NEW PUBLICATIONS :
CROXLEY GREEN IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Rickmansworth Historical Society has published (June 2014), Brian Thomson’s history of ‘Croxley Green in the First World War’.
In 1914 Croxley Green was a small, closely knit community beside Dickinson’s paper mill. Over the following four years Croxley people were thrust into the cauldron of international affairs. The Church Lads enlisted together to fight at the Somme. Volunteers rallied round to support a hospital for wounded soldiers. Well over 400 men from the village joined up. Every family was affected by the hardship, heartbreak and endurance of wartime.
Brian’s book is arranged as a chronicle of local events set within their national and international context. The narrative covers Dickinson’s Croxley Mills, the Red Cross VAD Hospital and the activities of local schools and families. It begins with a brief survey of the village as it was in 1914, then follows the course of events until the peace agreement of 1919 and concludes by describing how the community commemorated the war. 57 local men are remembered on the war memorial on the Green. Their deaths are marked at the relevant points in the narrative. Special attention is given to the Croxley Church Lads who were such a source of local pride.
Copies are available price £6 from Rickmansworth Historical Society and Three Rivers Museum. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
A VILLAGE BOYHOOD IN CROXLEY GREEN
Rickmansworth Historical Society published, in May 2012, Frank Paddick’s
‘A Village Boyhood in Croxley Green’.
Frank (1909-1965) lived all his life in New Road and took a strong interest in local history. He was one of the founder members of the Historical Society and contributed several well-researched articles to their journal, the Rickmansworth Historian. In his last years, he wrote this affectionate memoir which vividly brings to life a cast of characters from the 1910s and 1920s: his fellow schoolchildren and their teachers, the doctor, the farmers, the mummers and the cricketing miller.
Frank tells of a time when life in the village was dominated by Dickinson’s Croxley Mill, the main employer. Yet, the countryside was close by. It was a common sight to see cows walking up New Road to the dairy. Young lads spent their leisure hours trying to catch songbirds in the hedgerows or scrumping apples in the orchards.
Frank remembers what it was like to be a pupil at Yorke Road infants and Watford Road boys’ schools. He left school at 13 but his entertaining and informative descriptions of life a century ago are a tribute to the quality of his education. As an electrician, he contributed to building the new Croxley in the 1930s. However, he remained a countryman at heart amid
the spread of suburbia and took a historian’s pleasure in conjuring up the Croxley he had known as a boy.
Copies of the book are available priced £4 from Rickmansworth Historical Society and Three Rivers Museum. Enquiries to email@example.com.