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North Street Shrine

Erected at the corner of North Villa garden and Shirley Road

North Street

The first photograph has been sent to us from California. Carol Forbush tells us that her grandmother Mabel Olive Dunn, born in 1913, is the little girl in front with the white muff. Mabel Olive's mother Mabel (nee Abbott) is behind her, and her Aunt Miriam Driver is to her right and then Mabel's mother Leanna Abbott. Miriam & Leanna (nee York) were sisters. The Dunn family lived at 21 North Street in 1901.

North Street war shrine
North Street Memorial - behind the crowd (right) is Shirley Road

The other two pictures have been since discovered and the owner has allowed us to copy them.

Another North Street picture North Street memorial shrine Rushden Echo, March 23rd 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Roll of Honour for North-street, given by Mrs. Oliver Claridge, was dedicated on Saturday afternoon by the Rev. P. J. Richards (Vicar of St. Peter’s), assisted by the Rev. P. Robson (Rector of St. Mary’s). The Rev. C. J. Keeler was also present.

Two more pictures of North Street Memorial

Rushden Echo, 9th November 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Very Successful Dance to raise funds for sending a monetary Christmas gift to North-street soldiers and sailors, whose names are on the Roll of Honour, was held in the Co-operative Hall yesterday week. The arrangements were made by Mrs. Fairey and a capable committee comprising Mesdames Peacock, J. Smith, J. C. Whiting, Mundin, Minney, B. Hinde and J. W. Hinde. A good company was present, and the motive music for dancing was supplied by Messrs. H. Baker (violin), W. Knighton (flute), W. Ireland (double bass), and W. Wills (piano), all of whom kindly gave their services. The duties of M.C. were efficiently discharged by Mr. F. Blundell, and Messrs. Langford and Hinde were in charge of the doors. A sugar-guessing competition, arranged by Mrs. Harris, realised 8s. 3d., the correct number of lumps—126—being guessed by Mrs. Twelvetree. A Marrow weight-guessing competition, in charge of Ralph Whiting, made 6s. 1d., and the marrow was won by Mr. Dilley, who correctly estimated the weight, 13lbs. The children helped in their small way by selling various articles. Lucky apples were sold by Gladys Smith and Ida Tate, who succeeded in raising 4s. 6d. Elsie Bradshaw and Edie Fensome raised 5s. 3d., by the sale of lavender bags, and ribbon bows sold by Rosie Fensome realized 4s. 6d.

At a subsequent committee meeting it was decided to send a letter of thanks to Mr. Baker for the valued services of the band. After paying expenses, £7 13s. 8d. profit was made, and 5s. has been sent to each of the boys. Mrs. O. Claridge (president) arrived during the evening, and was given a most cordial reception.

Rushden Echo, 11th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

North Street Roll of Honour - Soldier’s Thanks

Recipients of gifts from the North-street and Shirley-road Roll of Honour at Rushden, have written letters highly eulogising the work of the committee, the following being representative selections:

O.S. J. A. Pickering, R.N.D.: The postal order was a welcome surprise. I am getting along all right, and although the life is of necessity a hard and rough one, I am endeavouring to make the best of it.

Pte. J. T. Shortland, Royal Sussex (now in Kent): We are getting on very well down here, and we get some good food, but it is a long time from tea to breakfast. We have a very good Y.M.C.A. hut here, where we can get something at night, so the gift will go towards the supper. There are quite a lot of Rushden men in the Royal Sussex, and I think the majority of the men are from Northamptonshire.

B. Hinde (B.E.F.): I visited the shrine when I was home on leave last month, and I think it is very beautiful.

Lance-Corpl. Whiting: I hardly know how to thank you enough for your work to make our life brighter. Such kindness as you have shown to us gives us the heart, and courage to carry on, doing our bit.

Pte. G. Bollard: The 2s. 6d. came in nicely, as we leave for France tomorrow.

Pte. H. Travill, Northants Regiment, Transport Section, Egyptian Expeditionary Force: We often sit in the desert and talk about the kindness of the people in getting this war shrine up and sending out to the boys who are fighting for their country. The gift came in very handy, for we had not been paid for over two months. The sun is very hot out here, but we are used to it after being out here for two years.

J. W. Hinde, B.E.F.: The postal order has come to me as a god-send.

A. J. Smith: I wish you success in the great work you have undertaken.

O.S. Arthur G. Knight, R.N.D.: It is very cheering to know there are a great many people at home who remember us.

Pte. W. Hinde, T.T.B.: We boys have to do just the same as the old soldiers.

Pte. H. C. Twelvetree, Yeomanry, writes that he is defence duty on the coast.

Pte. C. Dunn: I hope we shall all soon be home again, so that we may repay you for your great kindness to us.

Signaller E. Charles: Let us hope we shall have peace again before next Rushden Feast.

Pte. H. Murdin: It is very pleasing to us out here to know that the folks at home are thinking of us. Such thoughts are very powerful in helping to soften the hardness of things.

Letter of thanks have also been received from Pte. E. H. Groome, Sergt. W. Chantrill, Pte. G. E. Travill, Pte. G. H. Line.

Rushden Echo, 2nd August 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

The North-street Roll of Honour committee have sent 5s. each to 41 boys on the roll, which makes 15s. each since April.

Rushden Echo, 16th August 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Rushden Khaki Wearers - The men of North-Street and Shirley Park

Mrs. Oliver Claridge, of Rushden, secretary of the North-street and Shirley-park Roll of Honour, has received some interesting letters from the “boys” in acknowledgement of the war shrine gifts, some typical samples being appended:-

W. R. Hinde, writing from Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancs., says: I am in hospital, wounded, but I think my wound is getting on fine now. It is a very big hospital we are in. I should say there are about 3,000 wounded lads here, and there are some very bad cases too.

W. Chantrell: The gift was a most acceptable and pleasant surprise.

L. J. Newell (writing from a hospital at Tunbridge Wells): It is simply splendid of you and everyone connected with the movement.

Pte. H. Murdin, F.A., B.E.F.: I must apologise for not replying before, but owing to starting on a four days’ march the day after receiving yours, i could not get my mail through for a week.

Shoeing Smith J. W. Hinde, France: It is very kind of all concerned in doing what they do for us.

Corpl. H. Harriss, B.E.F.: I am please to say I continue to enjoy good health, and am as cheerful as one can be through it all.

J. A. Pickering: It is such kindness as this which gives “Tommy” encouragement to fight for a speedy and victorious finish and to defen dear old England from the same fate that other countries have had.

H. C. Whiting, H.M.M.L., writes that they have been busy of late fitting the parts together, ready for sea, “which will not be long now, as we have started our trials.”

J. E. Whiting: I am at present in hospital suffering from an old knee trouble, but I think that in a short time I shall be fit again.

S. G. Whiting: If every lad in this struggle got what the North-street lads are getting he would appreciate it very warmly.

E. E. Strand Evans writes that he is in the best of health.

J. S. Shortland: Influenza has been bad in our camp. It is nice to get where it is a bit quieter, and we are having a good time, as we are provided with plenty of sport.

Pte. G. Bollard: I am pleased to say I am getting on much better. It is five months now since I was removed to hospital.

Lance-Corpl. Smith (Bedfordshire Regt.): I sincerely hope that no more boys whose names are on the Roll of Honour will be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice.

B. Hind (Belgium): We are having some splendid weather now, which makes it much more comfortable for us.

Driver C. W. Mills (France): Thank you all for the good work you are doing to make ................................

Rushden Echo, 13th December 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Meeting of the committee of the North-street and Shirley-road Roll of Honour was held on Monday evening, when it was arranged to send out to each of the men whose names are on the Roll of Honour a 'Victory Note' of 10s. 0d. with Christmas greetings, this being the sixth postal order sent out in 1918. The amount sent since March 1917, is £115 10s. 0d., for which many letters of appreciation have been received. The dance arranged by the young members of the committee on November 14th resulted in £10 being paid over to the fund.

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