First World War


(Featuring the Articles and Archive of Iain Wakeford)




The articles on the First World War are based on themes rather than chronological as so many items crop up in the history of the whole of the 1914-18 period.

Woking's War Horses, The Princess Christian Homes & The Woking War Tribunal. The work of Mr James Hutchinson Driver of Horsell, former Master of the Ripley & Knaphill Harriers, member of the New Zealand Golf Club, Councillor on Horsell Parish Council, Chairman of the Woking UDC Sanitary Committee and later Chairman of Woking UDC; The history of the Princess Christian Homes and Lord Roberts Workshops at Stafford Lake on the border of Bisley & Knaphill; How the War Tribunal effected local businesses such as Marshall's Butchers in Chertsey Road the Court Creamery, the Rose Cottage Laundry of Ashley Cooks at Horsell Moor, and Slocock's Nursery (where Goldsworth Park is today).

The Belgium  Refugee Committee of Pyrford, West Byfleet Station, and the Catholic & CofE Parishes of West Byfleet. The Pyrford Refugee Committee was chaired by the  Rev Hamilton with Charles Gerahty as Secretary and Treasurer, with refugees staying at Vicarage Cottage and Dordrecht in Aviary Road, Pyrford, the home of the artist Norris Willatt where stayed the Bogaert and La Plat families, with others staying  in Birchwood Road, West Byfleet, including the Robin, Geniesse and Vinck families; The renaming of Byfleet & Woodham Station in May 1914; Our Lady Hope of Christians Roman Catholic Church in Madiera Road, West Byfleet, founded by Father Christians Van Aspert and Father Plummer of St Dunstan's Church in Woking, in a hut leant by W G Tarrant; The history of St John the Baptist church on the corner of Parvis Road and Camphill Road designed by W D Caroe, built by W G Tarrant, under the watchful eye of the Rev G E Money, Mr F C Stoop of West Hall and the patronage of the Duchess  of Albany.

Inkerman  Barracks, the Mills Motor Bus Service and the YMCA Hut at St Johns. The Woking Detention Prison at Inkerman Barracks and the part it played in the detention of prisoners from the Easter Uprising in Dublin in 1916; Frank & Milly Mills' bus service between Knaphill. St Johns and Woking; the YMCA hut in Barrack Path that was later moved to St Johns Lye to become the St Johns Memorial Hall.

Martinsydes, Flying Schools at Brooklands and The Broadmeads Biplane. The Martinsyde Aircraft Factory originally founded by H P Martin and G H Handasyde at Hendon before moving to Brooklands and the former Oriental Institute building owned by Henry Leitner (of the Woking Accumulator Supply Company) in Oriental Road; The flying schools of Hilda Hewlett, Gustave Blundeau, Bristol Aeroplane Co, A V Roe, Tom Sopwith and Vickers Aviation and the use of Brooklands by Marconi for air to ground wireless messages; a mysterious biplane on the Broadmeads between Old Woking and Send.

The Muslim Burial Ground, Brookwood Military Cemetery and the Bisley Branch Railway. The Muslim Burial Ground on Horsell Common designed by T H Winney and the role it played in conjunction with military hospitals on the south coast for Sikhs, Hindus and Muslim soldiers from modern-day Pakistan, Bangladesh and India at Brighton General Hospital, York Place Brighton, the Brighton Pavilion, New Milton, Lady Hardinge's Hospital at Brockenhurst and the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley. Now restored and reopened by HRH Earl of Wessex as the Peace Garden; Negotiations between Lord Derby and the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company for the Commonwealth War Grave Commissions military cemetery at Brookwood; The extension of the Bisley Branch Railway from the NRA camp at Bisley to Deepcut and Blackdown Barracks.

More Refugees & War Hospitals, Military Offices and the Old Woking Midwives Register. Belgium Refugee houses in Old Woking, St Johns, Maybury, Wychazel, and above the St James Tea Rooms in Chobham Road Woking. Also at Blytheswood, the home of John Robinson, in the Old Woking Road at West Byfleet that was later converted into an Auxiliary Military Hospital with Miss Marjory Duff as Quartermaster before she transferred to the Bleakdown Military Hospital in Sheerwater Road (in what is now the West Byfleet Golf Club), under the watchful  Ethel Lock King, with mention of other military hospitals in the area such as the Beechcroft Hospital in Heathside Road Woking, Mount Felix New Zealand Hospital and Brooklands House at Weybridge, Ottershaw Park and Ottermead at Ottershaw, Windlesham Manor and Lady Ellenboro's War Hospital at Windlesham, and hospitals in Clandon Park and Hatchlands  East Clandon; The location of Military Offices in Woking at Wynberg, Oriental Road, for the Royal Army Pay Corps (who also built the huts in Onslow Crescent where later the Girls Grammar School and now the Park School are), and the Royal Air Force Pay Corps offices, possibly at Swindlerby in Coley Avenue, Springfield in Guildford Road, or Hurlington in Heathside Avenue. Also the RAMC offices in Denmead, Consititution Hill, The Oaks Guildford Road, White Heath Heathside Avenue, The Nutshell Hillview Road, Craycombe Mount Hermon Road and Woking Lodge in White Rose Lane; The record in the Old Woking Midwives Register of Mrs Rusell of 166 High Street Old Woking.


There are a number of old films on the British Pathe, BFI and other websites showing items filmed in (or relating to) our area. The links below are to external sites, so you may have to press the 'back arrow' at the top left of your screen after viewing each page if they do not open on a separate page.

Tarrant Huts - This link will take you to the British Pathe website film of the Wood Snippers Concert Party filmed sometime during the war at W G Tarrant's workshops in Byfleet.

Bisley Chair Parade - Another British Pathe film showing a man being carried around Bisley Camp - I have no idea why (but then British Pathe don't seem to know exactly where either). It seems to be the same (or similar) parade as featured at the start of another clip on their site (Bisley Rifles). Also, from the BFI site a film of the Bisley Rifle Meeting in 1914.

Islamic Ceremony - Filmed at the Mosque and associated buildings, I think that some of the scenes (with the dense pine woods in the background) may have been on Horsell Common - possibly on the site where the Peace Garden is now. Again this seems to be shot at the same time as other films on the British Pathe site called Moslem Celebration and Moslem Festival - Qurban Bairam, but there could, of course, have been more than one event filmed.

Motors v Aeroplanes at Brooklands

Links to other films will be added later.





All the contents of this website are copyrighted and should not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes without prior agreement. Anybody wishing to copy material for private and research study purposes may do so.      © Iain Wakeford, 2018.