the ensigns of France, Belgium and Russia.

About 20 years ago the firm of Messrs Hayes built a number of fireboats for the Thames, used in conjunction with the Fire Brigade.

Wolverton Express May 21st 1915

PRIVATE S. PITTAM, 2nd Northants.

Son of Mr and Mrs Pittam, of Old Stratford. A letter from Private Wm. Grace to ford. The father, Mr. Samuel Pittam, has received news of his son’s death whilst fighting with the 2nd Northants at the front.

News was also received through a letter from Private Wm. Grace, who in writing to his parents at Old Stratford states that he went through the withering fire in the charges of the Northamptons on Sunday, May 10th, and saw Pittam fall, mortally wounded. Grace, who has been previously wounded in the thumb, says he managed to crawl back at night to the lines. It was a terrible experience.

The deceased was a married man and was a resident of Brighton. He leaves a wife and one child.



Eldest son of Mr. J. J. Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory. A telegram was received on Saturday, stating that he was killed on Wednesday. He had been in the Army twelve years, in which eight years were spent in India, where he was A.D.C. to the Governor of Madras. He was in the final of the Kinder Cup. He was also A.D.C. to the General in the riots of Johannesburg.  Captain Atkinson was Commander to the signalling troops at the Front. He was 32 years of age, and had been at the Front for six months, and fought in both battles of Ypres.

It is curious to note that he was in a regiment of which the Kaiser was Colonel-in-Chief. Since the war, Captain Atkinson came home for a short furlough and it was then remarked at Wolverton Station, how remarkably well he looked as he again left for the Front.

Much sympathy is to be extended to Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson and family in the loss of a son who had just embarked on such a … career.

Wolverton Express July 23rd 1915


In the first of a series of articles entitled “What the Country Gentleman had done for the War,” “Country Life” gives a brief but interesting sketch of the doings of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. After outlining the immortal history of the regiment in the past battles of the country, the writer has traced its distinguished career through the present war. At the conclusion of the article the writer adds: “It is satisfactory to know that recruiting in the two counties, which outside the city of Oxford are almost purely agricultural, has been excellent. Though many villages have done well, Cosgrove, in Buckinghamshire [Northamptonshire], is to the fore with its record, as early in September, of all its 34 eligible men – with two exceptions – serving with the Colours.” Although the writer has made a mistake in the location of Cosgrove, which is in the county of Northampton, his remarks are a high tribute to the manhood of the old world village.

Wolverton Express October 8th 1915

Joseph Brown was wounded in the thick part of the leg by a gas shell, gangrene supervening, and passed away in hospital at the clearing station [in France] on the 28th. He was well known in the neighbourhood as a smart young footballer, and was one of the cup team when Cosgrove won the North Bucks Football League, whilst he also played for Wolverton Town.

Sister G. M. Allen sent the sad news by letter as follows:

"I am so exceedingly sorry to have to tell you that your son Private Brown, of the Oxford and Bucks L.I., died this afternoon (28th), gas gangrene following on wound on his leg. We did everything that could be done for him, but a patient with gas gangrene stands very little chance. He was such a good patient. I told him this morning I was going to write to you and send his love. He remembered the sister who nursed him. He was in Northampton Hospital for an operation when she was there. He will be buried in the churchyard here (Hazebrouck). You have my sincere sympathy with you in your sad loss"

Wolverton Express October  15th 1915

Through the courtesy of the “Daily News” we are enabled to reproduce this picture of a resting place of our Territorial Regiments somewhere in France or Flanders. The two large crosses in the foreground mark, it is stated, the graves of two men of the Bucks. Battalion.


PTE. JOSEPH BROWN. Of Cosgrove, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. Died of his wounds in France.

Wolverton Express October  15th 1915

MEMORIAL SERVICE. The Parish Church was on Sunday evening crowded with a congregation who came to pay the last respects due to the dead, the occasion being a memorial service for Pte. Joseph Brown, Oxford & Bucks L. I., who died of wounds received “somewhere in France” on Sept 28. Villagers, footballers, railway artizans, all rubbed shoulders in the sacred edifice; in fact the seating accommodation was taxed to its uttermost, and people were turned away. The service was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Mandel, and the lessons were most impressively read by Mr J. J. Atkinson, C.C., who has also lost a son in the war. Suitable hymns were sung, including “Peace perfect peace” and “Thy will be done.” In an appropriate sermon the preacher alluded to the patriotic part Cosgrove had played in this horrible war, and the price they had already paid by the loss of their dearest and best. With all these terrible losses still the Allies intended to pursue the course they had begun. The one they were mourning that evening should stand out as an example to those following in his footsteps as one who had done his duty for King and Country. The playing of the dead March in “Saul” was a very befitting end to a most impressive service. A beautiful wreath was placed in the church prior to the service as a token of respect from the Wolverton Social Working Men’s Club, where the deceased was employed.

Wolverton Express October 15th 1915

Trooper REG. PANTER, Royal Bucks Hussars. Mr. Panter, of Old Stratford, has just been informed that his son, Reg. Panter, of the Royal Bucks Hussars, is officially reported wounded and missing. He was with the Bucks Yeomanry at the Dardanelles.

Wolverton Express October 22nd 1915

MEMORIAL SERVICE. On Sunday evening a memorial service was conducted by the curate in charge at the Parish Church, to Pte. John Ratcliffe, of the 7th Northants Regiment, who was killed in action in France.  A muffled peal was wrung.

Wolverton Express Oct 29th 1915


Corporal J. Geary, “D” Company, 7th Oxford and Bucks, L. I., British Expeditionary Force, France, and late of High-street, Stony Stratford. Write: “May I make an appeal on behalf of the above Company, through your valuable paper, for a couple of footballs, of which we have none. As you are aware there are many of the Wolverton and Stratford boys in this Company and they approached me to make an appeal feeling sure that Wolverton and District will grant their request.”

Wolverton Express November 5th 1915


Trooper REG. PANTER, Royal Bucks Hussars.

Trooper Panter, whose parents live at Ivy House, Old Stratford, is reported to have been missing since August 21, when he was wounded. His parents would be glad to receive further news concerning him.

Wolverton Express November 19th 1915


You can hear the bullets pinging,
In the evening by the moonlight,
You can hear the Germans singing,
In the evening by the moonlight,
But the Bucks, boys they enjoy it,
They will sit all night and listen,
Like they used to for the
Wolverton whistle outside Pinfold’s.

In the evening by the moonlight,
When we’re out on listening post,
In the evening by the moonlight,
Keeping silent as a ghost,
If we spot young Fritz the sapper,
We will put one through his napper,
And put paid to his big swanking clapper,
In the moonlight.

In the evening when we are standing by our chums,
In the evening by the moonlight,
When the sergeant brings the rum,
My mates they call him Jimmy,
Says it warms his little Mary,
And we start and sing that song called Tipperary.

In the evening by the moonlight,
When we hear the Fritz out barb wiring,
In the evening by the moonlight,
Our chums will soon be firing,
Poor old Fritz he keeps us well scanned
And he murmurs Gott Straffe Eng-land,
And wishes he had kept on his own land,
In the moonlight.

In the evening by the moonlight,
When are heads are in a whirl,
In the evening by the moonlight,
When we’re thinking of our girl,
We’ll be glad when all is over,
So that we can get to Dover,
And take our sweethearts through the clover,
In the moonlight,

Wishing you all the best of luck,


Wolverton Express December 31st 1915


Of all the villages in Northamptonshire, Cosgrove, by the side of water, has done its bit for King and Country. Every eligible man has donned khaki, and regrettable to say a few have sacrificed their lives on the altar of National duty. The inhabitants of this little South Northamptonshire village feel they cannot do enough for the boys, and Christmas this year has seen many parcels landed into the trenches. Twenty-three have received 5s. worth of cigarettes each, and through the energy of Mr. G. Brown, of “Barge” Inn, and several other equally interested friends, a mock auction was conducted of a log of wood, which realised 16s. Before the week is out they hope to add another 4s. to this sum. A ground ash stick fetched 3s. 6d. It is hoped to send a further supply of cigarettes and two pairs of socks to each, and a photo of the log of wood and walking stick.

Wolverton Express 17th March 1916

Patriotic Concert

In order to help the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Fund a grand patriotic concert was given in the Old Schoolroom on Saturday evening, under the directorship of Mr F G Bavey. The program, which was of a varied description, was in the capable hands of the Magpie Party, and they did justice to the sixteen items that appeared on the “bill of fare”. The room was packed with an appreciative audience, and the program was thoroughly enjoyed. A band of willing helpers was found in Messrs. H W Willison, M Beasley, T Jelley, R Brown, S Williams, W Wise, G Noble and Mr J Cawthorne, of the Royal Naval Air Service, who helped in many ways towards the success of the concert.

During the interval a guessing competition of seeds in a vegetable marrow took place – a sovereign being realised. The winner was Mr J Cawthorne, with 375, the number of seeds being 371. The winner kindly refunded the prize for the benefit of the cause. The room was beautifully decorate, a screen being lent by Miss H Willison and the scenery round the platform was painted by Mr F G Bavey.

The following was the program:- Opening chorus, the Party; song, Miss L Chapman; song, Peter Stevens; comic stories, Sammy Gordon; “A little bit of Heaven”, C Benson; Territorials Song, Sammy and Peter; song, Miss M Chapman; equilibrist, Sammy Gordon; sketch, “The Tale of a Shirt”, the Party; conjuring, Gus Norton; “Paper Bag Cookery”, Peter Stevens; “The Sunshine of your Smile”, C Benson; “Old Folks at Home”, the Party; “Anchored”, Peter Stevens; patriotic song, the Party; sketch, “Wait and See”, the Party.

Wolverton Express 14th April 1916


Pte Frank Williams, of D Company, 7th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry at Salonica, son of Mr W H W Williams, Green-Lane, Wolverton, write to the Editor of the Wolverton Express;

“A very interesting football match took place last Friday, March 24th in the vicinity of Salonica between two Companies of the 7th Oxford and Bucks L I, who are now doing active service in Greece, the two Companies being D Company and the Headquarters Company. This match was played after the Tommies had had a hard day’s work with the pick and the shovel, kicking off at 5.30 with an Aegean breeze.

D Company won the toss, and the Headquarters Company kicked off before a fair crowd, consisting of British and French troops. After a little even play the Headquarters were having all the game in their favour, and with a little excitement Tolley, of the Headquarters only just missing scoring. The Headquarters, only the sea breeze in their favour, were well over their opponents. Sherwood, at centre half, was showing his Northants league form for the Headquarters, but was unable to find Lewis, the old Watford goalie, weak, and as the whistle blew half time it was no score.

During the next half play was very even. E Bennett, of the Headquarters, was very consistent at left half, but as the crowd emerged from the ground A J Ross placed the ball well in the goal mouth, and after a very excitable time Laddie Brown scored the only goal of the match. Thus D Company won by one goal to nil.

Look out for further accounts of other matches later on. Hoping you are in the best of health, as it leaves me top hole. We are having extraordinary hot weather.”

Wolverton Express 2nd June 1916

The Trek at Salonica

On the morning of May 2nd, the 7th Oxford and Bucks LI started on their great march. The morning was not very promising, rain threatened at any moment. We left camp at 8 am and the boys soon set up singing a few of their old songs. A small village called Saina, which we had camped close to about three months ago, looked splendid with its fine orchards as we marched past. Immediately following were fields and fields of barley tinted here and there with poppies and other flowers. The sun was now beginning to shine on us, and we looked the true “British Boys” with our bugles shining and our boots thumping on the hard ground. It was a good hour’s march before we sighted Sangaza, another small village. Here there was an avenue of trees, which afforded us a little shade, and it was the best bit of scenery that we had seen in the country. In the marshes and in the swamps were storks hunting for food, an occasionally was heard the croak of the frog as it swam about in the watered places.

As we marched through Sangaza we noticed various nice buildings, and how clean the peasants were; quite different to those we had left behind. We arrived at a suitable camping place about 2 pm. The boys, though much strained with their heavy packs and the long march, went cheerfully to work, and soon erected their bivouacs to sleep in, and with the help of “Tommy’s Cooker” were soon well away, feeding on meat and onions.

At night all was quiet, except for the occasional footsteps of the military police, or a deep snore from Tommy, dreaming of home.

Wednesday – The march continued this morning at 9.15 am, in splendid weather, but instead of keeping to the track we had to take to the hills and valleys. This proved a very sweating job, as the sun became very hot, and the boys were evry glad to throw their packs off at every halt.

Eventually after miles of plodding we reached our new camp, which was situated in a nice spot, but the Tommies were too tired to take much interest in it. At night they got very little rest, owing to the braying of the mules and the cold air.

The following morning the boys were aroused from their restless sleep by the voice of the sergeant-major, crying “Fall in with your water bottles”. Of course, every one of them was dying for a drop of water, and one by one, half asleep and half awake, they staggered out of their bivouac to get some of the much needed mineral – nature’s best drink. We had a food fill of Mac and biscuits for breakfast and a supply of lemons and oranges from the hawkers to keep us fresh on the march.

About 9.15 am the Battalion left camp and after toiling for miles in the broiling hot sun we came in sight of the enemies’ positions, and the boys were eagerly waiting for the word charge so as to get the job over quick and have a rest before marching to the new camp, which was about three miles distant, and they were about done up when they arrived, mainly through the shortage of water. The bivouacs were then pitched, and after a scanty meal the boys were ready for their blankets.

Friday – The Tommies were about early, getting ready for another wet start. As usual the Battalion started out late, the time being about 9.05 am, just when the rain was getting stronger. We were getting on well with the scheme, when we had the news that a Zepp. had been brought down at Salonica. The cheered the boys somewhat, but the continual climbing up hills knocked all the go out of them. It was only the good training that we have had that kept us from falling out.

Saturday – We continued a rearguard action, but the boys did not take much interest in it for they were retiring towards our camp. The next morning we finished the rear action which brought us on the plain.

Monday came and the scheme was read out. The Oxfords, as usual, were on the right flank. That meant that we should take the hills again. There was a lot of grumbling about this, but we did it like lambs, and finished off with a six miles march towards Sangaza to our new camp.

The last day, Tuesday, the boys marched well and gained the distinction of being the best marchers of the brigade, and the camp was reached in fine style with the aid of a few songs.

With the 7th Battalion Oxford and Bucks, at Salonica. Sent home by Pte W Cresswell, D Company.

Wolverton Express 9th June 1916

All doubt has now been cast on one side that there will be no holidays at the Carriage Works this Whitsuntide, for a notice was issued before noon on Monday this week cancelling the previous announcement which appeared in this column. It was hardly expected in the face of the Government’s pronouncement that holidays would be allowed. Thus Wolverton will be without its Whitsun holiday for the first time for over fifty years.

Wolverton Express 30th June 1916

A rumour went the round of the Railways Works at Wolverton Monday evening, just before the men were leaving work at 5.30, that the British had made a drive of 25 miles. What a pity the man who started such a lie could not have been laid by the heels and salutary punishment administered.

Wolverton Express 18th August 1916

At the Northampton Appeal Tribunal on Friday, held at Northampton, Frederick Joseph Clarke, a dairy farmer, of Cosgrove, whose case had been adjourned to enable him to find work of national importance under the Friends’ Ambulance Unit, reported that he had met the Committee of the Unit, and was prepared to undertake service on a farm under the rules and regulations of the Unit – Conditional Exemption was granted by the Tribunal.

Wolverton Express 18th August 1916

KILLED – Private HERBERT TACK – Resided at Cosgrove before the War and joined a Welsh Regiment. His friends received the news on Wednesday that he was killed.

Wolverton Express 25th August 1916

Sergeant Herbert Tack – In our last week’s issue we referred to this gallant hero as Private. It is not so, as he held the position of Sergeant, and as such was a very smart N.C.O. in his Battalion. The wrong designation is to be regretted.

Wolverton Express 1st September 1916


A pretty wedding was solemnized at the parish church, Cosgrove, on Tuesday, August 22nd at 2.30, when Miss Edith Mary Wilson, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Wilson, of Apricot Cottage, Cosgrove, was married to Private Tom C Oglesby, third son of Mr and Mrs Oglesby, of Barrow-on-Humber, the Rev Mr Humbley officiating. The service was fully choral, Mrs Humbley kindly presiding at the organ. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming in a white silk dress with an embroidered veil and a wreath of orange blossom and carried a lovely bouquet of white flowers. She was accompanied by a little page, Master C Blake, who wore a white sailor suit and a gold pin, the gift of the bridegroom. The bridesmaids were Miss A G Wilson (sister of the bride), Miss Vera Glasby (niece of the bridegroom), the two little daughters of Maj. And Mrs Grant Thorold of Cosgrove Hall, Miss Iris and Gladys Lord. All wore white dresses and mob caps, with wreaths of forget-me-nots, also gold brooches, the gift of the bridegroom, and carried pretty crooks.

The bridegroom was attended by his brother (Mr C Oglesby) as best man. The reception was held at the new school, where the happy couple were the recipients of numerous congratulations. Later they motored to Northampton, en route for Grantham, where the honeymoon is being spent, the bride travelling in a pretty grey costume, and hat to match. The presents, over 70 in number, were on view in the school, and were both costly and useful.

Wolverton Express 16th September 1916


Private R Childs, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, son of Mr Amos Childs, Cosgrove. He has been in the firing line in France for 12 months, and was home on leave at Cosgrove last February. Was shot in the head in the evening whilst on outpost duty. Worked prior to the War for Messrs Ebbs, builders, Wolverton.


Private William “Laddie” Brown, Oxford and Buck LI, son of Mr and Mrs W Brown, of Cosgrove. News was received on Tuesday morning that this soldier has been slightly wounded in the recent fighting in Greece. Before enlisting, Pte Brown was employed as a fitter in Wolverton Works, and was well known in North Bucks football circles. His brother Joseph was killed in action in France.

Private Thomas Jelley, Wilts Regiment, of Cosgrove, is in hospital suffering from wounds in the stomach received in the recent fighting at Salonica. He is a well known footballer and often played for the Cosgrove and Wolverton clubs. Four other brothers are serving. Charles Jelley has twice been wounded and is now at home.

Wolverton Express 22nd September 1916


On Sunday evening the service took the form of a memorial service for the late Pte R A Childs, who was recently killed in action. There was a large congregation. Next Sunday evening a memorial service will be held for the late Private William (“Laddie”) Brown, who was also killed in action.

Wolverton Express 29th September 1916

Following on our notice last week of the death in action of Private R A Childs, Capt. W J Littledale has sent a letter to Mr A Childs as follows:

“I am afraid I have some very sad news about your son, Pte R A Childs, of C Company, Oxford and Bucks LI. He was killed in action early in the morning of the 8th September; he was hit by a bullet and died at once. I wish I could express the sympathy we feel for you; we shall miss him very much. He was a bomber, and was one of those who always did their very best at his work. He was buried in a cemetery which is very well looked after, and a cross is raised over his grave. I have requested the Graves Registration Committee to send you a photograph of the same. Would you kindly let me know if you receive it safely, or if you do not within six weeks. I intend to visit the grave myself as soon as I have time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do, as I am only too pleased to do anything I can to help the relatives of the brave men who have fallen for us.

Yours sincerely, W J Littledale; Captain.

Lance-Corporal William Brown (“Laddie”) Oxford and Bucks LI, killed in action on 18th August, son of Mr and Mrs W Brown, aged 32 years. He was one of the most popular young men in the little Northants village, and was respected by a large number of friends around. The deepest sympathy is extended to the bereaved parents, who lost another son at the battle of Hooge 12 months ago, a portrait of whom appeared in the columns of the Wolverton Express.

One of the best type of sportsmen, he (Laddie) had made a name for himself on the football field, and a few years ago played sterling games for the Cosgrove and Wolverton Clubs. The following letter has been received by the parents:

“Dear Mrs Brown – It is with feelings of heartfelt sympathy and deepest regret that I write to tell you of the death of your ever brave and cheerful son “Laddie” (he was known as “Laddie” throughout the whole battalion and was immensely popular). On the night of the capture of Horseshoe Hill your son went with me and the rest of the left-half company through an intense barrage of shrapnel and high explosives, which the Bulgarian batteries were sending over. We were carrying tools so that we could get “dug in”. We managed to get there and had to dig in solid rock. Everything seemed hopeless, but Laddie and the boys stuck it, even though we were being shelled all the time and were without water or rations. On the afternoon of the 18th Captain Martin, Mr Steele and myself were discussing how we were going to hold the position in the event of a counter attack being made and your son was less than three yards away on our left. Suddenly an immense 8.4 shell burst about 15 yards to our left and your brave boy was hit in the abdomen and in the leg. He rolled over and fell at my feet and gasped “Oh, I am bleeding to death!” We tried our best, but, Mrs Brown, it was a hopeless case and your gallant boy died in twenty seconds. His death unnerved the rest of the platoon as he was such a favourite amongst us all, and took from me one of the best of good fellows. The Oxfords, who got through, have lived through absolute hell, as we were exposed to frontal fire, enfilade fire from both flanks and defilade fire from our left flank by the Bulgarian batteries, which were absolutely raining shrapnel and high explosives on to us. Some of the high explosive shells were 9.5 and never will I be able to realise how the fellows got through that barrage of fire, how they escaped casualties in repelling two counter attacks made by 600 Bulgars and how any of us got out of that hell-spot alive. I have other letters to write to the relatives of my wounded men, so I will conclude after once more expressing my deepest regret.

I am yours very sincerely, A P Boor, Lieut., OC 15th Platoon, D Co.

Wolverton Express 29th September 1916


At the Parish Church, Cosgrove, on Sunday evening last, a memorial service was held for the late Private William (Laddie) Brown, who fell in action at Salonica, on the 18th of Aug.

Besides a very large congregation of villagers, including the parents of the deceased, there were representatives from all the football clubs in the neighbourhood, for Laddie was a very popular playing member. Deposited in the chancel were wreaths from relatives of the deceased, the foremen and men of the Fitting Department, Wolverton Carriage Building Works, and a beautiful wreath in the shape of a football from the members of the Cosgrove Football Club. Special hymns were sung and an appropriate discourse was delivered by the Rev Mr Humbley. At the conclusion of the impressive service, the Dead March, Saul was played.

Wolverton Express 2nd January 1917


While skating was in progress on the Grand Junction Canal on Wednesday afternoon, two boys named Read, of the age of ten to twelve, returning from school at Stony Stratford to Cosgrove, got on to the ice for a slide and were immediately immersed in the water. Fortunately a soldier hailing from Cosgrove, named Jelley, was near at hand indulging in the winter pastime. He immediately divested himself of his tunic and laid on the ice to get the boys out of their perilous situation. Messrs A Byatt and C Ellery assisted, for by this time Jelley was also through the ice and up to his neck. The boys were handed out just in time, for they were nearly exhausted with the icy water. As both boys live in Cosgrove they were soon taken home, after endless thanks bestowed by the parents upon the rescuers of their children.

Wolverton Express 13th April 1917


At Cosgrove a war shrine has been erected close to the porch of the Parish Church and contains the names of 43 from Cosgrove and 32 from Old Stratford, together with the fallen, as follows: Capt St Leger Atkinson, Dragoon Guards; Lance-corpl Wm Brown; Pte Jos Brown; Bombr Walter Moore RGA; Pte John Ratcliffe, Northants; Sergt Herbert Tuck, RWP; Pte Wm Whitehead, Northants; Pte Reginald Panter RBH; Pte Wm Grace, Northants; Pte George Cripps,Northants; and Charles Ashton ASC; Lieut Reason and Sergt S Reason are prisoners of war.

Wolverton Express  4th May 1917

Major H Grant Thorold JP, was warmly welcomed at the annual meeting of the Potterspury Board of Guardians when he was re-elected Chairman. It was one of the rare occasions when he was able to be present, for lately the direction of the Board’s business has devolved upon Mr Sharp, JP, who was re-elected vice chairman, Major Grant Thorold having War duties to perform.

Wolverton Express 13th July 1917


On last Sunday there was a special war service at Furtho Church, attended by the choir of St Mary Wolverton. The singing was excellent, the boys taking great pains. Mr Smith, the organist, played extremely well. Mr Arthur Smith, of Yardley, read the lessons in an impressive manner. The Rev R S Mylne, BCL, Rector, preached from Rev xiii 5, “Forty-two months”, and showed how the duration of the war was in all likelihood foretold in these words of Holy Scripture. If this were so, we might look for the end soon after Christmas. The collection on behalf of the sick and wounded soldiers came to £2 15s.

Wolverton Express 28th September 1917


Private Albert Thomas Child(s) Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, eldest son of Mr and Mrs A J Child(s), Cosgrove. Reported missing since August 22. Aged 25.

Wolverton Express 19th October 1917


The mystery of a Wolverton Works blacksmith’s striker, Alfred Swain, of Cosgrove, who had been reported missing for a week, was cleared up last weekend by the finding of his dead body in a ditch, which then contained two feet of water. But considerable rain had fallen during the intervening period. On the bank was deceased basket, full of food for the day, and on it was placed his cap. No note was left behind to indicate his intentions, and beyond the fact that he was depressed through having three sons at the war, he had betrayed no suicidal tendencies. During dry weather the ditch in question, which is close to the footpath to Castlethorpe, and just on the fringe of Cosgrove village, contains very little water.

The inquest was held at the Plough Inn, Cosgrove, on Saturday afternoon, before Mr W E Whitton, Coroner for the Towcester district.

Clara Swain, wife of the deceased, stated that her husband was 48. He had been suffering from nervous debility, for which he had been on the club for about a fortnight before re-starting work on October 1. He had no other infirmity, but three of his sons in the Army, one of whom was in France, seemed to worry him, especially when one came home a fortnight ago.

Wolverton Express April 26th 1918


Pte. Charles W. Butler, nephew of Mr. Michael Holton, 7 Cosgrove-road, Old Stratford. Shrapnel wound in the right thigh. He is aged 19.

Wolverton Express August 16 1918

The Roll of Honour


Pte. A. Webster, Royal West Surreys, son of Mr. Webster, Old Stratford. Ill in France suffering from pneumonia and shell shock. Joined at outbreak of war.

Wolverton Express July 26th 1918


Pte C. W. Butler, Beds Regl., aged 19, nephew of Mr. Michael Holton, of Old Stratford, is reported severely wounded in the back on June 30, and is now in the American Hospital at Rouen.