Back to the Front
Great War Commemoration Project
Abbots Langley, Kings Langley, Hunton Bridge and Leavesden
Project Update 2015
Following contact made by a family member two books have been identified, written by Harold (H.E.L) Mellersh, which have a link to Abbots Langley. Harold was wounded three times and after the War came to the village. He wrote an autobiography of his time in the trenches, and a second book, set in a fictional village, concerning the experiences of the men returning after the War. The fictional village was in fact Abbots Langley, and few if anyone is aware of this. The stories have been re-published as e-books. They are titled “A Schoolboy into War” Books 1 & 2 and are available for £ 5.00 from www.njeanius.uk.
At the culmination of a short Back to the Front trip to the Battlefields around Ypres, which included visits to places where Abbots Langley men and women served, the Project attended the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. A wreath was laid to remember all from the village who served during the Great War.
Work has commenced to assemble the various pieces of information gathered for each of the people from Abbots Langley who served in the Great War – some 720 individuals. The stories of some of this group have already been completed and displayed on the Project Noticeboard in the Churchyard, however the Project has now embarked on the considerable task of writing something about each and every one of them to accurately record the complete Roll of Honour for the village.
From April 2015 the Union Jack will be raised at the Abbots Langley Parish Council Offices on the centenary of the death of a villager arising from serving in the Great War. This will coincide with the tolling of the Church bell at 12.00 noon on these dates.
The story of the Project was recounted to the community of Kings Langley in March 2015 at an evening hosted by the Kings Langley Museum and History Society.
The 8th Battalion (Post Office Rifles), London Regiment, was billeted at Abbots Langley from November 1914 to March 1915. The battalion integrated very well with the local community and departed for the Front on 17th March 1915. To mark the 100th Anniversary of their departure the Post Office, in conjunction with St Lawrence Church organized a Memorial Service. A small exhibition was displayed in the Church Hall for the many visitors.
At a Council Meeting in March 2015 the Back to the Front Project was awarded the Service Excellence Award by the Abbots Langley Parish Council for its work in the community researching and commemorating those who served during the Great War.