The First World War

The war years during the 1914-1918 periods, was particularly devastating to so many small communities such as Tempsford. Whole generations of young men were lost in a wasteful war. Some communities were never to recover. Tempsford was fortunate, but not so fortunate in it's loss of young men. Newspapers of the day, made it almost impossible for the young men of the village not to enlist, without feeling some sense of shame. In 1915, an article in a local newspaper of the day, lists five more men of the village to have enlisted. The article ends with: - 'there are only a few more single eligible young fellows left in Tempsford to enlist, which now has a roll of honour that reflects great credit on such a small village'. Gradually the reports changed to lists of the wounded and killed in action, and by the end of the war, Tempsford had lost fifteen of its brave young men.

Tempsford War Memorial

The Tempsford War Memorial was originally located just outside the front of the Stuart Memorial Hall. Unveiled by Mrs Millicent Stuart of Tempsford Hall in 1925, it lists the names of 15 men from the village who died for their country during the First World War. Originally a very peaceful setting, traffic gradually increased in the immediate post-war years, and the War Memorial became a less peaceful area. When the dualling of the A1 was designed and constructed in the 1950’s the Northbound carriageway cut across the area in front of the war memorial leaving it less than 5m from the footpath adjacent to the A1 and therefore less than 8m from the traffic on the very busy A1. Years of traffic pollution and salt spray in winter from passing vehicles also began to take it's toll on the memorial.

In 2014, Tempsford resident Mr Tazi Husain approached the parish council asking if the memorial could be moved to the Millennium Garden, next to the newer memorial unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales in December 2013. A village vote was held on April 26th 2014, with 66% of the village voting in favour of the moving of the War Memorial. After being taken away for cleaning and repair, the Memorial was re-sited outside the Millennium Garden, and a re-dedication ceremony took place on the night of Monday 4th August 2014 - 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War.

On the memorial are the names of 15 men (listed below) from the village who died for their country during the First World War. There is also one name from the Second Word War, Kevin Joseph Bettles, who was confirmed as missing in action in 1944.

St. Peters Church in Tempsford, also houses a memorial to those who died during the war. There is a bronze plaque and stained glass window that was erected with the following words:


The Cenotaph - Stuart Memorial Hall
In Memory of those from the First World War (1914 - 1918):
Joseph F Barlow
Joseph F Barlow
Gunner 2135, 17th Div. Ammunition Col., Royal Field Artillery.

Killed in action on Saturday 8th July 1916 in France & Flanders. Age 20.

Born St Mary's, Cambridge, enlisted Bedford. Son of Fred and Martha Barlow, of Church End, Tempsford.

Buried in DANTZIG ALLEY BRITISH CEMETERY, MAMETZ, Somme, France. Grave IX. A. 8.
Frank Barnes
Frank Barnes
Private, Bedfordshire and Essex Regiments; and Sapper Royal Engineers.  

Thomas Bason

Private 20333, 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Killed in action Saturday 10th February 1917 in France & Flanders.

Born and resident Tempsford, enlisted Ampthill.

Buried in ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL, Somme, France. Grave VII. F. 56.

Frederick Darlow
Frederick T L Darlow

Sergeant 9793, 1st Battalion, Border Regiment.

Died Monday 26th July 1915 in Malta.

Born Tempsford, resident Roxton, enlisted Bedford.

Buried in PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY, Malta. Grave B. III. 2.


Samuel Hardwick
Samuel Ezekiel Hardwick

Private G/21971, 8th Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

Died of wounds Saturday 7th April 1917 in France & Flanders.

Age 36. Born Tempsford, enlisted Finchley, Middlesex. Son of Samuel and Mary Ann Hardwick, of Tempsford. Formerly 23044, East Surrey Regiment.

Buried in CALAIS SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot F. Row 5. Grave 11.

Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris

Lance Corporal 26355, 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Killed in action Wednesday 9th August 1916 in France & Flanders. Age 19.

Born and resident Tempsford, enlisted Ampthill. Son of Mrs. E. Walker, of Station Rd., Tempsford.

Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 2 C

Lewis Harvey
Lewis Alban Harvey
Private 73211, 11th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment).

Killed in action Wednesday 27th September 1916 in France & Flanders.

Born Bedford, enlisted Ampthill, resident Tempsford.

Buried in ADANAC MILITARY CEMETERY, MIRAUMONT, Somme, France. Grave V. F. 17.

Herbert Sidney Humphries

Private 18625, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Killed in action Sunday 24th March 1918 in France & Flanders.

Born Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire, enlisted Bedford, resident Tempsford.

Commemorated on POZIERES MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Panel 28 and 29

Frank A Ibbitts
Frank Alfred Ibbitts
Lance Corporal 20163, 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Died of wounds 9th February 1917 in France & Flanders.

Born and resident Tempsford, enlisted Ampthill.
William H Mason
William H Mason

Private, William Herbert MASON, Gunner 70548, 223rd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Died on Tuesday 8th April 1919. Age 27.

Husband of Annie Mason, of Eaton Ford, St. Neots, Hunts.

Buried in COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Koln (Cologne), Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany. Grave III. E. 23.

Frederick North
Frederick North
Stoker 1st Class 312071, H.M.S. "Formidable", Royal Navy.

Died on Friday 1st January 1915. Age 27.

Son of James and Annie North, of Church St., Thame, Oxfordshire; husband of Frances Jane North, of Church End, Tempsford.

Commemorated on CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 12.
Thomas Partridge
Thomas Partridge
Killed in Action, France 1918.  

William Esme Montague Stuart

2nd Lieutenant, "C" Company, 6th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment).

 Killed in action Saturday 7th October 1916. Age 20.

Only son of Lt. Col. and Mrs. Dugald Stuart, of Tempsford Hall, Sandy.

Commemorated on THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 11 C

Clarence E Wilson
Clarence Edward Wilson
(PTE) Drummer 7986, Suffolk Regiment.

Died Thursday 21st March 1918. Aged 26.

Son of John and Sarah Wilson, of Wyboston, St. Neots, Hunts. Born at Tempsford.

Buried in the North-East part of St Peter Churchyard, Tempsford, Bedfordshire.
Albert Wootton
Albert Wootton

Private 235266, 12th Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment).

 Died 27th March 1918 in France & Flanders.

Born and resident Tempsford, enlisted Biggleswade.

In Memory of those from the Second World War (1939 - 1945):

Kevin Joseph Bettles
Kevin Joseph Bettles

Missing in Action
August 3rd 1944