Parish of Leatherhead, Surrey
Extracts from the Great War Parish Magazines - 1914

The Leatherhead War Memorials research project website is at

THE VICAR'S LETTER [from the September 1914 Parish Magazine]


By far the best thing which I can do at this terrible crisis of our national history is to set before you the letter which our Bishop directed to be read in the Churches of the Diocese on the first Sunday after the outbreak of war. The many of you who heard it cannot fail to have been deeply impressed by his most solemn words: but I desire that every one in the parish should have the opportunity of pondering over them, and that the thoughts which he expresses should be continuously in the hearts of us all, and should guide us in forming the prayers which, both when alone, and when gathered together in the presence of God, we must constantly, day by day, at this awful time be making to Him.

"In His Hand alone are the issues of life ": we are brought to realise, as we have probably never realised before, the tremendous consequences of these issues for us at this moment; there is not one of us who is not most deeply affected by them; none of us can imagine what the possible results to him may be. But God has promised to hear and answer prayer made in His Son's name, that is prayer made as Christ would make it, in absolute faith and trust in Him, without any thought of trying to dictate the exact form which that answer is to take. And above all is that promise made where two or three are gathered together in His Name, entreating His protection in one-ness of heart and soul.

I ask you then to read the Bishop's letter carefully, to read it again and again, and to act upon it. There will be weekly services of Intercession in both Churches at hours to be announced.

By the time that the Magazine appears in print "the face of events and the burden of our thoughts may have been enormously changed;" but writing at this moment, I would specially and most earnestly commend to your prayers the appalling sufferings of our gallant Belgian allies. By God's mercy we have, so far, been spared any such dreadful experiences as have been their lot, and it is all the more incumbent upon us to shew our sympathy with them in every possible way.

And we have to remember that the real pressure of trouble, which is inevitable, is still to come for us, and we know not how heavy and how prolonged it may be. We must, therefore, be resolute to endure, unselfish in standing by and supporting one another. The conflict is not of our seeking; it has been forced upon us. We have striven to the utmost for the maintenance of peace, but peace has become impossible for us on any terms consistent with honour and loyalty to our pledged word. We stand for right against might, for the protection of the weak against the unscrupulous tyranny of the strong; we have therefore confidence in the righteousness of our cause, and with a clear conscience we may pray "God defend the Right." But the most strenuous efforts in prayer, and work, and endurance are required on our part: it is through the exercise of these things by the nation as a whole, that is by every single one of us in his vocation, that God brings about the triumph of the right for which we hope, and restores the peace in which all can live in freedom and security. May no failure of ours cause Him to turn away His face from us.

Yours very faithfully,
T. F. HOBSON August 27th 1914.

THE VICAR'S LETTER [from the October 1914 Parish Magazine]

My Dear Friends,

The effects of this terrible war are beginning to make themselves more directly felt among us. One of those who went out from this place to the front has been able to return home after being very severely wounded; another who was slightly wounded is also in England and may be expected home next week; a third has been invalided to a hospital at the base in France from the results of long exposure in the trenches. Of a fourth, his poor wife can obtain no news except that he was severely wounded in action on August 26th. And there are many of us who are in the greatest anxiety and suspense from their inability to learn anything of what is happening to those dear to them. It is a sore burden to bear: those on whom it falls will remember that it is part of their share in upholding the cause of their country and of all humanity.

As the winter comes on it is to be feared that the effects of the war may be felt in more material ways: we must not be tempted to forget that not only our existence as a nation, but our own personal lives, and the lives of those dependent upon us, and the possibility of maintaining ourselves at all, depend upon the staunchness of us at home to endure the cost and the distress whatever it may be, as well as upon the gallantry of those who are directly engaged in the Fleet or in the fighting line on land. If all our trouble makes us think less of material things, makes us realise the passing nature of all that we have in this life, and brings us nearer to God, and to value more highly the things that are eternal - as there are signs that it is doing - then the stern lesson which God is teaching us will not be taught in vain.

For one thing I would plead, namely, that every one will be very careful not to repeat stories about what is supposed - and often quite wrongly supposed - to have happened, or to be going to happen, in connexion with the war, and all that is in any way concerned with it. The wildest statements have been spread about very freely, and, without exception, have been quickly proved not to have had the slightest foundation in fact. In many of these cases a great deal of unnecessary anxiety has been stirred; in some of them the acutest distress must have been caused, had they come to the ears of those most directly concerned. A very little thought will shew that it is unworthy, and often actually cruel, to take any part in spreading statements of this kind: and English men and women who have so gravely committed to God, as we have done, our cause, in which all that makes life worth living is at stake, ought not to be so liable to be carried away by momentary excitement, and by the "pleasure of telling some new thing."

A great stir has been caused in the place by the billeting upon us of some 700 men of the new Public Schools and Universities Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. It is much to be hoped that their sojourn among us may be well for both us and them. We have done our best to welcome them: and very much will depend upon the care and vigilance of parents and employers with regard to those of whom they are the natural guardians. A great increase of responsibility is just now thrust upon them: and it is to be hoped that they are fully alive to it.

I am publishing in this Magazine a list of those belonging to this Parish who are serving in His Majesty's Forces, in the Fleet, at the Front, or elsewhere, so far as I have had means of compiling one. It is likely, of course, to contain many errors, and to be far from complete; the information received has often been of the most meagre and uncertain description; and I shall be most grateful for any corrections and additions which may be sent to me.

I remain,
Yours very faithfully,
T. F. Hobson.

Remember in Prayer
The King and all in authority.
Our soldiers, sailors and allies.
The suffering, the anxious, the sorrowful.

The Lord God be with us, as He was with our fathers.


The following is a list, so far as the Vicar has had means of compiling one, of Letherhead men serving at the present time in H.M. Forces:

A. In the Fleet and at the Front.

Adams, E. A., R.A.M.C. Jackson, G., H.M.S. Zealandia
Aldridge, H., 1st Royal Dragoon Guards Le Blanc Smith, G., Bowker's Horse, E. Africa
Bennett, A., 2nd Queen's W. Surrey Port, G. H., R.F.A. R.F.A.
*Chapman, Lieut. H. E., R F.A. Port, J. P., R.F.A.
Chapman, Lieut. W. G., 2nd Gloucestershire Rattenbury, O. J., R.E. (Signalling Corps)
Clutterbuck, C., Grenadier Guards Redford, F. H., 1st Coldstream Guards
Collins, E., Highland Light Infantry Roberts, E. J., 3rd Manchester
Collins, R., Highland Light Infantry Scarterfield, R. C., 15th Hussars
Collins, S Highland Light Infantry Skilton, L. S., 1st Queen's W. Surrey
Cook, R. T., 5th Royal Fusiliers Small, G. F., R.F.A.
Dearling, T., H.M.S. Lafone Songhurst, L. F., R.A.M.C.
Farmer, A., H.M.S. Minorca Southern, W. O., Oxford Light Infantry
Fillery, A. A., H.M.S. Blenheim *Stevens, J. J., Rifle Brigade
Friday, P , 1st East Surrey Stone, W. A., R.F.A.
Gadd, J. W., R.M.L.I. Theobald, F., H.M.S. Flying Fish
Gardiner, F. J., H.M.S. ... Theobald, H., H.M.S ...
Gibbs, A. J., 1st East Surrey Tickner, A. N., H.M.S. Shark
Haskett, B., H.M.S. ... Tribe, A , R.M.L.I.
Hatchwell, F., Army Vety. Corps, 1st Dragoons Wales, W., H.M.S. Defiance
Hodgkinson, W. T., Queen's W. Surrey Wareham, T., H.M.S. ...
Horne, A., 3rd Rifle Brigade White, Lieut C.T. H., H.M.S. Irresistible
+ Horne, T., 1st Rifle Brigade Wickens, C., . R.F.A
Ireland, E. G., R.A.M.C.    
*Returned to England wounded + Severely wounded

B. In H.M. Regular Forces not as yet at the Front.

Abell, P., East Surrey Leishman, Col. Sir W., R.A.M.C. (Staff)
Aldridge, C., Sergt. Instr., East Surrey Linsell, S., Sergt. Instr., East Surrey
Baker, A., . R.G A Miller, W., Royal Fusiliers
Baker, J., R.E. Mills, G. R., A.S.C.
Bartholomew, F., 15th Lancers Mills, S., A.S.C.
Callaway, J., R.G.A. (Colombo) Nash, G., 2nd Coldstream Guards
Callaway, W., R.G.A. Payne, H. N., East Surrey
Chapman, W. H. J. (S. Africa) Pelly, Capt., (R.N.)
Cobbold, F., East Surrey Port, A. J., R.H.A.
Cooper, T. R., R.F.A. Ranger, E., Queen's W. Surrey
Dare, Lieut. J., Loyal North Lancashire Saunders, J. A., 1st Life Guards
Davis, A., 3rd Hussars Stevens-Nash, Major C. G. E., R.A., (Staff)
Fillery, T. H., R.A.M.C. (India)    
Finké, Capt. R. F., Royal Sussex Waite, E., Queen's W. Surrey
Holder, W., East Surrey Wellings, P. J., Army Vety. Corps
Hutchings, W., R.A Woodley, Major E. J., York and Lancashire (Staff)
Jewell, J. F., R.M.L.I.    
Leadbetter, Sergt. W., Royal Sussex  

C. In the Territorial Battalions, or New Army.

Abell, J., Surrey Yeomanry Batchelor, A. W., 5th East Surrey (T)
Aldous, P., 5th East Surrey (T) Berry, H.  
Allen, J., 23rd City of London (T) Bexley, L. H., 5th East Surrey (T)
Annison, Lc.-Corpl., 5th East Surrey (T) Bishop, A., 3rd East Surrey
Arthur, W.   Bluck, E., 3rd East Surrey
Barnard, A   Boler, F. G., R.G.A.
Boyle, W., 7th Royal Sussex Hogsden, F., 5th East Surrey (T)
Brill, F., 5th Queen's West Surrey (T) Hurford, G., Bristol Regt. (Gloucesters)
Buckle, C., 5th East Surrey (T) Impson, P., Queen's West Surrey
Bullen, A. T., East Surrey Jewell, G. C., 5th East Surrey (T)
Bullen, H., 5th East Surrey (T) Kemp, W., 5th East Surrey (T)
Bussey, W. A., East Surrey Keswick, H , M.P., K.O. Scot. Borderers
Bussey, B.   Killick, G. E., 3rd East Surrey
Carpenter, J.   Kirby, L., Bombay Volunteer Rifles
Carter, A. W., Queen's West Surrey Laming, W. M., East Surrey (T)
Chance, G., A.S.C. Leach, G., 5th East Surrey (T)
Chapman, C., 5th East Surrey (T) Lewis, J., King's Royal Rifles
Chetwynd-Stapylton, Capt. G. B., 5th East Surrey (T) Longley, R. F., King's Royal Rifles
Childs, A. D, H.A.C. Loxley S., East Surrey
Clapshew, A , City of London (T) Lucas, A. G., 5th East Surrey (T)
Clapshew, G., City of London (T) Main, G., 23rd City of London (T)
Clemetson, F., 4th Royal Berks Messam, A. G., 5th East Surrey (T)
Coleridge, G. C. R., 12th Middlesex (T) Mould, H. S., Surrey Yeomanry
Collis, A., 5th East Surrey (T) Murless, L. A., 1st Devon R.A. (T)
Collis, L., 5th East Surrey (T) Nunn, C. A.  
Cooke, W., 5th East Surrey (T) Palmer, W., 5th Queen's W. Surrey (T)
Cooper, A., Queen's Westminster Rifles Peters, E., Surrey Yeomanry
Cooper, W. J., 5th Queen's West Surrey Port, D  
Couzens, G., R.F.A. Port, T.  
Crayden,G.A., 3rd Queen's West Surrey Poulter, J., Bedford Regt.
Davis, S., 5th East Surrey (T) Rabbits, F., 5th Queen's W. Surrey (T)
Drummond, Lieut. O., Lanarkshire Yeomanry Rickards, Lieut. E., Surrey Yeomanry
Easton, F. J., 7th East Surrey Robinson, W. A.. East Surrey
Easton, H., 5th East Surrey Rowe, F. G. C., 7th York & Lancaster
Eldridge, G. W., Queen's West Surrey Schleisch, L., King's Royal Rifles
Elsden, Lc.-Corpl. G., 5th E. Surrey (T) Sherwood, H., 5th Norfolk Regt.
Fillery, J. L., 5th E. Surrey (T) Shurville, H., Royal Fusiliers
Gale, A., East Surrey Sirs, - Queen's West Surrey
Gaston, C., 23rd City of London (T) Skelton, P., Grenadier Guards
Gates, W., 5th Queen's West Surrey (T) Small, T.  
Gibbs, S. T., 5th East Surrey (T) Smith, F. J., 5th East Surrey (T)
Gillett, Major W. A., 5th East Surrey (T) Smith, F. T., R.F.A.
Goddard, E., East Surrey Smithers, R.  
Goff, F.,   Southern, A. A. J.V., 6th East Surrey (T)
Goss, S., 4th Royal Berks Steer, A., East Surrey
Grahame, D., East Surrey (T) Steer, W. J., East Surrey
Grantham, H., East Surrey Stone, G. A., R.F.A.
Green, C. W. D., 3rd Queen's W. Surrey Stone, W. J., East Surrey
Green, W. A., 5th East Surrey (T) Tate, T. H., 5th Queen's W. Surrey (T)
Gregory, G. C. W., 5th Rifle Brigade Taylor, W., East Surrey
Gregory, H. G., 5th East Surrey (Cyclist Corps) (T) Toone, G. E.  
Hackman, H., R.A.M.C. Tuckey, J.  
Haiselden, C., Cpl. 5th East Surrey (T) Underwood, A., 3rd East Surrey
Harmes, F., Sussex R.E. (T) Walters, G., East Surrey (T)
Hatton, J., 5th East Surrey (T) Warr, R. J., 3rd Queen's West Surrey
Hay, R. A., 5th East Surrey (T) Weller, A. E., 5th East Surrey (T)
Hillman, A. J. S., R.F.A. (3rd Wessex Howitzers) Weller, W. J., Grenadier Guards
Hill, Vivian, P.S.B. Royal Fusiliers Wells, W., 5th East Surrey (T)
Hitchcock, H., Royal Fusiliers Winter, A., 5th E. Surrey (T)
Hodges, Lieut. R. A., 5th E. Surrey (T) Worsfold, C., 5th E. Surrey (T)
    Worsfold, Sergt. F., 5th E. Surrey (T)
    Worsfold, J., 5th E. Surrey (T)
    Worsfold, Corpl. W., 5th E. Surrey (T)
    Wrinch, J., 5th E. Surrey (T)

There are probably many errors and omissions in this list. Possibly some of those under C should be included in B, and some under B and C may by now have gone to the front.
The Vicar will be very grateful for any corrections and additions which may be sent to him.


As is, doubtless, by now well-known in the Parish, the Letherhead Company of the Church Lads' Brigade and the Scouts have been guarding the town's water supply. Each day Scouts with a Special Constable have kept guard, and each night members of the C.L.B. in charge of an Officer.

The Water Company have kindly supplied excellent accommodation in the way of huts, tents, etc., and a good supply of food. The guard has been greatly helped by several gentlemen who have patriotically given up time to this work; their aid has been much appreciated.

That the work has been efficiently carried out is evidenced by an expression of thanks received by Captain Stenning in a letter from the Water Company.

The Scouts were able to help not long ago by accomplishing a rapid house to house distribution of leaflets - in regard to a collection for the Prince of Wales' National Relief Fund, and also on behalf of the Vicar who was anxious to obtain information about possible lodgings for soldiers' families from Aldershot.

EXTRACT FROM THE VICAR'S LETTER [from the November 1914 Parish Magazine]

[The Vicar refers to the departure from Leatherhead of Mr JW Burton, of the Red House. The Burton family had for some years played significant roles in the life of the Parish and Diocese.]

Mr Burton has placed the Red House at the disposal of the Red Cross Association, as a Hospital for wounded Belgian soldiers during convalescence. Thirty of them arrived on October 28th. Every one will be glad that an opportunity is thus being given us, in this place, of rendering some direct help to our gallant allies.

TF Hobson, October 28th 1914

From the December 1914 Parish Magazine

The first Sunday in the New Year, January 3rd, 1915, has been appointed to be observed throughout the country as a day of humble prayer and intercession to almighty God on behalf of the cause entrusted to our King, our Empire, and our Allies, and on behalf of the men who are fighting on sea or land.

A meeting for women only will be held in the Institute on Wednesday December 2nd, at 3.30pm, when a short address will be given by Mrs Horace Porter (Hon Sec of the League of Honour), on "The War, and women's part in it." All women are warmly invited.


Leishman, Lt Col Sir W RAMC returned invalided to England
Port, AJ RHA returned invalided to England
Redford, FH 1st Coldstream Guards returned wounded to England
Stephens, JJ Rifle Brigade returned wounded to England
Watkins, F 20th Hussars returned wounded to England
Horne, T 1st Rifle Brigade prisoner in Germany, wounded
Ward, Capt HE King's Royal Rifles prisoner in Germany, wounded