13th May 2005
The views expressed in the stories & articles on this site do not necessarily match the views of the editor.
Future EventsimageContents



Shirley Pipe Band leads the 60th VE Day Anniversary parade
to the church service at St Johns


Royal British Legion Veterans on parade


Court Leet and Fire Brigade on route to St Johns

On Sunday 8th May a church service, conducted by the Rector John Ganjavi, was held at St Johns to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe).

The Parade formed up at the Memorial Hall and was led by the Shirley Pipe Band and the Henley-in-Arden Standard of the Royal British Legion. On parade were Veterans, High Bailiff and Officers of the Court Leet, Warwickshire County Fire Brigade Colour Party, Local Councillors and representatives of local organisations.

To mark this anniversary, the Heritage Centre has a special exhibition about "Henley during the war years".

Photos by John Love

'Heroes of Henley' series by Douglas Bridgewater

William Henry Bonehill MM
(1885- c1947)
Private, 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

William was born in Henley in 1885, the son of James Bonehill. It is likely that he attended the Council Schools in the High Street, but unfortunately the best source for this information, the Register of the Junior School, is missing for the years 1891 to 1901. He had been employed as a groom when he joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a regular soldier on 19 February 1904, aged 18 years and six months. His Soldier’s Small Book shows that he was then 5’31⁄2” tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He enlisted for 3 years, with 9 years in the reserve, so that he left the army for the first time in 1907. He was then employed by the Great Western Railway as a carman at Henley-in-Arden, delivering parcels in the local area.

He married Minnie Leah Steedman (nee Neal), then a widow, who already had a daughter Ethel. They had five children of their own: Minnie Muriel (known as Muriel, baptised in St Nicholas’ Church on 4 September 1910), Florence, William Henry (known as Bill), Denis Albert (known as Denis, baptised in St Nicholas’ on 3 September 1916) and Thelma (born after the war and now the only survivor). The family lived in Beaudesert Lane until they moved after the war (most reluctantly on Mrs Bonehill’s part) to 14 Cherry Orchard, as the Council felt that the family was overcrowded in their two bedrooms in Beaudesert Lane.

William and Minnie Bonehill with their children
Muriel, Florence, Bill and Denis in Beaudesert Lane (circa 1919)

Being a reservist, William was called up into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 5 August 1914, the day after war was declared. It is not known which of the two regular battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment he was posted to. The 1st Battalion landed in France on 22 August 1914 as part of 4th Division, while the 2nd Battalion landed at Zeebrugge on 6 October 1914 as part of 7th Division. Whichever battalion he was with, William was in the firing line very quickly and was wounded in the right foot by shrapnel on 9 November 1914. This brought him back to Henley where, being one of the first from the town to return home wounded, a subscription of £2.10s.0d (£2.50) was raised for him. He returned to France and was attached to the grenade company of his battalion. On 30 July 1915 he was again wounded, being shot in the thigh by a sniper when carrying grenades: he was fortunate that the bullet did not hit the grenades, which would then have exploded. William was sent to hospital in Dublin to recover. Writing home from there, he said that he was hoping to see his wife and children in Beaudesert very soon. His letters showed him to be “his usual cheerful self”. He came home on another occasion after suffering in a mustard gas attack.

It is not known precisely when he joined the 15th Battalion, which had been formed as the 2nd Birmingham Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in September 1914. It landed at Bolougne on 14 January 1916, moving to Italy in December 1917 and returning to France in April 1918. It was then part of 14th Brigade, 5th Division. A near neighbour of William Bonehill’s in Beaudesert, Captain A C Coldicott, was also serving with the 15th Battalion in 1918 and more will be written of him in a future article.

William was awarded the Military Medal for “gallantry and devotion to duty”. The history of the Battalion by Major C A Bill records that on 20 July “2nd Lieutenant W Farrimond and 23 other ranks carried through a successful raid on the enemy trenches. Zero hour was fixed for 1.30 am but the party moved into No Man’s Land half an hour before. At zero hour the barrage opened on the enemy trench and lifted at zero plus one minute, when the party entered the trench. They bombed 14 occupied shelters, destroyed two machine guns and brought back one prisoner for identification purposes, and one machine gun. They returned at 2.00 am having had only two men slightly wounded”. The Stratford Herald of 23 August 1918 reported that Private Bonehill had killed nine of the enemy and captured a machine gun. He was one of three men to be awarded the Military Medal on 6 August by Lieutenant-General Richard Haking, commanding XI Corps. His award was listed in the London Gazette on 13 November 1918. The 15th Battalion was relieved on 30 July and was disbanded on 6 October, its men being transferred to the 14th and 16th Battalions. The battalions remained in France after the Armistice, most of their men being demobilised between January and April 1919.

In addition to the Military Medal, William was awarded the 1914 Star (indicating that he had served in France or Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His 1914 Star carries the clasp “5th August - 22 November 1914”, indicating that he had served under enemy fire during that period: fewer than half of the recipients of the 1914 Star were entitled to wear the clasp.

William Bonehill was one of the Old Contemptible's and was at the front, except for the three occasions when he was wounded, for virtually the entire war.



Mrs Thelma Briedens with her father’s medals
(left to right, the Military Medal, the 1914 Star with clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal)


Henley Rat Club

Rats were one of the enemies soldiers had to fight in the trenches and William carried on his war with them after his demobilisation. He was an enthusiastic member of the Henley Rat Club and appears on most of the Club photographs. In this photograph he is standing on the extreme right of the front row: on the extreme left is Jack Beard, another veteran of the Great War, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for almost four years, spending most of his time in Belgium.

Can anyone identify any of the other men on this photograph? If you have any further information on William Bonehill, please email or contact Douglas Bridgewater on 01564 793633 or e-mail him at He would also be pleased to have information on any of the other men from Beaudesert and Henley who served in the Great War. A list of these names is available in the Heritage Centre.

About the Author - Dr Douglas Bridgewater

imageDouglas Bridgewater spent two years in the army on National Service and was posted to the Headquarters of British Commonwealth Forces Korea that, fortunately for him, was located in Japan. His first degree was in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, followed by a career in the computer industry.

On his retirement he represented Henley for four years on Stratford District Council and for eight years on Warwickshire County Council.

During these years he also resumed his studies, being awarded an MA in English Local History and then a PhD in Modern History by the University of Birmingham. He is a member of the Centre for First World War Studies in the University, where he is also an Honorary Research Fellow.

Douglas is Low Bailiff of Henley Court Leet and served as High Bailiff from 1998 to 2000. He is married to Sue and has lived in Beaudesert for the last 22 years.

Civic Society annual outing

imageHenley and Beaudesert Civic Society has organised a private visit to Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire on Wednesday 15 June. Maggie Twigg has issued a special invitation to all readers of Henley NEWS on-line to join them for an interesting day out at one of the least known castles in the area.

The original castle was built by William the Conqueror and remained a royal castle until 1530 when it became a private residence. It represents 900 years of living history from fortress to English country home. The castle stands in 18 acres of formal and informal gardens and commands splendid views over five counties.

Time table:-

9.30 am  Depart Henley (Market Cross)
11.15am Arrival for coffee
11.45am Guided tour of the castle
1.15pm   Free time for picnic lunch and the gardens
3.15 pm  Cream tea
4.00 pm  Depart for Henley

Total Cost:- £18.00 which includes:- coach travel, entrance to castle and gardens, guided tour and cream tea.

Ardenhurst Reunion

imageAbout one hundred and ten former pupils and staff returned to Ardenhurst School, Henley in Arden, for the first reunion since it became Arden Lawn in the mid 1990's and latterly part of Warwickshire College.

Much of the thanks for the event taking place must go to Hilary Wright and her staff on the present site as well as organisers and former teachers at Ardenhurst ,Bill Payne and Debbie Earle. Pupils came from as far a field as California, Tanzania, Portugal, Australia and Holland and within our shores all the way from Scotland to Cornwall.

Staff were well represented by the wife of the late headmaster Bill Berryman, Ella Berryman , former head Peter Blunt and deputy Michael Lewis. Over twenty other staff arrived, too, to recontact familiar friends and to enjoy the hospitality provided.

An excellent buffet was served to all visitors, bar facilities added to the convivial atmosphere and participants were able to look at nostalgic reminders of the past in the form of cups, photographs and school memorabilia. Whilst Ardenhurst, a very happy and successful school in the 1970's and 1980's, is no more, what remains is a beautifully-kept campus of buildings and grounds that brought back fond memories of a time now gone. A grand day out.

Situations Vacant !

imageEver considered joining the Stewards Team at the Heritage Centre?

Each year, Henley’s unique museum of local history welcomes about 5,000 visitors including many hundreds of school children. It is open from Easter to the end of October.

A few more people are needed to join our existing team of 70 lively volunteers. Could you do a fixed two hour stint every fortnight? Or join a small group of reserve stewards to help cover for absence?

The stewards work in pairs, welcome people in and generally help them to make the most of their visit. It’s an ideal way to escape from daily routines and meet new folk!

Ray Holding, the curator or the Centre, would be delighted to hear from anyone with a little time to spare and a community spirit.

Please email Ray Holding or ring him on 792512.

Henley under 10's - What a great Season


The immensely pleasing thing is not just that we have won 15 out of our 21 games in all competitions, but just how much the boys have enjoyed it, grown both physically and in maturity, and developed friendships out of the team.

We ended the season as runners up in our league, having only lost 3 games and drawn 2. Football is full of 'ifs' and 'nearly's' but we were close to winning the league. We have also had lots of complements from opponents about the quality of our players and the way we have passed the ball. We also got through to the quarter final of the cup and only lost to a late goal in extra time in a wonderful match.

The overall strength of the team is also very pleasing and reflected in many ways. For instance, the scoring has been spread throughout the team. Steven B is leading scorer with 21 goals, but Adrian got 14, George scored 11, Farrell 10, and Matthew in half a season scored 9, Nicholas scored 8.

We have only conceded 30 goals in all these matches which is also an incredibly good performance and shows how Michael in goal, Alex, and Steven E have had a tremendous season at the back, supported of course by everyone else. (Including parents and supporters who have spent the season screaming 'get back' every time we lose the ball!).

Jordan, Jacob and James have also contributed significantly to the season, Jacob with the best headed goal of the season, Jordan with some great tackling and James with his sense of humour!
I would also like to thanks parents and supporters. Its been a great team effort in more than on the pitch. I have simply had to just co-ordinate everyone's efforts!


Henley Crime Report


This crime summary is a look at the crimes of public interest that occurred on the Henley, Snitterfield and Tanworth policing area over the last 14 days. We do not as normal practice include crimes of shoplifting, bilking, domestic violence or fraud.

Sometime between 11:00 hours and 15:00 hours on Sunday 24th April unknown offender/s have gained entry to a property on Snitterfield Road, Bearley via the conservatory by unknown means. It is unknown at present what property has been stolen.
Incident number 368 of 24th April refers

Between 18:00 hours on Wednesday 27th April and 08:00 hours on Saturday 30th April unknown offender/s have attempted to break into a house on Poolhead Lane, Tanworth, by forcing a rear window. No entry to the premises was gained.
Incident number 426 of 30th April refers

At approximately 00:57 hours on Tuesday 3rd May unknown offender/s have entered a house on Poolhead Lane, Tanworth by reaching in through a cat flap and turning the key on the inside of the door. Once inside offender/s have stolen vehicle keys for two Audi motor vehicles. The offender/s have then made off in the two vehicles. One was later recovered on tracker in Warstock.
Incident number 26 of 3rd May refers

Sometime before 07:55 hours on Friday 22nd April unknown offender/s have entered a commercial yard on Edge Lane, Henley and opened various containers within. It is not known at present if anything has been stolen.
Incident number 79 of 22nd April refers

At approximately 23:39 hours on Friday 22nd April four unknown youths have been seen kicking the window of a shop front on the High Street, Henley, causing it to crack.
Incident number 745 of 22nd April refers

At approximately 03:20 hours on Tuesday 3rd May unknown offender/s have forced the 10ft metal gates of a property on Broad Lane, Tanworth with a motor vehicle. Once inside offender/s have forced the garage door and stolen a Suzuki off road motorcycle and a mini motor bike from within.
Incident number 156 of 3rd May refers

Sometime between 18:30 hours on Thursday 21st April and 08:00 hours on Friday 22nd April unknown offender/s have punched the door lock of a Mitsubishi Warrior motor vehicle parked secure and unattended on Penn Lane, Tanworth. Offender/s have stolen golf clubs from within.
Incident number 106 of 22nd April refers

Sometime between 21:00 hours on Tuesday 26th April and 06:30 hours on Wednesday 27th April unknown offender/s have stolen a VW Touarag 4x4, green in colour, parked secure and unattended on Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen.
Incident number 63 of 27th April refers

Sometime before 07:00 hours on Thursday 28th April unknown offender/s have entered a Renault Megane motor vehicle parked secure and unattended on Blind Lane Tanworth. Offender/s have stolen a satellite navigation system from within.
Incident number 79 of 28th April refers

Between 22:00 hours on Friday 29th April and 07:20 hours on Saturday 30th April unknown offender/s have stolen a custom built Landrover car trailer from the driveway of a premises on Shutt Lane, Earlswood.
Incident number 163 of 30th April refers

Between 19:00 and 21:30 hours on Friday 29th April unknown offender/s have smashed the door glass and forced the door handle of a VW Golf motor vehicle parked secure and unattended in Hockley Heath. Offender/s have then pulled forward the rear seats of the vehicle and searched the boot. No property has been stolen.
Incident number 618 of 19th April refers

at approximately 17:15 hours on Friday 29th April three unknown males have been disturbed at the back of a farm building in Wootton Wawen. The males made off from the scene in a Silver Ford Mondeo.
Incident number 434 of 29th April refers

If you have any information or have witnessed the above incidents, please can you contact Alcester Police on 01789 762207.

Overzealous Energy Sales

Consumers are warned to beware of high-pressure sales people after Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards received several complaints about the doorstep sales techniques of some sales people trying to encourage householders to switch their gas or electricity supplier.

Consumers have reported being bombarded with statistics on the doorstep and the promise that they would be able to save ‘lots of money’ by switching. Others have felt they were being almost ‘forced‘ in to changing their supplier or complained that the callers showed no ID.

Noel Hunter, Director of Warwickshire Trading Standards Service, said:
'Many of these sales people work on a commission basis and are hungry for signatures. But we would strongly advise householders to think twice before signing on the doorstep and without first giving themselves time to consider any offer fully and make their own comparisons between service providers. The complaints we have received will be followed up with the companies involved and referred to energywatch, the independent watch dog for gas and electricity consumers.'

Householders who believe they have been transferred to another supplier erroneously, for example without their permission can complain to energywatch directly and under the 'Erroneous transfer customers charter' may be able to claim compensation. Call energywatch on 08459 06 07 08 or complain on line via their website

Warwickshire Trading Standards are aware of a number of high pressure sales techniques used by unscrupulous sales people to ‘encourage’ or simply mislead householders in to signing a contract to change their energy supplier. These include:

I'm here to read the meter – please sign here.' There is no need to sign for a meter reading.

'Sign here so we can send you further information about the prices we offer.' There is no need to sign for further information.

'Sign here to say I visited you today or else I’ll be in trouble with my boss.' You don’t need to sign to confirm the salesperson’s visit.

'I won’t get my commission unless you sign.' Sales representatives are usually only paid commission if you agree to switch supplier.

'This deal is only available today. You’ll lose out if you don’t sign now.' Do not be pressurised into signing on the spot. Take plenty of time to properly consider any deal you are offered and shop around.

'I can’t leave your house until you sign.' If the salesperson will not leave when asked, call the police.

Consumers interested in changing their supplier are advised to shop around for the best deal. Helpful advice and straightforward and up to date price comparisons between different suppliers are available by visiting the energywatch website.

On the doorstep:-

Beware of bogus callers - check their identity and company.

You do not have to change your supplier of electricity if you choose not to.

If you are asked to sign any document check that it is not an agreement or contract.

By law, if you sign a contract in your home as the result of an unsolicited visit, or a visit arranged through an unsolicited phone call, you have a seven day 'cooling off' period to change your mind and cancel. This also applies if you enter in to a contract over the phone.

It is now a criminal offence for traders not to provide information, in writing, on how to cancel a contract, when the contract is agreed and signed, as a result of an unsolicited visit.

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

Tricia's Henley Diary Dates

The following diary dates have been notified to Tricia Hammond at 132 High Street or electronically to All diary dates for the next Tricia's Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Tricia. Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the at any time.

Methodist Church Coffee Morning will be Saturday 14th May from 10 am till noon.
imageHenley Wildlife Society welcomes visitors (only £1). Join us from 7.45 pm in the Baptist Church Hall on Tuesday 17th May for ‘Wildlife in Art’ with Jackie Garner for an illustrated talk with slides and paintings.

imageFrom 23rd – 26th June HADS will be performing in the Guildhall Garden. The play will be ‘Wind in the Willows’.

An occasion for a picnic perhaps! Watch this space for further details.

imageA note for your diaries; we shall be holding the Jazz in the Garden on Saturday 2nd July. As usual we have the AD HOC Jazz Band and there will be strawberries and fizzie. All in aid of the Memorial Hall funds. We are kindly sponsored again by John Earle & Sons and Lodders.

For more information please phone either Duncan on 793539 or Marijana on 794987.

imageDouble G & S Concerts in Tanworth This is an invitation to tenors & basses to come aboard “HMS Pinafore” and attend a “Trial by Jury” on July14, 15 & 16th. Note three performances by popular demand.

Rehearsals on Tuesdays in Tanworth Village Hall at 7.45pm Men only on May 24th & 31st.

Full chorus from June 7th through to the final one (a must) on July 12th. Details of ticket sales will appear later. I look forward to seeing you, ladies & gentlemen for this 28th year. Any enquiries (at this stage) to Wendy Dillon 01564 742464

imageBell ringing!! Who would like to ‘have a go’ at ringing a Church Bell? ‘Have a Go’ on any Thursday evening at 7.45pm in St. John’s Church, for £1.00 donation to the High Bailiff’s Flood Relief Fund.

Henley ringers will match all contributions.

Business ClubTHE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB holds their monthly lunchtime meeting on third Thursday of each month from 11.30am to 2.15pm at the Henley Golf Club. There is a one hour networking session followed by a quality lunch and a informative speaker on a business topic.

Rotary ClubTHE ROTARY CLUB of Henley-in-Arden meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.

New members are always welcome. Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email

Events for future Tricia's Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Tricia Hammond by email or by post to 132 High St marked ‘Tricia’s Diary’. Please tell all your friends about Tricia's Diary.



Door to door holidays in UK, Europe and beyond

Day Excursions and Coach Hire for all occasions


Call 01564 797000

Travel with Johnsons – Travel with Friends


Jonathan Dovey's

History of Henley

A series of articles produced for

Click to download the complete series

Douglas Bridgewater's

Heroes of Henley

A series of articles produced for


Click to download the complete series



imageFrom our own Correspondents

Henley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures.

Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed. Please always try to include a photo.

Letters, articles, pictures to the Editor are always welcome. Please do not use the following file formats 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Microsoft Word' is preferred format. Please send to

We are delighted to publish the growing list of our correspondents:

AgriculturalDavid Burman
PropertyPeter Cornford
RotaryMike Redman
Civic SocietyBrian Twigg
Henley History ColumnJonathan Dovey
Henley in BloomRichard Aldridge
British LegionLes Goodman
Wild Life SocietyJohn Love
Warwickshire CollegeHilary Wright
Prince Harry Road areaHelen Knight
Riverside Drive areaWendy Cowdrill
Tricia's DiaryTricia Hammond
Out of Town 
Malvern, WorcsDan Wild
CanadaAnne Elliott
Warwickshire CountyGeorge Atkinson
Stratford DistrictStephen Thirlwell
Joint Parish CouncilHayley Syratt
Heart StartPeter Crathorne
The HubJames Kirby
The Gourmet WalkersDL & MM
Heritage CentreRay Holding
Memorial HallMarijana Bainbridge
Primary SchoolYvonne Rogers
Chief PhotographerJohn Love
Proof ReaderDawn Leech
Medical CentreLinda Jennings
AustraliaPaul Jackson
Our new correspondents' names appear in bold.

Without their support, Henley NEWS on-line would cease.

We are always looking for more correspondents and more stories.

Bill Leech - Editor

Henley-in-Arden Roll of Honour
British Legion
Dr. Douglas Bridgewater is researching the gallant men of Henley-in-Arden who gave their lives in the two World Wars. He has already established that the Town's war memorials are incomplete. Special report

Sports & Leisure

Sports clubs




History of Henley


EU, National & Local
James Plaskitt MP
imageCllr George Atkinson

Anne Haddon

Stephen Thirlwell


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