HERTS AT WAR

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Hertfordshire Regiment Letters & Documents

Since the establishment of the Herts at War Project we have received a huge number of previously unseen photographs, personal letters and documents relating to individuals who served with the Regiment throughout The Great War. As of April 2015 we will be publishing collections on this section of the site relating to both Officers and men who saw action with the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment between 1914 & 1918. Be sure to keep checking back here for updates...



Private 2701 Percy Henry Huggins of D Company, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. Percy enlisted with the 1st Herts upon the outbreak of war in August 1914. He was with the Herts when they arrived in France on 5th November 1914. He saw action at the closing stages of the 1st battle of Ypres. On Christmas Day 1914 the 1st Herts were in trenches south of the Rue De Bois near Richebourg L'avoue. In the late morning of 25th December 1914 Percy was killed by a German sniper whilst on Sentry Duty. He was one of two men in the 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment to be killed on the day of the famous 'Christmas Truce'. In the weeks leading up to his death Percy wrote home to his family in Ware. His letters can be seen here: Letter early DecemberLetter to Brother - Letter to Vicar - Penultimate Letter - Percy's Final Letter


Private 2691227 John William Goodwin, 14 Platoon, No 4 Company, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. John William Goodwin served with the 1st Herts on the western front throughout 1916 and 1917. On the 31st July 1917 he was involved in the attack on St Julien and was reported missing in action that day (his 36th birthday). His body was subsequently discovered in no-man's land and he today lies in Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium. In the weeks leading up to his death John wrote home to his young son Fred, those letters can be seen here: John William Goodwin Letters Home




Private 367098 Percy Buck of 15 Platoon, No 4 Company, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. Percy had been a Territorial soldier since 1912 and decided against Imperial Service upon the outbreak of war in August 1914 (he had a one week old son). He remained on home service as a Sergeant Musketry Instructor. He arrived on the Western Front in December 1916 and rejoined his old comrades of No 4 Company. On 31st July 1917 Percy was reported missing in action, one of 479 casualties to the Herts that day. In the following months an incredibly story was revealed which finally put an end to Mrs Buck's certainty. You can see Percy's final letters and official military correspondence here: Percy Buck Documents




Private Horace Milton Waite, C Company, 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment. Horace was a 'Herts original', sailing on 5th November 1914 with the Battalion to France. He served throughout the war in 'C Company', 1st Herts. On his travels Horace took many photographs and regularly sent letters home to his mother in the UK. horace's Great Niece Linda Smith has kindly allowed us to share his incredible photographs. Some of the images in this collection are of a graphic nature. You can see Horace's photos here: Private Waite Documents - Private Waite Photographs 





Corporal Clifford James Lane - 'H Company', Hertfordshire Regiment. Corporal Lane was born in Waltham Cross and joined the Hertfordshire Regiment just before the outbreak of the First World War. He served with the Regiment in France from 5th November 1914 until 31st July 1917 when he was wounded in action at St Julien. He subsequently served in the Bedfordshire Regiment and returned home to the UK in 1919. Clifford was interviewed by the Imperial War Museum in the 1980's and left a fascinating account (over 3 hours long) of his experiences on the Western Front with the 'Herts Guards'. His is the only surviving audio record of service with the 1st Herts. The entire recording is accessible here: Clifford Lane Interview




 

Private William John 'Bill' Wing - Transport Section, Hertfordshire Regiment. Bill was born in Meldreth, Cambridgeshire in 1893 and joined the Hertfordshire Regiment Territorials in 1911. He served with the Regiment throughout the Great War from their arrival on the Western Front in November 1914. He was interviewed by the Imperial War Museum as late as 1993 and left a fascinating audio account of his time with the Transport Section of the 1st Herts. Bill's interview can be heard on the IWM website. Bill Wing Interview

 


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