Fenny Stratford In The Great War

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This site is dedicated to the men and women of Fenny Stratford in Buckinghamshire who took part in the Great War and who, in many cases laid down their lives. 

Some of them travelled back to Europe, from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to fight in the army of their adopted counties, while others would have been leaving the area of their birth for the first time. Many returned home at the end of the war, but the War Memorial records sixty nine that did not and my research now shows that there were others who are not commemorated on the memorial but who also made the ultimate sacrifice. They now lay in many different countries: France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey & Syria: some in graves bearing their names, some no doubt are 'Known Only Unto God' while others may still lay where they fell. The details of the fallen can be found on the page entitled 'Lest We Forget'

Until May 2010 I was aware of only one woman, May Emma Constable, who had died in service, however, I then found Lillian Saunders, their stories can be found on the pages that bare their names.

For the many that returned home after the war details are few and far between, however, I will include the scant details that I have on the page entitled 'They also Served'

Where Is Fenny Stratford?

Fenny Stratford is now part of the new city of Milton Keynes, however, there was a Roman settlement in the area on the Watling Street and the name Fenni Stratford can be traced as far back as 1252, when it appears in Manorial Rolls. Fenny Stratford (along with Simpson) was constituted as an Urban District in 1895.

Bletchley is also mentioned in 12 century Manorial Rolls and grew from an obscure hamlet on the road from Fenny Stratford to Buckingham with the arrival of the railways in the mid 1840's.

In the urban growth of the Victorian period brought about by the railway, Bletchley was added to the Urban District in 1898. The Urban District was renamed Bletchley in 1911.

So, the question is, where does Fenny Stratford end and Bletchley begin? I lived in Fenny Stratford for the first 33 years of my life and I don't know the answer. The War Memorial stands in Queensway, so named following the visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1964, prior to that date it was called Bletchley Road. Until redevelopments in the 1970's Queensway (Bletchley Road) ran to the railway bridge and then became Buckingham Road. To my way of thinking therefore, Bletchley began on the other side of the railway bridge where Buckingham Road starts, and so this is the cut off point I am using for this site, to be included there had to be a connection with an address on the Bletchley Road side of the railway line. Unless that is, there is an overriding reason for the inclusion, as in the case of Harold Cutler, who is remembered on the memorial in Queensway, but for whom the only address I can find is in Buckingham Road.

As my research has gone on, I have realised that there are also problems with two other boundaries. The fourth boundary, going towards Dunstable is not a problem, Fenny Stratford in that direction pretty much ended just past the junction of High St, Aylesbury St and Simpson Road, just by St. Martins Church. The boundary going out towards Aylesbury while not so clear cut, is not too difficult, if the address etc states Water Eaton, then they are not included, I have not yet found any reference to Water Eaton Road. The real problem is Simpson Road, when I was a boy, Fenny Stratford ended at the bridge over the canel on Simpson Road, and to my mind it still does, Simpson Village was about two miles further down the road. However, I am now coming to the conclusion that where an address is given for example as, 178 Simpson Road, Fenny Stratford, this is most likely in Simpson Village and not really Fenny Stratford at all. To the best of my knowledge, houses in Simpson Road, Fenny Stratford, still only go up to about number ninety, this is something I will have to check the next time I am in the UK. Until such time as I have been able to check this out, all references to address' above number ninety Simpson Road will remain.

Finally, the criteria for being included on the website is (generally) that they were either born in Fenny Stratford or were living there at the time of the war. However, I may make a slight exception to this if the story is interesting enough and there is a link of some kind to Fenny, as in the case of John Auguste Pouchot, who does not meet either of the above criteria, but who's Grandparents were very well known in the town.

 

Ian Chambers
September 2010
 

 

Finally, it should be remembered that this is very much a work in progress.