Wartime stories – WW1

Compulsory conscription came in February 1916. The owners of the Calvert Brickworks had encouraged the men there to enlist retaining 17 men to keep the brickworks in proper order.

In October 1917, the War Department took over the works for the purpose of storing explosives and in 1918 a large magazine was built for storing munitions

Five residents from Calvert volunteered, including two brothers, Alfred and Harry Hall but in October 1915, news was received by the parents that Lance-Corporal Bugler, Henry (Harry) Hall, had died of his wounds on 16th October at the age of 19.

This photograph of the Hall family was taken in about 1913. The two brothers who went to war are in the back row, Henry (Harry) on the left who was killed and Alfred on the right.

Their father, Henry T Hall and his wife Harriett (nee Roberts of Godington) are in the photo with 13 of their 15 children. Harry was well known in the village having played cricket until quite old. His daughter, Mabel (little girl 4th from right), married George Gilder. Another son, Herbert, lived in Portway Road, as did a daughter Ida.

Henry senior used to ride around on a drop handled racing bike with a box of ferrets on the back and the rabbits he had caught hanging from the handlebars. If a family was short of a meal, they knew they could go to him for a rabbit.

Back row: Anne Terry, 1900, Henry (Harry) 1896, Ida Agetha 1898 and Alfred James 1895 Middle Row: Violet Phoebe 1898, Harriet Roberts (Mother) 1877, Elizabeth Emily 1904, Henry Thomas Hall (Father) 1895, Mabel Phyllis 1910, Walter Frederick 1906. Front row: Eliza Emily 1909, Richard 1912, Doris Mary 1901, Frederick George Mitchell 1911, Selina Caroline 1903.

Another local casualty was Trooper Frank Wood of the Royal Bucks Hussars, the younger son of Walter Wood of Portway Farm, Twyford. He was aged 22 when he was killed by a Turkish machine gunner during an attack on Chocolate Hill in Gallipoli.