The British Legion & Ex-Service Men's Association

Castlethorpe Women's British Legion. Front row (behind the lead standard bearer): Left - right: Rene West, Mary Keeves (carrying the Castlethorpe banner) , Minnie Cowley
Women's British Legion 1961
Front row (behind the lead standard bearer):
Left - right: Rene West, Mary Keeves (carrying the Castlethorpe banner) , Minnie Cowley

The Wolverton Express 5th May 1961


New memorial seat and women’s standard

Probably the largest parade of ex-Service organisations to assemble in Castlethorpe marked two services of dedication in the village last Sunday afternoon. The Chaplain-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force, the Ven, F. W. Cocks, dedicated a new seat near to the war memorial in memory of the late Wing-Cmdr. J. R. St. John, and later dedicated the standard of the women’s section of Castlethorpe British Legion.

The parade of 180 ex-Service men and members of the Women’s Section of the British Legion marched through the village, headed by the Bradwell Silver Band, to the war memorial and garden of remembrance.

The seat bears the inscription: “To the memory of my husband, Wing-Cmdr. J. R. (Bob) St. John D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, RAF., and to the everlasting memory of all the fallen. ‘They served mankind. Themselves they scorned to save.’”

The surpliced choir with the Vicar the Rev. D. Wingate, the Rev. H. P. Fuller, Rector of Ashton and Hartwell and a former RAF chaplain, and the Chaplain-in-Chief, met the parade at the memorial. Also present were Wing-Cmdr. St. John’s widow, Mrs. Pat St. John, J.P., and their children Miss J. St. John and Master Ian St. John, as well as Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Whiting, father-in-law and mother-in-law. Mr. Whiting is president of the village branch of the British Legion.

Friends present

Others present included: Sqdn-Ldr. W. Bax and Mrs. Bax, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. St. John, Mr. and Mrs. Cannon, Mrs. J. J. McKay and Mr. David McKay (representing Group-Capt. J. J. McKay D.S.O., D.F.C.), Mr. and Mrs. Durbridge, Mrs. G. Whiting and Mr. P. Whiting (representing Mr. and Mrs. M. Whiting), Mrs. H. Roberts, Insp. G. Jones and Mrs. Jones, Dr. and Mrs. E. D. Lawrence, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. W. Ginger, Mr. and Mrs. T. Bradley, Mr. and Mrs. F. Whiting (representing Mrs. Molly Whiting), Mrs. C.C.S. Gibbs (representing Mr. Gibbs), Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Arman, Mr. Walter Beesley, Miss C. Bull.

Unable to be present were Air-Commodore Brotherhood and Mrs. Brotherhood, Mr. J. Smith (Potterspury), and Mrs. D. Wingate, who had sustained an injury.

The seat was designed by Mr. Arthur Harris, of Church Brampton, the Northamptonshire County Architect, and was made by local craftsmen – the woodwork being by Messrs. A. E. and S. H. Chapman of Old Stratford, and the wrought-iron work by Mr. J. Smith of Potterspury.

Following the dedication of the seat by the Ven. F. W. Cocks, wreaths were laid on the war memorial by Mr. J. Bavington chairman of the British Legion branch, and Mrs. J. E. Whiting, president of the women’s section.

In the parade

British Legion branches represented together with their standards were: North Bucks No.1 Group, Castlethorpe, Hanslope, Wavendon, New Bradwell, Olney, Stony Stratford, Cosgrove, Haversham and Little Linford, Lavendon, Sherington, Newport Pagnell, Emberton, Shenley and Loughton. The standard of the Wolverton branch of the Royal Air Forces Association was also carried.

Women’s sections represented were: Bucks County branch, Hanslope, New Bradwell, Stony Stratford, Lavendon, Wolverton, Stoke Goldington, Ravenstone and Gayhurst, Woburn Sands Sherington, Shenleys and Loughton, Newport Pagnell, and Olney.

The new standard of the Castlethorpe Women’s Section was carried by Mrs. Mary Keeves, with Mrs. N. West and Mrs. A. Cowley as escorts.

The parade marshal was Mr. S. C. Swain.

Dedication Service

The small church of SS. Simon and Jude was crowded for the dedication service of the standard, which was conducted by the Vicar, assisted by the Rev. H. P. Fuller. Mrs. G. Cook was organist.

The Ven. F. W. Cocks dedicated the standard and also gave the address, relating the question of service to the story of the Good Samaritan. Too often, he said, there was an awful temptation, particularly in these days of the Welfare State, to cut aside responsibility and to say “Why don’t they do it?” “They” could be the Government, the Conservative or Labour Party, the Council, or anything else, but people tended to put responsibility away from themselves.

On this matter of responsibility, he had been delighted to hear that the Castlethorpe British Legion had undertaken to keep in order the area near the memorial. But not only was personal service needed, but also thorough service, he said. There was always the terrible danger of starting something full of enthusiasm and somehow getting distracted on the way.

Personal sacrifice

The third part of service was that given personally, and they needed no reminder of what the cost could be. Many of them would be remembering comrades who had paid the greatest sacrifice. In this connexion, they remembered their old friend Bob St. John, whose death had taken place in tragic and distressing circumstances but who, in his view was a war casualty none the less.

“Who can tell that the reserves of courage and endurance that so many of these men had to conjure up take their toll in years later?” he said.

The offertory of £16 was divided between the RAF Benevolent Fund, British Legion funds, and the church funds.

Following the service, the parade marched past a dais, where the salute was taken by Mr. J. E. Whiting and Mrs. D. Maude, president of the Bucks County branch of women’s section. Refreshments were served in both the Village Hall and the Carrington Hut by members of the Castlethorpe women’s section.

The Parade marching down North Street towards the War Memorial
British Legion members marching towards the War memorial

The Reverend Wingate leading the service
Members of the choir and British Legion

Service held by the War Memorial

The Reverend Wingate leading the congregation back to the church
The War Memorial 1962

Newspaper Articles

Northampton Mercury 25 January 1924

CASTLETHORPE. BRITISH LEGION. —To create interest in the British Legion, a public meeting was held in the Council School on Wednesday, Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., presiding. Major A. Nelson, O.B.E., the organising secretary the Midland Counties area, gave address on its objects, aims, and the benefits to derived from the movement. The meeting was unanimous in forming a branch, and officers were elected as follows: —President, Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland; vice-president. Colonel the Rev. A. D. Seton; secretary, Mr. F. Carpenter; chairman committee. Mr. W. T. Clarke; treasurer, Mr. J. Whiting. At a future meeting the committee will be constituted. Several persons joined branch, some honorary and others as ordinary members.

A group of ex-services men on the lawn at Home Farm, Castlethorpe.

Remembrance Service 1927

A very impressive remembrance service arranged by the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion was held on Sunday afternoon in the Wesleyan Church in that village. Last year the parish Church was attended, and the members of the Legion had decided that the service should be alternated yearly between the two places of worship. Prior to the service on Sunday a party of some 18 ex-Service men of the village assembled near the British Legion headquarters and proceeded to the church, which was entirely filled with parishioners who were present to pay their tribute to the memory of the fallen in the Great War. The service was conducted by the Rev. H. H. Adams of Wolverton (the Wesleyan Church circuit minister) and was taken part in by the Vicar, the Rev. W. J. Harkness. The former gave the address, whilst the Vicar read the lessons and prayers. A collection was taken on behalf of Earl Haig’s Fund, and the total of £3 1s. 6. was a slight increase upon the previous year’s amount. The service was not completed in the church, for the circuit minister and Vicar immediately followed by the members of the British Legion and then by members of the congregation proceeded to the War Memorial, where the hymn “O God our help” was sung. A wreath was placed at the foot of the memorial by the chairman of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion (Mr Burbidge), on behalf of the members, to the memory of their fallen comrades, whilst other flowers were deposited by those who had lost someone near and dear to them. The Vicar pronounced the Benediction, and the singing of the National Anthem brought the service to a close.

The Wolverton Express 11 November 1927

Whist Drive: One of the most enjoyable whist drives that has been held in the village was that which took place on Friday evening last at the Carrington Hall. It was on behalf of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion, and the greatest credit was due to Mr. A. Masterman, who organised the function with his customary ability, and also very efficiently discharged the duties of M.C. to the greatest satisfaction of all. There were 43 players taking part, and the winners were: Ladies: 1 Mrs. J. May, 2 Miss Clare; gentlemen: 1 Mr. J. Prisley, 2 Mr. W. D. Markham; booby prizes: Miss N. Mapley and Mr. A. Nichols; mystery prizes: Miss Rawlinson and Mr. Rawlinson. Rabbits were given as mystery prizes in both the gentlemen’s and ladies sections, and both prizes went to the same house. During the evening refreshments were served by Miss Burbidge, Mrs. Wingrave, and Mrs. Gibbons. General assistance was given by Messrs. W. G. Clarke, H. Amos, R. Panter, F. Stones, and others. As the result of the drive the sum of £1/9/- was realised for the children’s holiday sports in the summer.

The Wolverton Express 09 December 1927

British Legion. Probably the most successful whist drive held in the village was that on Friday last under the auspices of the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion at their headquarters, the Carrington Hall. The accommodation was not sufficient for all who wished t take part and the 56 players who were privileged, spent an enjoyable evening. Pleasant and keen games were played and the winners were: Ladies, 1 Miss E. Burbidge, 2 Mrs. Faulkner; gentlemen, 1 Mr. J. Cowley, Mr. R. Holt; booby prizes, Miss Amos and Mr. C. Harding; mystery prizes, Mrs. F. Dolling, and Mr. Jeffs. Mr. A. Masterman ably carried out the duties of the M.C. Thanks are due to Mrs. A. Markham, Mr. J. E. Gobbey, and Mrs. Gibbons for the generous gifts of prizes. During the evening refreshments were nicely served by Miss E. Burbidge, Mrs. Wingrave, and Mrs. Gibbons.

The Wolverton Express 13 January 1928

British Legion. To wind up one of the most successful year’s work of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion a very happy social gathering was held in the Councils Schools on New Year’s Eve, attended by members and friends. There were between 70 and 80 present. The programme of the evening comprised a short whist drive, dancing, games, and musical items. Mr. Masterman was M.C., with the assistance of Messrs. A. Burbidge and C. Harding. The dance music was supplied by Messrs. H. H. Middleton, jun, and Miss B. Panter. Songs were well rendered by Messrs. A. Burbidge. J. Nichols, E. Bates, H. H. Middleton, A. Masterman, and a violin solo by Miss Rawlinson. In the whist drive and competitions the prize winners were Mesdames M. Mills, B. Gobbey, and W. Worker, Messrs. Gobbey, E. Bates, C. Harding, R. Panter, A. Markham, and W. Markham. Refreshments were nicely served during the evening by Miss Burbidge, Mrs. Wingrave and Mrs. Gibbons.

The Wolverton Express 17 February 1928

BRITISH LEGION ANNUAL MEETING. The growing interest in the work of the British Legion was demonstrated at the annual general meeting of the Castlethorpe Branch held at its headquarters, the Carrington Hall, on Wednesday week. Not only were excellent reports of the year’s work given, but the attendance of members was larger than at any previous meeting. Mr. A. Burbidge presided and at the commencement of the meeting he referred to the loss sustained by the Branch during the past year by the death of Mr. W. Axon and Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland. He also referred to the loss the British Legion had sustained nationally by the passing of Earl Haig. The members present paid a silent tribute to their memory and also to the memory of fallen comrades in the war.
Mr. W. T. Clarke, hon. secretary, read a statement of accounts for the past year, which showed a balance in hand of £18, which was almost double that of the previous year. He also gave a brief survey of the activities of the branch during the year and referred to the fact that three cases had been assisted in that period by the supply of goods and in one case a member was sent to the Legion’s Convalescent Home at Bournemouth. The membership of last year was 27 ordinary members and 7 honorary members, which had increased at the present time to 38 ordinary and 11 honorary members and a further increase of this number is anticipated. At the commencement of the winter, the Recreation Club was re-opened under a different system. A series of monthly whist drives was arranged and these very efficiently under-taken by Mr. A. Masterman, one of the Branch’s most energetic honorary members, had proved highly successful. Each succeeding drive had shown increased attendance and at the last held 98 tickets were sold and 88 players took part. It was the largest drive that had been held in the village.
The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted in the following being appointed: Mr. J. E. Whiting (president) in succession to the late General Sir Arthur Holland; Mr. F. F. Brown, Mr. J. J. Cannon, and Major A. G. T. Smith (vice-presidents), Mr. C. W. Harding (chairman), Mr. J. Cowley (vice-chairman), Mr. W. T. Clarke (assistant hon. secretary), Mr. W. D. Markham, Mr. R. Evans, Mr. P. Parker, Mr. T. W. Wenlock, Mr. R. Panter, and Mr. J. Gobbey (committee).
Mr. A. Burbidge, who did not seek re-election as chairmen, was thanked for his work in that office during the past year. The meeting decided to make a donation of three guineas to the Northampton General Hospital.
The children’s holiday for the ensuing year was discussed and it was decided that it be arranged on similar lines to last year except that it be held in July instead of September. It was also decided that a member’s outing be again held this year, the arrangements for which, to be made later. Owing to the lateness of the hour, a report by Mr. J. Cowley, the representative of the Branch, who attended the funeral of Earl Haig, was deferred until the next meeting.

The Bucks Standard 29 September 1928

British Legion Whist Drive: The members of the Castlethorpe branch of the Legion commenced their winter programme on Friday last, when they held the first of a series of whist drives, which proved very successful. Although the sphere of activities of the branch is necessarily limited it has earned the confidence of the civil community of the village, who are always ready to help it to “carry on.” In addition to responding to the appeals for assistance in various forms from ex-Service men and their dependants it also caters for the social welfare of the parishioners; in the summer it provides a day of pleasure for all school children and old people by organising children’s sports, teas, entertainment and dance; in the winter it holds whist drives, concerts, etc. and also runs a recreation club in the Carrington Hall (which incidentally will open on Monday evening next for the coming season), where billiards and other indoor games can be indulged in by members. It is the intention to hold a dinner again this year shortly after Armistice Day. In connection with last Friday’s whist drive the prize winners were: 1st ladies, Mrs. Eakins, Hanslope; 1st gents, Mr. Priestly, Hanslope, 2nd ladies, Miss Rawlinson; 2nd gents, Mr. H. Cook; mystery prizes (ladies) Mrs. W. Worker; (gents) Mr. A. Nichols; booby prize (ladies) Miss Burbidge; (gents) Mr. P. Parker. Refreshments were served by Mrs. W. D. Markham, assisted by Mrs. H. Rainbow and Mrs. Robinson. Mr. Masterman was the M.C., and he carried out the duties in a very satisfactory manner. Those responsible for the arrangements were Messrs, W. D. Markham, P. Parker, R. Holt, J. Rawlinson and A. Masterman. The committee appeal to those ex-Service men of the village who have not yet joined the branch to do so; by doing this they will be making it possible for the organisation in Castlethorpe to do more in the future than it has done hitherto. At the same time they will have the satisfaction of knowing they are “doing their bit” to help some of their old pals who ran up against misfortune in the war and the dependants of those who made the great sacrifice.

The Bucks Standard 03 November 1928

British Legion Whist Drive. The second whist drive of the season was held in the Council School on Friday last and proved even a greater success than the previous one. In spite of the inclement weather 25 tables were filled with players. The premier prize of the drive was a pig value £1, which was kindly given by Mr. W. H. Smith; other donors of prizes being Mrs. B. Gobbey; Mrs. E. Pittam and Mr. S. Markham. The prize winners were: Highest score, Miss Young (Cranfield); next highest, Mrs. H. Warner and Mrs. C. Harding; lowest scores, Mrs. Foster and Mr. H. Warner; mystery prizes, Mrs. J. Nichols, Mr. Bushby, Mrs. Stimson and Mr. J. Bavington. Mr. A. Masterman, in his usual efficient manner, carried out the duties of M.C., and together with Messrs. J. Rawlinson, W. D. Markham and R. Holt, was responsible for the general management. Refreshments were served by Mrs. W. D. Markham, assisted by Mrs. J. May and Miss N. Markham. Evidence was very pronounced that a thoroughly enjoyable evening had been spent. At the close it was announced that the branch was arranging to hold the usual Poppy Day concert on Saturday, Nov. 10, and that a first class party from Northampton had been specially engaged for this purpose; also the United Memorial Service would be held (this year at the Parish Church) on the following day, Nov 11, at 2.30. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the branch dinner would take place, to which the committee offered a very cordial invitation to every ex-Service man in the village.

The Bucks Standard 17 November 1928


With its characteristic enthusiasm this village responded splendidly to that thoroughly deserving appeal for Earl Haig’s Fund, on Saturday and Sunday last. The local branch of the British Legion again organised the sale of poppies, and in Misses H. Rawlinson, M. Maltby, B. Panter, L. Cooper, M. Markham and V. Clarke they had a little band of willing sellers so persuasive and persistent that by 11 o’clock the whole of their supplies were exhausted although a good number more than last year had been secured. £4/18/10 was collected by this means, which constitutes a record for the village. As in previous years the branch organised a concert, to enable them to send a little better donation to the fund than would otherwise be possible, and this was held in the Council School the same evening. They were fortunate in securing the services of Mr. Reginald Neal’s well known and very popular party from Northampton. The programme they gave was an excellent one and was thoroughly enjoyed by an audience which, although not large was very appreciative. This effort brought about £1 to the funds. At the close Mr. C. W. Harding (chairman of the branch) proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Neal and his party for giving such an interesting evening and to Messrs. Thorne and Arnold of Northampton for conveying to and fro. Mr. Clarke (hon. sec.) seconded, and thanked those present for their patronage and for their support during the day by the purchase of poppies, and reminded them of the memorial service next day.

Northampton Mercury 30 November 1928


WHIST.—About eighty people attended the whist drive arranged by the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion, held in the Council School on Friday evening. Prizes were won by Mrs. Pittam, Miss Clare, Mr. S. Markham, and Mr. B. Evans. Booby prizes went to Mrs. Herbert and Mr. T. Branson, and lucky table prizes to Mrs. Wingrave and Mr. T. Branson, Mrs. Branson and Mr. B. Willingham. Refreshments were served by Mrs. W. Markham, who was assisted by Mesdames Herbert and May.

The Bucks Standard 26 January 1929

British Legion. The annual general meeting of this branch was held at headquarters; The Carrington Hall, on Tuesday last. Mr. J. E. Whiting (president) presided over a fair attendance, supported by Mr. C. W. Harding (branch chairman), Mr. W. T. Clarke (hon. Secretary) gave an account of the activities of the branch during the past year which was highly satisfactory from all points. The financial position was next dealt with and this proved equally satisfactory. Mr. J E. Whiting was unanimously re-elected president and treasurer of the branch for the coming year. The four vice-presidents were all re-elected, they being Lady Holland, Mr. J. J. Green, Capt. F. F. Brown, and Major A. G. T. Smith. Other officers elected were : Chairman of the branch and committee, Mr. C. W. Harding; vice-chairman Mr. R. Panter; committee Messers. A. Waring, P. Parker, T. W. Wenlock, F. W. Dolling, E. F. Nichols, W. D. Markham, H. Amos, with Mr. W. T. Clarke, hon secretary. Several matters regarding the social side of the branch’s work were brought forward and in one, that of the miner’s distress it was decided to organise some public function (probably a social) very shortly, the proceeds to be sent to the South Wales area, of the British Legion to be utilized for assisting the ex-Service miners. A vote of thanks was passed to all those responsible for conducting the monthly whist drives this season, which had been wonderfully successful both from a point of interest and finance. This source of income alone had brought in nearly £10. Owing to time several matters were held over.

The Wolverton Express 01 November 1929

Whist Drive. The second whist drive of the season, organised by the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion, took place on Friday evening last in the Council Schools, when there were 68 players taking part. Mr. A. Masterman was the M.C. with the assistance of Mr. W. D. Markham. The prize winners were: Ladies, 1 Mrs. Mobley, mystery prizes Mrs. Eakins and Miss Reynolds: gentlemen, 1 Mr. A. Bavington, 2 Mr. R Panter, lowest score Mr. H. Cook, mystery prizes Mr. J. Pittam and Mr. C. Pittam. Refreshments were served by Miss E. Burbidge, assisted by Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Worker, and Mrs. Limbrey. One of the ladies prizes was given by Mrs. Foster,

The Wolverton Express 09 September 1949



The quarterly meeting of the North Bucks group of the Bucks County branch of the British Legion was held at Castlethorpe on Sunday, Mr. H. A. G. Durbridge (president) presiding, supported by Mr. Goss (secretary). The majority of branches in the Group were represented.
Most of the business was concerned with the annual church parade and service, which will be held at the Electra Cinema, Newport Pagnell on Sunday 18th September. It is hoped that all men’s and women’s branches would be present with their standards.
The Rev. J. L. Woods, of Stoke Goldington will give the address and the Vicar of Newport Pagnell, the Rev. Kendrick Joyce, will conduct the service.
The general meeting of the Group will be held at Emberton on 9th December.

Ex-Service Men's Association
The Bucks Standard 17 December 1921

EX-SERVICE MEN’S ASSOCIATION. For many years past local public men have deplored the lack of a source of recreation and amusement for young men and others during the winter evenings. The ex-Service men, who, during the war rendered their services to military requirements, have now turned their attention to solving the problem of social welfare in the village, and with the aid of the grant made by the United Services Fund (commonly known as the canteen profits), have formed a sports club to cater, primarily for indoor amusements, but in all probability, will include outdoor sports later. The Carrington Hall has been engaged for four nights per week- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, from 6.30 p.m. till 10 p.m. for games etc. Admission is by membership, the fee of which is very small. The privilege of joining this association is not confined to ex-Service men, any male person over the age of 14 being eligible. Wednesday, the 7th inst., was the commencement, and the committee were well rewarded for their efforts by the good number who availed themselves of the opportunity, and each night since then the membership has increased. With perseverance and unity this has the appearance of being a well-patronised and highly successful association. A social evening and informal concert has been arranged for New Year’s Eve. Among those present were Colonel Seaton, Major Anderson, and Mr. T. Osborne, J.P. The full list of officials is as follows: Vice-presidents, Colonel Seaton, Major Anderson, and Mr. T. Osborne J.P.; committee, Messrs. J. Whiting, A. Bavington, A. Cowley, H. Ward, E. Pittam, A. Cook, C. Bywater, chairman W. T. Clarke; hon. sec. Mr. H. F. Dolling.

The Bucks Standard February 1922

EX-SERVICE MEN’S ASSOCIATION. On Saturday evening, January 14, the Association held at their Headquarters “The Carrington Hall,” a very enjoyable and thoroughly successful social. A musical programme had been arranged b Mr. T. Osborne, J.P. (vice-president of the association) which was above the average for quality of local musical entertainments, Mr. Middleton presided at the piano (kindly lent by Lieut. J. Whiting) with his usual ability, and also contributed several humorous songs. Mr. T. Impey sang very effectively. His rich and mellow voice was controlled with perfect ease and judgement. Mr. Archer sang a number of humorous songs which provoked uproarious applause, and several mandoline solos given by him were much appreciated. Colonel Seaton, who sang several humorous songs in characteristic style, fairly brought the down house at tie with his energetic action and impassioned declamations. Mr. W. Ward sang feelingly and with good effect, as id his two sons, Mr. Douglas Ward and Mr. Bert. Ward. Refreshments were served during the evening by the committee, who were also responsible for the arrangements of the room etc. The Association was honoured by the presence of their President, Lieut. General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.V.O., D.S.O. who entered into the enjoyment of the evening right heartily. Towards the close Mr. T. Osborne, on behalf of the Association, thanked Sir Arthur for coming amongst them that evening. He said that no doubt some of the young men present had stood side by side on the battlefield with some of the peers of the Realm, but there was no distinction made then, and in his opinion there should not be so much distinction made in times of peace. He thought that meeting would have the effect of creating and developing a better feeling and understanding between classes. He also congratulated the association on having at their head such gentlemen as Lieut. General Sir Arthur Holland, Colonel Seaton, Major Anderson and Lieut. Whiting, and looked upon this as being a guarantee of success. Sir Arthur Holland, in reply, said that being a life-long soldier nothing gave him greater pleasure than assisting any movement that had for its object the social welfare of either active or ex-soldiers and he was pleased to be amongst them that evening. He agreed with Mr. Osborne in regard to class distinction, and said that although in the army they were obliged to have various ranks, the spirit of comradeship ran right through, from the field marshall down to the private soldier, and it was this spirit that had helped to make the British soldier pre-eminent amongst the soldiers of the world. He was of the opinion (which he shared with many others) that had the Germans counted upon coming in contact with the British Army with its tenacious qualities, the great European War would have been averted; and in the future as in the past, when the freedom of Europe became endangered, the British Army would have to be reckoned with. Major Anderson proposed the best thanks of the meeting to the visitors and others who had so ably contributed to the musical part of the programme, to Mr. W. T. Clarke (chairman of the Association), and to Mr. H. Dolling (hon. sec.), and expressed the hope that that evening’s function was only the precursor of many others. The singing of the National Anthem brought the memorable evening to a close.

The Bucks Standard 25 February 1922

CONCERT. A grand evening concert under the auspices of the Ex-Service Men’s Association was arranged by Mr. T. Osborne, J.P., and given in the Council Schools on Saturday, Feb. 11. The room was packed to its utmost capacity with a large and appreciative audience, amongst whom were noticed Major Anderson, Dr. Hinde, Mrs. Markham, Mr. Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. J. Whiting and others. The platform presented a very pleasing appearance, the front being decorated with a number of foliage and flowering plants kindly lent by the Chairman, and a large Union Jack was displayed. An excellent programme was given. Mr. H. H. Middleton was the accompanist and he discharged his duty with his accustomed ability. The singing of Mr. T. W. Impey (tenor) is deserving of the highest praise. He possesses a splendid voice and is able to control it without, apparently, the slightest effort. Mr. Lloyd is an old favourite, with a deep mellow voice. His song “Big Ben” suited him admirably; and he and Mr. Impey were heard to fine advantage in the duet, “Watchman what of the night.” Miss Middleton’s first appearance in the village as a soprano created a very favourable impression, as also did Mr. Edward Nichols who is becoming a very capable singer. The humorous songs rendered by Mr. Ridge, Mr. Archer and Col. Seaton were all vociferously applauded and encored. At the end of the programme Mr. Osborne thanked the artists for coming to their assistance and contributing so ably to the evening’s enjoyment. The singing of the National Anthem brought a very pleasant evening to a close. The net profit from the concert was £4 9s. 7d.

The Bucks Standard 25 February 1922

BILLARDS. In connection with the village ex-Service Men’s Association a billiard table has been purchased, and is now available to members at their Headquarters, the Carrington Hall. It was formally opened on Wednesday, Feb 15, by the president, Lieut-General Sir Arthur Holland. K.C.B. K.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.O.V. Mr. T. Osborne, J.P. (a Vice-president of the Association) said that he had been asked to welcome the President there that night and observed that as the Association was only in its infancy they were fortunate in securing a billiards table so early. The handsome donation of £10 they received from the President enabled them to realize their object earlier than was anticipated. He assured Sir Arthur they all appreciated his kindness and very deeply grateful of his help, the table supplying a long felt want. There were many young men who had had an ambition for years for an opportunity to play a game of billiards without going out of the village to al such he said “here is your chance, make the best use of it.” He also wished to thank Major Anderson for his kindness in selecting the table and for his donation towards the cost. The President, in replying, said how kind it was of them to invite him to perform the function of opening the table. It was a real pleasure for him to do so. He hoped the young men would realize the opportunity they had of making themselves proficient in such a game of skill. He also said that as an old soldier nothing gave him greater pleasure than joining in with and assisting any movement that had for its object the furtherance of that spirit of comradeship which helped the British Army to gain the position it occupied at the conclusion of the War. He wished the Association success and said he would do whatever he could to help at any time. Sir Arthur Holland and Major Anderson then took up the cues and played the first game of 100 up to the evident delight of the members, the result ending in favour of the Major.

Northampton Mercury 03 March 1922

CASTLETHORPE. The village ex-Service Men’s Association can now boast of billiard table, which has been installed in their headquarters, the Carrington Hall. The table was formally opened by the president, Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland, last week. Mr. T. Osborn, J.P.. one of the vice-presidents, was the chairman, and made special reference to generosity of the president, whose donation of £10 was the means of the table being acquired earlier than anticipated. Anderson was thanked for selecting the table and his donation. The first game of 100 was played between Sir Arthur and Major Anderson, the latter winning.

The Bucks Standard 18 November 1922

REMEMBRANCE DAY. Armistice Day was observed in this village on Sunday last in a very appropriate manner. The committee of the ex-Service Men’s Association decided only two or three days before the date to take some steps towards commemorating the anniversary. They approached the Vicar, the Rev. Harkness and explained their wishes to him. He fully approved the idea, and although time was very short expressed his willingness to assist all he could. He made arrangements for a memorial service to be held at the Church on Sunday afternoon. Shortly before the time fixed for the service a good number of ex-Service men assembled outside the headquarters of their Association and, under the guidance of Major Anderson, proceeded to the church where a large congregation, composed of relatives and friends of the fallen and others gathered. The service was conducted by the Vicar, assisted by Colonel Seton, and was of a very impressive character, the special prayers and lessons being most suitable as also was the Vicar’s address. Those well-known hymns “Fight the good fight” and “Onward Christian Soldiers” were sung in the church whilst the hymn “Through the night of doubt and sorrow” was being sung, the choir, leaving their places slowly wended their way down the aisle of the historic church and through the churchyard to the cenotaph. Immediately following the choir were the ex-Service men and behind them came the rest of the congregation forming one long solemn procession which it is doubtful has ever been equalled in the history of the village, all going to pay their tribute of remembrance to the nine lads who gave their lives in the service of their country. As the cenotaph was reached the choir took up a position on one side, the procession halting at the steps leading up to the cenotaph whilst one of the ex-Service men placed on it a lovely wreath composed of Flanders poppies as sold by the British legion all over the country on the previous day for the benefit of the Legion Unity Relief Fund. The wreath bore a card with the inscription “A tribute of remembrance from the ex-Service Men’s Association.” This done they formed up in front of the cenotaph with the remainder of the people on their right. Other floral tributes were then placed on the cenotaph and the hymn “Abide with me” was sung with much feeling by all resent. The Vicar pronounced the Benediction and a memorable service came to a close. Great credit is due to those responsible for its organisation, and the best thanks to the Vicar for the part he so willingly and ably carried out. Now that the ex-Service Men’s Association have marked the first year of their foundation in such a way it is hoped that they will endeavour to make it an annual event.

The Bucks Standard 16 December 1922

EX-SERVICE MEN’S ASSOCIATION. The first of a proposed series of socials for the winter season in connection with the above was held on Saturday week at headquarters, the Carrington Hall. A large percentage of the members were present, including Major Anderson (vice-president). The evening passed very enjoyably and was quite a success. A good programme of vocal and instrumental music, interspersed with monologues, was arranged by Mr. T. Osborne, J.P., one of the vice-presidents. During the evening a latter was read from the President (Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland K.C.B.) regretting hid inability to be present through indisposition. Light refreshments were served at intervals. The arrangements reflected great credit upon the chairman, secretary and committee. Mr. Middleton presided at the piano (kindly lent by the chairman) with his usual efficiency. Mr. Masterman, an old favourite, was induced to come out of his seclusion to take an active part in the programme. His humorous songs and banjo solos were quite a feature of the evening. Mr. J. Whiting created a very favourable impression with his songs, each being vociferously applauded. As this was his first visit, the members are looking forward to having amongst them again in the near future. Mr. T. W. Impey (Wolverton) is always sure of a good reception. He sang several songs in fine style. Mr. A. Savage as an elocutionist was excellent. His musical monologue “Roger Ploughman,” in character, was realistically given. In sentimental recitations he was equally good. Songs were also contributed by H. Evans, D. Ward and E. Pittam. At the end of the programme, Mr. Osborne, on behalf of the Association, thanked all who had contributed to such an enjoyable evening. He said the Association had been in existence twelve months and was now in a flourishing condition in spite of the croaks and pessimists who said it would not survive six months. The singing of the National Anthem brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.

The Bucks Standard 12 May 1923


To the Editor of the Bucks Standard.

SIR. It will doubtless be within the knowledge of many of your readers that at the entrance of this village from the railway station there is a small building, easy of approach, conveniently arranged, with seating accommodation for about 100, with entrance porch and convenient outbuildings, known as the Carrington Hall. It was the property of the chief landowner, The Right Hon. the Marquis of Lincolnshire, who for many years permitted its use by payment of a nominal charge for any purpose of a parochial character, but its use was not general, but rather casual, especially after the larger school in the centre of the village was opened.

In the year 1921 his lordship, with characteristic generosity, gave the freehold of the building to the parish Council as trustees of the parish and their successors for ever free of any payment whatsoever. At the conclusion of the war, when our young men returned, many of the shattered by its effects and all of them realising the value of comradeship, they formed themselves into an ex-Service Men’s Association so as to enjoy their evenings in reasonable recreation and sociability. They soon realised the necessity of a meeting place. The Parish Council was therefore approached by representatives of the Association with the object of hiring the hall for their purpose. After several interviews the Council reluctantly agreed to let them have its use upon certain conditions which were not very favourable. The conditions were accepted as a tentative arrangement only. Eventually a new and more sympathetic council came to power and at once agreed to let the young men have the hall on more favourable terms.

The building, by bring so little used, had fallen into a faulty state of repair and certain expenditure was required to put it in order. An estimate was obtained and accepted by the Council. The necessary repairs were carried out at a cost of £30, and of course, this item was charged in the Parish Council accounts and submitted to the Parish Meeting held in the Council School on March 26 last. As chairman of the parish Council, I presided at the meeting and was careful to explain this matter fully so that no one could plead ignorance or have any misconception of the matter. Among the ratepayers present was the late Rural District Councillor, but he neither challenged the action of the Council or contested the expenditure. The Council accounts for the 12 months ending March 31st were available at the meeting, but were not asked for. You can therefore imagine my astonishment, when, at the Government Audit, held at Newport Pagnell on May 4th, a letter from him was handed to the Auditor in which he strongly objected to the expenditure of the £30 on the building; he also complained that the rent they were paying was too little, although, as a matter of fact, it is more now than when he was a member of the Council and had a voice in fixing the rent, and he attended in person to support his objection. Such a course of action does appear unpatriotic, ungenerous and ungrateful that a man who suffered no loss of any kind during the war, but was able to follow his usual vocation in peace and without daily dread, should exhibit such an anti-friendly spirit towards those who contributed to his security during those dark and anxious years, and who safely returned to their native village. Presumably, the Auditor regarded his objections as of no importance, as the accounts were passed and no item surcharged. It is certainly unfortunate that a man who had received the confidence of neighbours for 25 years should display such a lack of public spirit, and it is unkind for him to appear to raise his hand against the social well-being of the village because the residents preferred a charge in parochial representation.

I think I owe a public duty in letting this be well known.

Yours faithfully


The Bucks Standard 06 October 1923

Ex-Service Men’s Association. The members of this association met at their headquarters, the Carrington Hall, on Saturday evening, and spent a profitable and happy time together. The proceedings were of a strictly social character, and the members were honoured by the presence of the esteemed President, General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., V.C., the Rev. Colonel Seaton, and Mr. T. Osborne, J.P. Songs were rendered by Mr. C. Archer (Wolverton), Mr. J. Whiting (Stoke Goldington), Mr. D. Ward, Mr. E. Pittam and the Rev. Col. Seaton. Mr. H. H. Middleton gave a pleasing pianoforte solo, and also played the accompaniments for the songs. Refreshments were served by members of the committee. In replying to a vote of thanks, Sir Arthur Holland made the suggestion that the association should take steps to organise a Poppy Day for Lord Haig’s Fund.

Northampton Mercury 25 January 1924

CASTLETHORPE. BRITISH LEGION. —To create interest in the British Legion, a public meeting was held in the Council School on Wednesday, Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., presiding. Major A. Nelson, O.B.E., the organising secretary the Midland Counties area, gave address on its objects, aims, and the benefits to derived from the movement. The meeting was unanimous in forming a branch, and officers were elected as follows: —President, Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland; vice-president. Colonel the Rev. A. D. Seton; secretary, Mr. F. Carpenter; chairman committee. Mr. W. T. Clarke; treasurer, Mr. J. Whiting. At a future meeting the committee will be constituted. Several persons joined branch, some honorary and others as ordinary members.

Bucks Standard 02 February 1924

Ex-Service Men’s Association: A social evening was organised by the Committee of the above on Saturday last at the Council School. Popular local artistes gave their valuable services to entertain the company and their help was much appreciated. Mr. H. H. Middleton in his usual splendid style presided at the piano; Mr. J. Whiting has a very hearty reception; Mr. Horn (Cosgrove) provide his abilities both as a whistler and vocalist; Mr. J. Nichols (Castlethorpe) was heard to good effect in several songs, as also was Mr. A. Wilks (Wolverton); Mr. F. Hewitt (Stantonbury) gave some fine selections on his one-string fiddle; Miss D. Lamkin (Stantonbury) also rendered a few very nice songs, and by special request Col. Rev. Seton sang “ The Battery Buffalo” which delighted the younger portion of the company. The songs were interspersed with games some of which were accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Seton. Mr. C. Harding was in charge of the music part of the evening, and during the interval refreshments were served by Mrs. W. T. Clark. Mrs. F. Carpenter, Mrs. Bates and Mrs. C. Harding. Those in charge of the door were Mr. F. Stones, Mr. Carpenter and Mr. C. Evans. A most enjoyable evening was spent, and Col. Rev. Seton thanked all who had so ably and willingly contributed towards the success of the evening. The singing of the national Anthem brought the proceedings to a close.

Northampton Mercury 14 November 1924

CASTLETHORPE POPPY DAY was carried out in (the Castlethorpe district by the newly-formed Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion, which embraces the villages of Hanslope, Haversham, and Little Linford, and was held on Saturday. The result of the sale at Castlethorpe was £5 16s. 4½d.; at Hanslope, £3 16s. 4d.; at Haversham, £2 5s. In the evening, in the Council Schools, Castlethorpe, an excellent concert was given by Miss Doris Bonham’s concert party from Northampton. On Sunday, a remembrance service was held in the Parish Church, conducted by Col. the Rev. A. D. Seton (the curate). The large congregation included many Nonconformists, and Mr, Stone (Northampton) who was conducting services during the day at the Wesleyan Church in the village, read one of the lessons. The other lesson was read by Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., M.P., who was in charge of a number of ex-Service men, and a small detachment of the Wolverton C.L.B. following the service in the church, a short service was held at the village war memorial, where three buglers of the C.L.H. sounded the “Last Post and the Reveille.” A collection of £7 was taken at the church, whilst donations of 15s. from the Wesleyan Church. £2 5s. 6d. from the Haversham Church, went together with the proceeds the sale of poppies and the net proceeds of the concert of £3 8s. to Earl Haig’s Fund, thus enabling the branch forward £23 7s. 7d.

Northampton Mercury 19 February 1926


A successful smoking concert was held in the Central School, Hanslope, on Wednesday, Feb. 17 when the Hanslope Branch the British Legion was formed. Dr. F. Hinde took the chair, and was supported by Major Nelson (organising secretary of the British Legion, London), Messrs. A. Abbott, R. W. Dickins, A. Paybody, W. Willingham, W. T. Clarke, secretary of the Castlethorpe and District Branch, about 30 members of that branch, and 37 ex-Service men of Hanslope, not at present members of the organisation.
It has been thought for few months past that a branch should formed Hanslope, as there were members of the Castlethorpe Branch resident at Hanslope.
The well-known comedians, Messrs. Gus Drake and Albert Ette, of Northampton, were specially engaged, and kept the audience in roars of laughter with humorous duets, Army ditties, and well rendered songs; Mr. Knighton accompanied at the piano, and Mr. H. Willingham, a Hanslope ex-Service man, sang.
Major Nelson outlined the aims and objects of the Legion, and several questions were asked, to which Major Nelson replied. After discussion, the resolution forming the branch was proposed by Mr. R. W. Garratt, seconded by Mr. H. Willingham, and carried unanimously.
The following officers were elected: Dr. F. Hinde, president; Mr. W. Beesley chairman; Mr. J. Kerridge, vice-chairman; Mr. H. Willingham, treasurer; Mr. S. W. Platten, secretary.

Northampton Mercury 12 November 1926


A memorial service in connection with Remembrance Day was held at the Parish Church Sunday afternoon, attended by the members of the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion and other ex-Service men. The Rev. E. J. Fenn conducted the service, which was also taken part in by Mr. Denny, of Daventry, who was conducting services at the Wesleyan Chapel that day. A collection was taken for the Earl Haig’s Fund. Wreaths were placed on the cenotaph by Mr. F. Stone, M.M., behalf the Legion, and Mr. W. T. Clarke for Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Holland.

Northampton Mercury 04 March 1927

BRITISH LEGION, —Tie annual general meeting the Castlethorpe Branch of the British was held at Carrington Hall on Tuesday evening. Mr. F. Dolling presided, supported Mr. W. T. Clarke (hon. secretary). The financial statement for the past year showed balances of over £5 the general account, and of £4 on the relief fund. One case of distress had been dealt with during the year. Officers elected for the ensuing year were Mr. A. Burbidge, chairman; Mr. C. H. Harding, vice-chairman; Mr. W. Clarke, hon, secretary; Mr. J. H. Whiting, hon. treasurer; and a committee of five members. It was decided to ask the New Bradwell Branch of the Legion to take over the administration of the villages Haversham and Little Linford, which are,  at present in the Castlethorpe area. A suggestion that a subscription sent the Northampton General Hospital was referred to the committee. It was decided to arrange for an outing to the County Fete of the Legion at Waddesden in July.

Northampton Mercury 09 September 1927

CASTLETHORPE. BRITISH LEGION.— The Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion on Saturday entertained the children the and also a number of old-age pensioners. A sports programme was carried out for the children in the Castle Field, and later tea was served to them and to the adults. Whilst tea was in progress General Sir Arthur Holland, K.C.8., K.C.M.G., M.P.. president of the branch, arrived, and was given a warm welcome. He was accompanied by his daughter. Miss Mary Holland. After tea the Castlethorpe school children, under the charge of Mr. H. H. Middleton, gave entertainment, including country dancing. The branch received very great assistance from Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Whiting in all the arrangements. The Bradwell United Silver Band played during the afternoon and evening.

Northampton Mercury 11 November 1927

CASTLETHORPE A remembrance service on Sunday was conducted on similar lines to that of last year, but was held in the Wesleyan Church instead of the Parish Church. A party of 18 ex-service men assembled near the British Legion headquarters and proceeded the church where the service was conducted Rev. H. Adams the Circuit minister, who was assisted by the Rev, W. J. Harkness (vicar). Mr. Adams gave the address, whilst Mr. Harkness took the lessons and prayers. The church was crowded. The service was completed at War Memorial, where the hymn, “O God, our help,” was sung, and a wreath was placed on the memorial by Mr. Burbidge, the chairman of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion. Other flowers were also deposited. The Vicar pronounced the Benediction, and the service concluded with the singing of the National Anthem. A collection on behalf of Earl Haig’s Fund realised £3 1s. 6d.

Northampton Mercury 23 December 1927

Castlethorpe British Legion held concert, organised by Mr. Frank Brooks and party from Wolverton on Saturday in aid of Earl Haig’s Fund.

Northampton Mercury 16 November 1928


BRITISH LEGION CONCERT. —Many people enjoyed an excellent concert, arranged by the local branch of the British Legion, and held in the Council School Saturday evening. The concert party from Northampton, under the direction Mr. R. G. Neale, gave a varied and bright programme. All the items were well received and encores were generously given. In their solos and duets the Misses Noble and Starmer did full justice to well chosen numbers. Mr. Tear displayed remarkable versatility; his items at the piano and his conjuring tricks were distinguished by deft artistry and accompanied by a ready flow of witty patter. Humorous duets by Miss Noble and Mr. Neale won high favour with the audience, two quarrelling numbers being carried through with a smartness and precision that led insistent demands for encores. Violin solos by Mr. Facer were pleasing features, and Mr. Nash provided efficient accompaniments. At the conclusion of the programme a vote of thanks to the artistes was proposed Mr. C. Harding. In seconding, Mr. W. Clarke, the energetic secretary of the branch, expressed his appreciation of the concert, and thanked Messrs. Thorne and Arnold for their kindness in conveying the party to and from Castlethorpe. Mr. Clarke stated that a record had been received from the sale of poppies.

Northampton Mercury 16 November 1928


A good muster of ex-Service men paraded for the Armistice service at the church on Sunday afternoon. The church was crowded. Led by the choir, the congregation entered heartily into the singing of well-known hymns.
The sermon was preached the Rev. E. J. Fenn, M.A., curate, and the lessons were read by Mr. W. Smith, of Woburn, who conducted the morning service at the Wesleyan Chapel. Sergt. H. Jones, of Wolverton, sounded the Last Post in the church—stormy weather preventing a continuance of the service at the War Memorial.
 At the conclusion of the service, the members of the British Legion, Led the Mr. C. Harding, and the secretary Mr. W. Clark, marched to the War Memorial and deposited wreaths of poppies.

Poppy Day collection £4 18s 10d at Castlethorpe.

Northampton Mercury 23 November 1928

Members of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion rose at their annual dinner on Saturday night and paid silent tribute to the memory of Sir Arthur Holland, their President until he died.

Northampton Mercury 15 November 1929

CASTLETHORPE. An Armistice Day service was held at the Wesleyan Church, on Sunday afternoon. The Rev. H. H. Woodward, M.C., Wolverton, officiated. A large congregation included ex-Service men of the village, members the R.A.O.B., and Legionnaires from Wolverton.

Northampton Mercury 15 November 1929

Members of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion on Saturday presented a clock in an oak case to Mr. A. Clarke, who has been the secretary since the branch was formed.

Northampton Mercury 15 November 1929


The annual dinner of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion, in the Council Schools, Castlethorpe, on Saturday evening was an extremely happy function. The company, numbering between 60 and 70, included representatives from the Deanshanger, Wolverton and Hanslope Branches. The table decorations were bronze chrysanthemums and blue ribbons, the Legion colours. Dinner was served by Mrs. W. T. Clarke and a number of lady helpers.
At the principal table were Mr. J. E. Whiting (president of the branch), Mr. R. Poore (Greenwich), Capt. J. D. Paton (Hanslope Lodge), Mr. W. Care (Northampton Branch), Mr. Care, junior (Northampton), Mr. C. W. Harding (chairman, Castlethorpe Branch), Mr. P. Panter (vice-chairman), Mr. W. T. Clarke (hon. secretary), Mr. T. W. Wenlock and Mr. W. D. Markham.
Mr. W. D. Markham proposed the health of the President and Vice-President, and the chairman made acknowledgment.
Mr. W. T. Clarke submitted the British Legion, to which Mr. W. Care responded. He described the Legion as one of the finest organisations of the times. Mr. Harding proposed the toast of “Our Guests,” which was acknowledged by Mr. Poore, whilst Mr. Arthur Wilks and Mrs. Markham replied to the thanks expressed to the artistes and lady helpers.
In appreciation of his services as hon. secretary of the Branch since its inception, the president handed to Mr. W. T. Clarke a handsome clock in a fumed oak case bearing an inscription plate. The gift was subscribed to all the members of the branch. It was a great surprise to Mr. Clarke, who made a happy reply. A programme of songs was given by Mr. A. Wilks (Wolverton), Mr. A. Masterman, Mr. H. Willingham (Hanslope), Mr. J. Nichols, Mr. E. Bates, and Mr. J. Cowley, and Mr. A. Savage (Wolverton) recited. Mr. H. Middleton was at the pianoforte and Mr. A. Wilks conducted community singing.

Northampton Mercury 07 February 1930

CASTLETHORPE. A WHIST DRIVE took place in the Council Schools in aid of the British Legion Friday. The winners were: Mrs. B. Gobbey, Miss N. Maltby, Mr. C. Pittam, Mr. W. Worker, Mr. B. Gobbey, Mrs. Pettifer, Mrs. W. Mills, Mrs. H. Cook, Mr. B. Gobbey, and Mr. W. Pay body. Refreshments were served by Miss E. Burbidge, Mrs. Limbrey, Mrs. Woodward, and Mrs. Worker. Mr. W. Markham, the M.C., was assisted by Mr. B. Evans, and prizes were given Mrs. W. T. Clarke Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. Sawbridge, Mr. Wenlock, Mr. Foster, Mr. Jones, of Wolverton, and the British Legion.

Northampton Mercury 20 June 1930


British Legion Entertain Old Folk and Children.

The Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion promoted a village holiday, on Saturday, and entertained the old-age pensioners and the village children to tea in the grounds of Home Farm, lent by the president, Mr. J. E. Whiting.
Lord Hillingdon and the Misses Atkinson were the of a fancy dress parade, and Mrs. Mark Poore distributed the prizes won in the competitions and in the sports. Mrs. J. E. Whiting handed to Mr. C. W. Harding, the chairman of the branch, a certificate testifying the appreciation of the members of the services he had rendered since the formation of the Branch.
The Bradwell United Silver Band played selections and for dancing. Each child received a gift of chocolate on leaving.

Northampton Mercury 21 August 1931


Dedication Service at Castlethorpe.

The standard of the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion, provided by the subscriptions of the members, was dedicated on Sunday afternoon at a service at which representatives of the Stony Stratford, Deanshanger, Wolverton. New Bradwell, Great Linford and Newport Pagnell branches, each with their standards, and the women’s sections from Stony Stratford (with standard), Wolverton and New Bradwell were present.
The Legionaries paraded near the Schools, where Mr. Colin Croall, M.B.E., Northampton, formally presented the standard to Mr. J. E. Whiting, the president of the branch.
The Bradwell United Silver Band headed a procession round the village to the church, where the service of dedication was conducted the Rev. E. J. Fenn, and the dedication was performed by the Rev. E. A. Selby -Lowndes, vicar of Whaddon, who gave an address on the value of self-sacrifice.

Northampton Mercury 15 January 1932


Stirring Speeches Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, of Tingewick Hall, the hero of Zeebrugge, was the honoured guest at the annual dinner of the members of the Castlethorpe Branch of the British Legion on Saturday. Mr. J. E. Whiting (president) was the chair, and others supporting him were Messrs. (Colin G. Croall, L. W. Gubbins, and A. J. Tyrrell (Northampton), Captain P. Y. Atkinson (Cosgrove), Captain J. D. Eaton (Hanslope), the Rev. H. H. Woodward, Mr. R. W. Leadley, and Mr. W. Tompkins (Wolverton), Mr. R. G. Jarvis (Buckingham). Major A. G. T. Smith (Sherington), Mr. F. F. Brown (Leicester).
About 80 participated. Mr. W. T. Clarke, in addition to the secretarial arrangements, was responsible for an attractive scheme of table decoration from his nurseries.
Mr. Jarvis proposed the toast of “The British Legion,” and emphasised the fact that it was keeping alive the spirit of comradeship with those who had made the great sacrifice, a spirit living and active to help the weak and to care for the sick.


Mr. Colin Croall, who replied, said he stood before them with mixed feelings. After many years’ residence he would have to go beyond their door. Next week he would no longer have the privilege of being Chairman of the War Pensions Committee, and in a fortnight’s time would no longer have the honour of being the vice-president of the largest branch the British Legion in the British Empire. They were all comrades. That was why the British Legion found itself stronger than it had been since its very inception, and it went from strength to strength. There was only one real reason for that. It was because the Legion was founded upon a spiritual basis. They might pretend to be indifferent about such matters, but they felt they were playing a man’s part. (Applause).
It was the wish of the late Earl Haig that spirit should not be forgotten. Had the British Legion begun earlier, he was certain that the country would not be in such sorry plight as it was to-day. The mistake was made, and so many allowed themselves to be the tool of one political party or another. They forgot such things as party politics and creeds, and had they started right away after demobilisation they would have been stronger still to-day, and the country would have been better off. They had remember the great debt they owed to the fallen, who would never come back. That was their first job.


They were like real Christian church. The Legion did not ask men to join for what they got out of it; they wanted to do something. So long that spirit obtained the Legion in strength, despite the fact that thousands of their old comrades were passing away every year. He knew there was much that was depressing, but so long as they rallied round Mr. Clarke they would make their numbers strong. They had an excellent branch and well deserved their trophy. Sir George Bowyer, whom he had met in the train, had asked him to convey greetings and good wishes. Mr. Croall’s concluding words of advice were: “Stick to the lads in the days to come; they have stuck by you in the days that have gone.” (Applause.)
Major Smith, in toasting "Our guest.” said that it had given a thrill and a quickening of the pulse to everyone in the room when they knew that Sir Roger Keyes was present. They had read of the exploits of that gallant party under the Admiral, who by  his bearing and presence had encouraged the most wonderful deeds of heroism.
The toast was drunk with musical honours.

Admiral Sir Roger Keyes

In responding. Sir Roger Keyes said he was at the annual meeting at Aylesbury, when the trophy was presented, and was very pleased and proud to accept the invitation, remembering the presentation to them was an equal first with two other, branches. he had been to a great many Legion meetings East, West, North and South, but he did not think he had ever listened to a more eloquent and moving address descriptive of what the Legion stood for than that given by Mr. Colin Croall. He had put the whole thing to them absolutely faithfully. It was a tragedy that the legion could not have been started just after the War.


Sir Roger, referring the famous affair at Zeebrugge, said it was merely a covering operation, and they were surprised afterwards to hear of the fuss that had been made about it.
The Navy had welcomed that opportunity to take an active part in the fighting; much of their work was watching and waiting, and they had often longed for an opportunity to emulate the deeds of their brothers in the Army. Zeebrugge gave them that opportunity.
Lord Haig's telegram congratulation on that operation always filled him with pride.
Let them the British Legion carry out Lord Haig’s idea of what the Legion should do —weld them together and keep alive the comradeship of war days. Let the Legion be their bulwark against their enemies, both without and within their gates. (Loud applause.)


Mr. Leadley and the Rev. H, H. Woodward also replied.
Mr. Clarke toasted the president and vice-president, remarking that they had an ideal president who was not merely a figure-head, but one who took a deep interest in the branch.—The president, Major Smith and Mr. Brown (vice-president) responded. Mrs. W. D. Markham replied the toast of the lady helpers. Her assistants were Mesdames W. T. Limbrey. W. T. Clarke, H. Cook, J. Herbert, Bates, and Sawbridge.
The concluding toast was the artists, Messrs. A. Line. C. Johnson, J. Jones, and R. Panter (pianist). Mr. Art Jones (Wolverton) accompanied community singing with the side drum.
The county trophy won by Castlethorpe equally with two other branches, and which they hold for four months, graced the head table. The branch committee responsible for the gathering comprised Messrs. W. Limbrey (chairman), H. A. Cook (vice-chairman), R. Panter (hon. treasurer), W. T. Clarke (hon. secretary), J. Cowley, A Meacham. C. W. Handing, E. Horner, W. D. Markham, and J. May.

Northampton Mercury 24 June 1932


CASTLETHORPE A small obelisk cenotaph stands on high ground adjoining the church and overlooking the roadway. The ground was given by the late Marquess of Lincolnshire. The names of the fallen are recorded on the cenotaph.

Northampton Mercury 08 July 1932

British Legion Treat at

The annual summer holiday of the Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion was made very pleasurable by fine weather and the free run of gardens, grounds, and field by the president, Mr. J. E. Whiting. With characteristic generosity, Mr. Whiting assisted in every way possible to make the event a success.
The school children, many in fancy dress, paraded the village, headed by the New Bradwell Band. The British Legion standard was carried Mr. C. W. Harding.
The fancy dresses were judged by Captain and Mrs. P. Y. Atkinson, and Mrs. Atkinson presented the prizes as follows: Girls under 8 years, 1 Evelyn Markham. 2 Pamela Markham, 3 Shirley Clarke, 4 B. Ray. Boys under 8 years, 1 B. Webster, 2 Harold Homer, 3 Clifford Markham, 4 Eric May. Girls over 8, equal J. T. Nichols and Kathleen Marks, equal 2 N. Cowley and E. Ball, equal 3 P. Bull and Gwen Jones, equal 4 Sylvia Markham, Betty Bay and M. Meacham. Boys over 8, 1 Stanley Nichols, 2 B. Sawbridge, 3 Leslie Markham, equal 4 Maurice Smith, W. Kingston and C. Hall,
Captain Atkinson duplicated the prizes in the senior classes.
Sports were carried out under the direction of a sub-committee comprising Messrs. Harding, J. Herbert, W. D. Markham, and H. Clarke. Mr. J. E. Whiting and Mr. A. Masterman were judges, and Mrs. Whiting presented the prizes.
Side-shows were supervised Miss Burbidge, Mr. A. Jones (Wolverton), Mr. P. Waring, Mrs.. Waring, Mrs. Sawbridge, Miss Pittam, Mrs. J. A. Cowley, Mrs. Homer, Mr, Mothersole. Mr. Townsend, Mr. Meacham, Mr. B. Webster, Mr. W. Hall. Mr. J. K. Gobbey. Mr. T. Baker, Mr. J. Rainbow, Mr. R. Holt, and Mr. W. Wingrave.
At tea, served in the large barn, the children and old-age pensioners were guests. The meal was served Mesdames H. Clarke, W. D. Markham, J. Herbert, Townsend, Bates, Axon, Webster, Ball, and Miss Holt, and the catering committee consisted of Messrs. J. A. Cowley, R. Panter F. Herbert, E. Coey, J. May and E. Homer.
The arrangements were made by Mr. Linbrey, Mr. W. T. Clarke (hon. secretary), and the various committees.

Northampton Mercury 09 December 1932



Viscount Stopford, Chairman of the Buckinghamshire County Committee of the British Legion, attended the annual dinner of the Castlethorpe Branch of the Legion on Saturday, and made a powerful plea for the continuance in civil life of the comradeship that linked them during the war. Proposing the toast of “The Legion” Viscount Stopford pointed out that at the coming County Conference consideration would be given to grouping, which, he said, was a definite step forward in the progress of the Legion. By the association of neighbouring branches in getting together for social purposes and for general discussion on matters common to them, good would follow. There was need to pay attention to such artificial boundaries as between one county and another, and he noticed that in their group they had one or more branches in Northamptonshire.
At the County Conference they would also be electing the county executive committee, and they would miss very much Mr. W. T. Clarke, of Castlethorpe, who, owing to business reasons, would not again stand for re-election. He had been a most valuable member.

Northampton Mercury 24 February 1933


A CONCERT arranged by the Legion, in aid the funds of Northampton General Hospital was given at the Council Schools. The programme was provided by the Merrymakers. Mr. J. E. Whiting presided.

Northampton Mercury 11 December 1936


The Castlethorpe branch of the British Legion gave a tea to all children under 15 in the Schools at Castlethorpe. Eighty children sat down, and after enjoying tea, were entertained by Professor Goff with some conjuring tricks. Later, the public were admitted, and then followed an enjoyable evening. Mr. E. Foale, of Wolverton. entertained, supported Miss B. Panter at the piano A collection was taken for Earl Haig’s Fund, which realised £1 9s. 1d., making a total of £13 17s. 5d. for this cause. The tea as arranged by the committee and served by Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Panter. Mrs. Herbert, Mrs. Townsend, Mrs. Cowley, Mrs. Brown, Mrs Sawbridge, Mrs. Evans, and Miss Buxton.