as seen by the
Herts Advertiser & St Albans Times - 1944 (January)

Whst's History Page

The source of the text shown originated in the Herts Advertiser.  It has been re-typed so may have some errors within it - for these we apologies.  Please refer to archived material if in doubt.

Ja Fe Ma Ap  Ma Ju Ju Au Se Oc No De

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Price of Herts Advertiser in 1944 was 

7th January p2


Local Scout have raised 1 12s. for the Red Cross Prisoners of War Fund as the result of a carol-singing tour. 

The final figure in connection with the toy shop, arranged at the premises of Mrs. T. Westwood for the Red Cross and St. John Fund, was 150.

As the result of a series of weekly whist drives, arranged by Mrs. M. Allurn and her daughter, Mrs. D. Hibbs, and held at the Church Room, the sum of 12 was realised for the Merchant Navy Comforts Serv1ce.

A "social" organised by the Committee of the Sports and Social Club of Helmets Ltd., and held at the Club Room, Amwell, on Saturday; was enjoyed by a company of two hundred. The programme consisted of games and dancing to radiogram, and Messrs. Barnes and B. Cunningharn were M.C.s.

Eggs given as prizes for good attendance at the Infant Welfare Clinic during the past year, were received by Mary Humphrey (highest number), Anthony Dear. Patricia Guy, Raymond Smith and Peter Izzard. A special prize was given to Mrs. Cecil Allen, who has kept the records for ten years and missed only one day.

Savings Stamps were given as prizes to successful scholars on the break-up of St. Helen's Schools. They had been provided by the Managers and generous subscribers. and were distributed by Miss Upton Robins, on behalf of the Managers. The Rector presided. and was supported by Mr. P. Mitchell. The prize-giving was preceded by a Christmas dinner in the Church room.

7th January p4


Pte. Charles Herbert Warner. of The Buffs. eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Warner. of 15. Brewhouse-hill. Wheathampstead has .been reported missing in the Middle East. He is 24 years of age. After leaving school at Wheathampstead he was employed by Mr. A. Chalkley bootmaker, Leyton-road, Harpenden. He was called up in 1940. Pte. Warner served in Malta for some time.

14th January p3


Wheathampstead Musical success - Pamela Thrale pupil of Miss Warren, passed Grade V. Higher Examination at the Associated Board of Music - (Advt.).

Women's Institute members, on Wednesday, were given a demonstration of the making of several varieties of biscuits and war-time vegetable dishes, the lecturer being Miss Hutchings of the Ministry of Food.  A spelling-bee was conducted by Mesdames A. W. O'Brien and C. Deaville.  Mrs. G. C. Norbury (vice-President) was in the chair.

21st January p3


A life-long resident of Wheathampstead, Mrs. Ellen S. Parfitt of Brewhouse-hill, widow of Mr. John Charles Pariftt, dies unexpectedly on Monday. she was 86 years of age.

Born in the village, she was a daughter of the late Mr. John Nash who was rector's warden at the Parish church for many years, and formerly carried on business as a grocer in High-street, Wheathampstead.

Her late husband, who was a brother of the late Judge Parfitt, former County Court Judge for Clerkenwell, was at one time farm bailiff at Bury Farm, Wheathampstead, but subsequently went abroad to engage in farming his wife remaining at home.  On his retirement he returned to England.

Mrs. Parfitt leaves a son, Captain C. C, Parfitt, of the Merchant Navy who has only just returned to sea after a leave, and two daughters Mrs.  J. Noble and Miss R. Parfitt.




A bereavement has been sustained by a well-known and talented family by the death, which we regret to report occurred on Sunday, at her home at Gustard Wood, Wheathampstead, of Mrs. Francis Ellen Owen, widow of Mr. Joseph Fenwick Owen, founder of the Hill End Brickworks, St Albans.

Born in 1855 at Basingstoke where she was educated, Mrs. Owen had spent the whole of her married life in the little hamlet she loved and was the mainspring of a devoted and happy family. 

The eldest son, Mr. Joseph Fenwick Owen, was associated with his father in the business of the Hill End Brickworks, and is now the owner.  Of the other children, Mr. Reginald Owen, the well-known actor, is in California; Mrs. A. D. Bacon, a daughter, is in Cape Town: and another daughter, Miss Dorothy Owen, is a musician and is director of the Guildford School of Music and the Guildford Symphony Concerts.

Another artist son was the late Mr. Hugh Owen.

Three grandsons of Mrs. Owen have seen service during the war, and one of them - Flying-Officer Robert Fenwick Owen, D.F.C. made the supreme sacrifice.  Staff-Sergt Derek Fenwick Owen, of the Royal engineers, is in India. and Apprentice Keith Fenwick Owen is in the Merchant Navy. Another grandson (Mr. Trevor Fenwick Owen) is farming in this country.

Although not identified with public bodies, Mrs. Owen (pictured here) had associations with Wheathampstead Parish Church and St. Peter's Mission church, Gustard Wood, and her influence and actions of neighbourliness will live long in the hearts of those among whom she moved. Her character, in fact, bore all the marks of Christianity, lived in her life, which was brought to a peaceful close after only a few days illness. Her qualities are best described in the following tribute by one who loved her:

"The passing of this gracious and loved personality brings a sense of deep loss to her family, friends and neighbours.  Hers was a wonderful and beautiful character- gentle, calm and good with a great sense of humour. No one ever heard her speak an unkind work. Her superb vitality touched life at many points.  Art, music and the drama she loved , having great creative gifts contributing toward the enhancement of life and embracing the highest format of the domestic arts - dressmaking, embroidery, etc.

"Gardening she loved, and was never happier than when she was planting and tending her flowers, both in sunshine and rain.  Christianity was the motivating power behind all her service for others, making her life a joyous and radiant influence to all who were privileged to know her - an influence which will live on."

At St Peter's Mission Church, Gustard Wood, on Sunday the Rev A. M. Baird-Smith referred with regret to Mrs. Owens passing, and spoke of her gracious qualities.  She was, he said, one of natures gentlewomen. 

The Funeral

The internment, in the family grave in Wheathampstead Churchyard, on Wednesday, was preceded by a service in the Parish church, conducted by the rector. the choir, with Mr. E. G. Lee at the organ led the singing, which included deceased's favourite hymn. "Praise to the holiest in the heights." and "Love divine, all love excelling." The service also included Psalm xxiii the organist played as voluntaries "How lovely are the messengers" (Mendelssohn), the "Gloria" from "Sleepers wake" (Bach) and "O rest in the Lord," from "Elijah", (Mendelssohn).

Owing to a cycling accident, the eldest son, Mr. J. Fenwick Owen, was unable to attend. He was badly concussed in the mishap, and was not allowed to travel.

The mourners were Miss Dorothy Owen, daughter, Mrs. J Fenwick Owen (daughter-in-law) and Mr. Trevor Fenwick Owen (grandson).

Others present were the Rev. H and Mrs. Binks, Mrs. G. C. Norbury, Miss Gladys Williams (also representing Miss Meadows Taylor and Lady Beach-Thomas), Miss Upton Robins, Mrs. A. N. Baird-Smith, Mrs. L. P. Mitchell, Mrs. F. G..Lincoln, Mrs. Drury, Mrs. F Dickenson (former maid to Mrs. Owen), Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. H Laurence, Mrs. E Bartholomew, Mr. G Brown and Mr. T. F. Sibley.

Flowers were sent by: - all the family; her brother Bill; Willy and Harry; Myra John; Florence Wood and Granville Tyser; Iris and Violet Raikes; Mrs. George Norbury; Mary and Jean Dale; Hazel; all at "Hillside," Wheathampstead; Mr. and Mrs. T. H Fisher; Miss Bertha Hunt.

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28th January p2


The funeral of Mrs. Ellen S Parfit, of Brewhouse-Hill, widow of Mr. J C Parifit, took place on Friday, the remains being laid to rest near the grave of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J Nash, in the parish churchyard. The Rector (the Rev. A. M. Baird-Smith) officiated at the first part of the service in the Parish Church and at the graveside. The mourners were Miss R Parfitt (daughter), Mrs. C. C. Parfitt (daughter-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. J Noble (son-in-law and daughter), Mr. H Nash (brother), the Misses P Parfitt and P Noble (grandchildren,. Mrs. J Beard (niece), Mrs. Garrett, (friend) and Mr. F Chennells. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs W Goodchild and Sons, Ltd., Catherine-street, St. Albans.

28th January p4


Wing-Commander Maurice James Baird-Smith elder son of the Rev. A M. Baird-Smith (Rector of Wheathampstead) and of Mrs. Baird-Smith has been reported missing from recent operations.

Further news is anxiously awaited by his wife - formerly Miss Vyvyan Bodley, whom he married at Westminster Abbey in September last - by his parents and by many friends in Wheathampstead

The young officer's brilliant career has been followed with the greatest interest in the village, where he had grown to manhood, and where he had established himself firmly in the hearts of all. He was formerly a member of the choir and a bellringer at the Parish Church.

Wing-commander Baird-Smith was educated at Westminster School. In 1936 he took a year's commission in the R.A.F., and was then placed on the Officers' Reserve. Called up soon after the outbreak of war, he commenced duties as a bombing instructor. He took part in a number of raids on Germany before being transferred to the Middle East.

Here he distinguished himself by playing an outstanding part in a night raid on Rhodes Island. For this action the young officer, then a 22-year-old Flight Lieutenant, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On his homecoming, members of the Wheathampstead Branch of the British Legion prevailed upon him to accept from them a memento as a token of their admiration of his gallantry.

For some time he remained in this country, attached to the Air Ministry Staff, and last Summer he visited the United States for a lecture tour.

His engagement was announce about that time to Miss Bodley, only daughter of Major J. R. C. and Mrs. Bodley of 20 Cygnet House, King's-road, London, S.W.3.

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