Spaldwick Dims for Lights Out

Lamp for Lights Out in SpaldwickLast night – between 10pm and 11pm – Spaldwick became much darker, as many residents took part in Lights Out. This ended the day of ceremonies across the country marking 100 years since Britain entered World War One.

On the left is one of the many images posted by Spaldwick residents, with the caption, “Our candle is shining as those who fell shine in our memories”.


Harold AshtonAt the outbreak of the war, Spaldwick resident Harold Ashton was actually the War Correspondent of The Daily News, and was the son of the grocer in Spaldwick.

He published a book entitled First From The Front. You can view his book by clicking on the following link and you can download it in PDF format:

First From the Front by Harold Ashton

In his introduction in 1914, Ashton wrote: “In this brief book I have lifted a very small corner of the curtain of war, to tell of my adventures – a week in the North Sea, and a breathless score of days in Northern France. I have touched upon both Tragedy and Comedy as they came my way. The tragedy is terrible enough: I have put it down plainly and unvarnished. From Tragedy to Comedy it is but a step; along the gloomiest corridor of life one sees the flash of the cap and hears the rattle of the bells. Otherwise, it would be unbearable. And if my little bell would seem to jangle out of tune, I cannot help it. The bell was there; now and again it rang, and some of us smiled at the music of it.”


We remember those who died

Listed here are the people in Spaldwick who lost their lives during World War One.

Arthur Robert Chandler. As a Corporal in the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, Arthur died on 16th March 1915, aged 25, as part of the Second Battle of Ypres in western Belgium. He left a widow and two young sons. His brother died in action (below) over a year later.

Walter Whittlesea Dighton. As a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, Walter died on 22nd November 1915, aged 24. He died at the Battle of Ctesiphon in the Iraqi desert – one of 682 killed, 3674 wounded and 237 missing.

Percy William Chandler. As a Company Sergeant Major in the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, Percy died of wounds to the head on 28th June 1916, aged 31. He took part in the Battle of the Somme. He was the older brother of Arthur (above).

William Woodham. As a Private in the 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, William died on 18th October 1916, aged 39. William was killed in action, as part of the Somme Offensive. William is among the tens of thousands of soldiers who have no known grave.

John William Burton. As a Private in the 6th Battalion Bedforshire Regiment, John died on 24th April 1917, aged 38. He died from wounds received, and pneumonia, while in action in France. He left his wife, Ethel, and a daughter.

John William Chapman. As a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, John died on 31st May 1918, aged 19. He was a slim young man, who looked younger than he was. He was killed in action near the River Aisne in France, and has no known grave.


Stuart Dixon has compiled a PDF document in remembrance of those who died, and this can viewed or downloaded by clicking on the following link:

Spaldwick Roll of Honour document produced by Stuart Dixon (PDF)


Spaldwick war memorial

Spaldwick War Memorial