Hertford Heath - 28th November 1920

Saved - A Relic of the Dedication of the Memorial Cross

By Terry Askew

The Church at Hertford Heath
Terry Askew
Hertford Heath War Memorial
Terry Askew
Order of Service
Terry Askew

I was recently approached by an acquaintance, to enquire whether I would be interested in seeing a fragile piece of paper, which she had rescued after noticing it being kicked around the store-room floor of a charity shop.

What a delight to handle a link with that local event which had occurred almost 100 years ago and which had almost been lost for ever – the Order of Service for the dedication and unveiling of the Memorial Cross at Hertford Heath.

On first page are inscribed in heavy gothic print the names of the 34 men and boys who fell during the First World War. Going through the names it is sad to see the surname “Akers” appearing four times, which indicates a single great tragedy for that family. This happened so often during that war when family members, or ‘pals’, enlisted together and joined the same regiment.

One can almost imagine that day in 1920, with the villagers gathering at the Church at 2.30pm for hymns, followed by a procession down the hill to the newly erected Cross at 3.00. In the presence of the Band of the 1st Hertfordshire Regiment a hymn was sung, followed by an address, the unveiling and dedication, and the playing of the “Last Post”. Finally, wreaths were placed, and a further hymn was sung, followed by benediction.

Proceedings then closed to the echos of “Reveille” being sounded.

This precious piece of paper is now held at the Church for safe keeping.

This page was added on 21/03/2012.

Comments about this page

  • I was very interested to read about the discovery of the order of service and the dedication ceremony for the war memorial in 1920. One of those named is William Camp who was my grandfather. He and his family lived at Number 3 London Road, but the numbering has changed and I am not sure which one it is now.
    He was employed in Haileybury College before the war and married Aimee Eliza Payne on 22nd May 1915 in Little Amwell. He left for France in June 1915 with the 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment with his two brothers. He was in the region of the Somme before any of the main battles started when he was killed by sniper fire on 20th September 1915. He never knew that he would have a son to be born in February 1916 (my Father). He is buried in the Dartmoor Cemetery at Bécordel-Bécourt near to the town of Albert in northern France.
    Many generations of the Camp family lived in the Hertford Heath area and William’s grandparents, John and Harriet Camp are buried in the churchyard and have a large upright memorial stone quite near the entrance to the church.
    His two brothers both survived the war though one was seriously injured and took many years to recover.
    I believe that Joshua Robert Camp was his cousin, he has no known grave and is identified on the memorial at Arras.

    By Brian Camp (30/07/2018)

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