The Home Front in Northop
NorthopSchool Log Book (E/LB/45/1) Flintshire Archives Office Hawarden
Mr J R Richardson the Headmaster at Northop School kept a detailed log book which provides a colourful picture of life in the village. It contains details about Christmas concerts and school trips and other special days. It traces attendance at school and the associated illnesses that visited the village – diptheria, scarlet fever, measles and many more. The school had a steady stream of visitors all of whom were mentioned in the log book. Just occasionally he had to punish pupils -usually for fighting. There is much to choose from but for the purposes of the start of this page I have just selected those entries that relate to the war, ( I intend to include some of the other details later). In Northop during the war, was a community of Belgian refugees who were not just absorbed into Northop village but helped and cared for. I am assuming that some of the foreign sounding names in the log book are Belgian.
1st March 1915 Newspaper cutting placed in the log book
St David’s Day at the National School
The scholars of the above school celebrated St David’s Day in a very hearty manner. The vicar (Rev T H Vaughan) gave an address on the life and work of St David and the headmaster on ‘patriotism’. The roll of honour of all the old boys who are serving their country was read. Patriotic songs were heartily sung and cheers for king and country were vociferously given. A half holiday was granted to mark the day. Before dispersing each child was presented with an orange by Miss Vaughan.
1st March cont
A collection of photographs of all the old boys who are with the colours is being made for display on school walls .
10th March 1915
Pt Fred Freeman who served his pupil teachership in this school and who is now in the London RAMC(T) visited school before going to France.
16th March 1915
Captain C E Woods whose name is on our Honours Board was killed at Neuve Chapelle on Mar 12th.
4th May 1915
The children collected 102 eggs today for sick and wounded soldiers.
1st June 1915
W Stanley Jones has finished duties here today having joined the 17 Batt R.W.F. The children collected 93 eggs for sick soldiers.
26th August 1915
Lady Bankes and Lieut Wynne Bankes visited today and inspected our photo gallery of heroes from Northop. Lieut Wynne Bankes added his photo to the collection.
29th September 1915
Pte Joseph Cookson ASC an old scholar on leave from the front visited today.
15th October 1915
Lieut Aynslie Astbury who was wounded in Gallipoli and now in hospital in England visited this his old school this morning and the scholars and staff gave him a rousing reception. Lieut Neville A Astbury on leave also visited.
5th November 1915
Pte Tom Freeman invalided from Dardanelles visited today.
8th November 1915
Sergeant W. S Birse A.S.C. on furlough from the front visited today and gave a lecture to the upper division on his work and experiences after 10 months near Ypres. He brought several exhibits to show them. The essays on the lecture showed intelligence.
9th November 1915
Pte Frank Price invalided from the Dardanelles wounded on Suvla Bay visited so did Sergeant Osmond Williams (Denbigh’s Yeomanry) who is leaving for active service.
18th January 1916
Pte F Freeman RAMC an old scholar visited school from France and gave a lecture to the upper classes on his experiences of 10 months in action. He brought a number of souvenirs.
1st March 1916
St David’s day observed in a patriotic spirit. The names on the Roll of Honour, lessons on patriotism. An address by the vicar and patriotic songs.
3rd March 1916
An old scholar Cpl Godfrey Jones wounded on the Dardanelles visited today.
8th March 1916
Official notice came today of the death of an old school boy Walter Davey. Killed in the trenches.
21st March 1916
the Attendance Officer (WT Williams) came to say goodbye before joining the 21st Batt RWF
2nd May 1916
L M Walter Price (RNAS) an old scholar visited from France today.
24th May 1916
Empire Day celebrated. Address on Empire followed by essay writing. Sang patriotic songs and collected 11/- for soldiers and sailors Overseas Club.
9th October 1916
Lieut Neville Astbury an old scholar was killed in the Battle of the Somme on Sept 15th.
27th October 1916
Pte J Lovelock an old boy invalided at Gallipoli visited today.
19th March 1917
News received today that one of the ‘old boys’ Joseph Hughes has been killed in
action in France on Feb 26th.
18th April 1917
Another of our ‘old boys has fallen in Palestine Sgt Tegid Smith on March 26th RIP
22nd June 1917
Sgt Stanley Jones our late assistant visited today. He has come from France to take a commission.
2nd July 1917
Another old boy Walter Chambers has made the great sacrifice. Killed in Action in France RIP.
14th June 1918
An old boy Thomas J Lovelock has made the great sacrifice in France.
26th August 1918
Pte Stanley Roberts an old boy visited.
3rd September 1918
Pte Uoorchamer. Belgian visited today.
8th October 1918
Two of our old boys Griffith and William Piercy, brothers have made the great sacrifice in France.
22nd November 1918
Sgt Hy Gedeoru an old boy on leave from France visited
30th June 1919
Holiday given today to mark the signing of ‘peace’.
11th November 1919
Armistice Day. Gave an address after the silence for two minutes. Patriotic songs sung and essays written by the scholars.
Newspaper cuttings from the County Herald giving a flavour of life on the Northop home -front
Northop Parish Magazine October 1915
Our readers are aware that many or our Territorials are out at the front. We have been receiving some information concerning them from week to week since their embarkation. They are widely scattered, some in France and some in the Dardanelles. We were much distressed to hear a short while ago of Lieutenant A Astbury being wounded, who we are glad to know is now in hospital at Alexandria doing well. Also Frank Price we are pleased to say is making good progress in hospital at Edgbaston with a bullet wound. Tom and Fred Freeman are down with dysentry also Ted Williams and Lance Roberts. We hope to hear some good news concerning all of them soon. In these days great care is taken of our soldiers, suitable accomodation and medical skills are such as to enable us to hope for their quick recovery.
Many grateful thanks to Mr Ainsley Lovelock for sharing with us this fabulous photograph of Northop’s pre – Great War football team. It includes two men who died in the war (Arthur Marsh and Thomas John Lovelock) but the team includes survivors of the conflict too. These are the ones we think we can identify –
John Edward Bateman (Cpt) Sapper 398456 in the Royal Engineers for 3 years, including serving in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
Thomas Henry Hooley (Vice Capt) Cpl 240081 1/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Served from August 1914 in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine.
Albert Lovelock Pt 92016 3rd Batt Royal Welsh Fusiliers Served 2 years including France.
James Bateman Pt 26198 17 Royal Welsh Fusiliers C Coy . Served 3 Years 9 months. France
Can anyone help with the rest?
Mystery Soldier. Can you help us with this?
This soldier, Willie Williams was killed in the war and his family clearly lived in Northop, yet he is not listed on any of the Memorials within the parish. Can anyone please help us with this story? Has there been an injustice? Ought he to be on the war memorial? If you know anything or have a theory about our mystery man, please contact us via our guest book.
Many thanks to Peter Metcalf, a fellow memorial detective for putting us right on this one. Peter is researching the War Memorial in Flint, with a view to publishing a book. He was able to confirm that Willie Williams was on the Flint Memorial and he gave us the following details.
Willie Williams was born in 1891 – probably in Waen Isa, a farm in Flint Mountain. He served with the 1/5th Royal Welsh Fusiliers and died of wounds received in action in Palestine on 20th June 1918. He is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery. His parents, Mary and Edwin Williams are buried in Northop Churchyard. Willie is also commemorated on a family gravestone in the Northop Road Cemetery in Flint.