Douglas William Prout

In the course of my research on John Prout, the agriculturist working from Blounts Farm Allens Green, I came across details of his grandson Douglas.  Douglas was born in Sawbridgeworth in 1891,  whilst his parents, William Andrew and Jessie Sophia lived in Knight Street. At the time of the 1911 census Douglas was living with his parents in Ealing and working as a bank Clerk.

Douglas was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th battalion of Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment.  He entered that regiment via the Inns of Court Training Corps. So perhaps after working in a bank he changed direction and worked at a sollicitor. That stands to reason as his father was also a law man. Little is as yet known  of Douglas’s time in the military. We do know he perished on 3rd September 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial so he must have been fought at the Somme. Douglas William Prout was 25 years old. He is mentioned on neither the High Wych, nor the Sawbridgeworth memorial.

I will shortly amend my records to include Douglas Prout on the list of High Wych WW1 fallen.


The High Wych Gang reunited

The below picture was sent to me by Eric Willison,  Readers of my articles may remember a group of (then) young people members of a local  youth club who were also involved in plays in the village hall.  The High Wych “gang” also often met in the upstairs room at the Hand and Crown.

HIGH WYCH GANG 2015Recently the meanwhile older (and wiser?) gang members met at the Manor of Groves Hotel. I am told they do not mind this photograph being posted here.  Rasing their glasses are:   Back row left to right: Eric Willison, Bob Springham, John Springham, Rosemary Felstead née Springham, Sandra Lant née Helmer,  Carol Springham née Cutting,  Bob Lant, Alec Felstead and Fred Morris.  Front row: Chris Bullock , Sonia Willison née Towers, Ann Morris née Buckley and finally Janet Springham née Needham.      Hand & Crown & High Wych Youth c1960 s

I can’t resist contrasting this with a picture from the olden days!