100 years on – the story of Hungerford’s war heroes

on 08 November 2018.

It is incomprehensible to imagine a war that took the lives of over 16 million people but this Sunday, 100 years on, we are forced to face these startling statistics. We can take some solace in the comradery, community and the gallant efforts of these brave servicemen whilst we stubbornly refuse to forget the sacrifices they made to serve and retain the freedom of our country.

Townsite brings to life some of the extraordinary people who came from our own community and lost their lives for our liberty. Find out about their local lives, families and role in WW1.

Meet Lance Corporal 26355 George Bailey, 6th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment

George Bailey was born in 1880 in Stoke by Nayland. He was the son of George and Ellen Bailey, of Bull Street, Leavenheath Nayland, Suffolk. George was one of 13 children. George and three of his brothers fought in WWI.

George married Sophie Louisa Sexton in the parish church in Stoke by Nayland on the 16th March 1912. Prior to their marriage, George worked at Windsor Castle as an under-keeper and following their marriage George worked at Chilton Foliat as gamekeeper until he enlisted. George's brother Frederick also worked at Chilton Foliat and returned there after the war working as gamekeeper until his death in the 1960's.

He enlisted at Hungerford and is shown on the war memorial as a Private soldier, but at the time of his death he was in fact a Lance Corporal. He died on Friday, 12th October 1917, aged just 38.

He enlisted at Hungerford and is shown on the war memorial as a Private soldier, but at the time of his death he was in fact a Lance Corporal. He died on Friday, 12th October 1917, aged just 38.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing at Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Meet Signaller (RN) Percy Baron Richens HMS/M Royal Navy

Signaller Richens was born on 31 Jul 1890, the son of Henry Slade and Agnes Annie Richens (formerly Beard), of Town View (Down View), Hungerford. His birth was not registered until 31 Jul 1906 by the local registrar Edward Chapman. [We believe the reason for the late registration of birth was to enable him to join the Royal Navy]. Prior to joining the Royal Navy his employment was shown as a Drapers assistant.

He entered the Royal Navy as a Boy Class II on 14 Aug 1906, he needed permission of his parents in order to do so, and the necessary consent form, which was signed by his father, reads as follows:

"I hereby certify that my son Percy Baron Richens has my full consent (being himself willing) to enter His Majesty's Navy for a period of twelve years continuous and general service, from the age of 18, in addition to whatever period may be necessary until he attains that age, agreeably to the Admiralty regulations…..”

On joining the Royal Navy he was described as 5'3" tall, light brown hair, blue eyes, fresh complexion. (At age 18 his height was given as 5'6").

Submarine E34 was sunk on 20 Jul 1918 by a mine in an uncharted minefield, in Helgoland Bight, North Sea, where he died aged 28.

During his service he was always graded as 'Very Good' and his efficiency was frequently reported as 'Superior'.

At some point during his service in submarine E34 he was awarded a mention in dispatches (London Gazette 7.8.1918). It's not known what for, but clearly connected to his signalling duties. In addition, he was awarded the Rumanian DCM (3rd Class)

You can find out more about the history of local men who lost their lives in WW1 on Hungerford’s Virtual Museum website.

We march to remember… Hungerford’s remembrance parade
This Sunday the 11th of November the people of Hungerford will commemorate the heroic servicemen and women who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

Our top picks for the best in European Christmas travel
This year you can really experience the delicacies and delights of Christmas custom from traditions across the continent with some of Fare Wise Travel’s hand-picked Christmas escapes!

May your days be Holly and Bright
Yes, there is no escaping it. Christmas is just around the corner and our attention will soon turn to decking our halls and garnishing our doors with beautiful seasonal delights.

Taking you further with eBikes
Electric bikes are revolutionising cycling, acting as a leveller and making the sport more accessible to people of all abilities, stages and ages.

No ordinary school run… in the MINI Cooper 5 Door Hatch
Raising children is a constant merry-go-round of getting people to the right places at the right time with all the required paraphernalia: school bag, check, lunch box, check, homework, check.

A frightful week of Half term fun at Cobbs
This half term Cobbs Farm Shop and Play Barn are offering a little bit extra with non-stop entertainment for all the family.

Viva las Donnington Grove
Set your soul on fire next month with an evening of entertainment from the King himself featuring authentic tribute band Elvis in Trouble who offer the ultimate Las Vegas experience.

The Fairy Godmother of travel
As Fare Wise Travel celebrate 25 years in business, we meet with MD Veronica Bailey to find out the secret behind their success.

Free collection for your bike service
Keeping your bike roadworthy has to be a priority throughout the year, so after a fantastic summer season, Banjo Cycles of Newbury are offering a free pickup service for bike maintenance in Hungerford area this September.

A warm welcome this winter
This winter transform your home with the natural warmth and comfort of a real log burner.

A cruise for me, free for you!
Fancy experiencing a cruise and bringing your loved one for free?

A brand new local jobs board
Hungerford TOWNSITE™ is well established as a conduit for local people featuring news, events, attractions and special offers and NOW we've added a LOCAL JOBS BOARD to our already successful mix. This comprehensive section aims to connect with local job hunters in a friendly and more engaging way

Getting to know you… Cobbs, much more than a farm shop
As you walk into Cobbs newly refurbished and extended café, it’s easy to see why this business is thriving.

#2 laid back honeymoon ideas 2018
Pick an idyllic spot in the Mediterranean, combine it with panoramic coastal walks, snorkeling and beautiful turquoise waters to make it a perfect honeymoon!

Luxury honeymoon on a budget
Are you getting married over the Christmas period in 2018? Fare Wise Travel are offering an exclusive 7-night winter beach-chillout honeymoon with an all-inclusive luxury package.

18 idyllic championship holes
Once considered the preserve of retired bank managers, the game of golf has been re-branded for a new generation and not only now has mass appeal, but in certain quarters is even considered quite groovy

Those of us who live here don't have to think twice, we love it and, you've had a job to persuade us to go elsewhere.

Compared to many towns, Hungerford High Street is in good shape. It is better now than it has been for years...

Walking in the beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty in and around Hungerford is a very special experience.

Next time you visit Littlecote House keep a wary eye out for ghosts. That black dog you see on the stairs may not be all it seems!

Enjoy your visit and don't foget to let us know how it went