The obelisk on the flank of Hydon’s Ball, which commemorates the lives of two brothers who died in the First World War, has been given a Grade II Listing as a structure of special interest by Historic England.
The Listing gives protection to the monument and official recognition of its architectural and historic significance.
It is one of more than 2,500 memorials to the fallen that Historic England is listing as the nation remembers the 100th anniversary of the 1914-18 Great War. More than 740,000 military personnel from the British Isles alone died in the deadly global conflict.
The obelisk commemorates Second Lieutenant Laurance Robertson, aged 36, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, who was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on 30 July 1916, and his brother Captain Norman Robertson, 40, of 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, who died in a military hospital in Hanover on 20 June 1917.
Our photograph below shows the obelisk following the heavy snowfall in November 2010, two weeks after Remembrance Sunday.
It was erected as a result of a bequest to the National Trust in the will of their eldest brother William, who died in 1937. The Trust already owned much of Hydon’s Ball and the bequest required the purchase of a small plot of land on Hydon Heath and the erection of the monument. This was completed in 1959.
The obelisk can be found beside the footpath below the summit on the south-west slope of the hill. It is easily reached from the lower end of Church Field, through the kissing gate, turning right to the little pumping station and then following the path up hill to the left. Many villagers leave poppies on the memorial around the time of Remembrance Sunday.
Hambledon Heritage Society assembled for their 2009 AGM in the Village Hall – the theme was a “Night to Remember” – memories of living in Hambledon during the 1940’s. A number of guest speakers were invited, and recordings of their stories are included here for you to listen to.
Click on the Audio or Video to listen.
Olive Thornton and here wartime rescue story:
Recordings from the Heritage Society AGMs:
Mr Milligan, son of F. E. Milligan, former Headmaster of Hambledon School:
Norman Gravestock – Curator of Oakhurst Cottage of the National Trust
Olive Thornton’s video of the German Airman rescue from 1942.
Joan Vickery on her life living in Hambledon:
Louis de Bernieres on his formative years living in Hambledon:
Volunteers at Surrey History Centre have recently completed indexing the Hambledon Poor Law Union minute books for the period 1836 to 1910. These minute books recorded each meeting of the Board of Guardians responsible for overseeing Hambledon Workhouse (now Hambledon Park).
June 1st saw a significant event for the history of Milford Hospital. Two former patients returned to see a plague unveiled to mark their meeting in 1948. Ray Galton & Alan Simpson met as 19 year olds suffering from TB. They stayed for many years receiving treatment – but their time was well spent. The started to write comedy sketches together, which were performed on the rudemenatry hospital radio service. They went on to become the foremost comedy scriptwriters – creating Hancock and Steptoe and Sons, and a huge catalogue of shows over the following decades. The plaque was unveiled by their friend and performer Paul Merton.
I had the privilege to meet the guys a few years ago, as part of my research for the Milford Hospital History Website. They described to me in detail their years at Milford, and most interestingly, the location of the original laundry cupboard in which they built their radio studio – arguably the “Birthplace of the British Sit-Com.
Wednesday’s AGM was a well attended affair, not least because of the guest speaker’s excellent presentation.
Norman Gravestock gave an entertaining talk on the heritage of Hambledon. Listen to his whole speech here.
The red phone box outside Hambledon Post Office and stores has been given a repaint by BT, with the Crown picked out in gold in this Queen’s Jubilee and London Olympic year.
The kiosk, which is of the iconic K6 design, was given listed status by English Heritage in October 2010. Recently the paint had peeled and faded and the parish council requested a repaint, which was carried out two weeks ago. The interior has also been repainted.
BT had proposed removing the kiosk three years ago because the number of calls made from it had declined with the widespread use of mobile phones, but this was resisted by the council and others. The parish council asked English Heritage if would consider listing it and an inspection was carried out.
The kiosk is of the classic design by Giles Gilbert Scott and was first introduced in 1935 on the occasion of King George V’s Silver Jubilee. English Heritage concluded that the Hambledon box, situated in a picturesque landscape next to a pond and post office, within a conservation area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, “contributes to the exceptional rural setting in which it stands”. It was given Grade II listed status.
It now looks splendid with its fresh coat of paint. Although the box cannot now be removed, BT may remove the phone apparatus, subject to further consultation, sometime in the future. So please pop in and use it. It makes a pleasant change from a mobile phone. But remember: you will have to buy a phone card from the village Post Office as the kiosk no longer accepts coins.
At the start of the year Surrey History Centre chose our website as one of three Surrey websites to be part of a new archiving project in association with the National Archives. I am pleased to say that the project is now completed. This is a super feather in the cap for Hambledon.
A page on their website gives further details and also includes a link to the archived version of the Hambledon Village site. More information is also available on the National Archives website.
The Hambledon Heritage Society is developing a series of guided walks encouraging the exploration and understanding of Hambledon and its historic landscapes.
The first in this series will follow the footpaths and bridleways through part of the Hurst. This guided walk will enable us to become aware of layers of geological and archaeological time and discover the history revealed in the landscape.
Join us on Sunday 26th June at 11:00am. We will meet at the entrance to the disused Nutbourne brickworks. The walk will take circa 2.0 hours with pauses for observations, briefings & questions.
A small, minimum donation of £2.00 per adult is requested but children will be free as part of the Society’s philosophy of encouraging our younger villagers to better understand, enjoy and become enthusiastic about, OUR VILLAGE HERITAGE.
The traditional red phone kiosk outside Hambledon Village Shop has been given a Grade II listing by English Heritage on the grounds of its architectural and historical significance. The listing gives the box protection from removal at a time when British Telecom is reducing the number of public phone kiosks across the country.
In 2008 Stewart Payne asked English Heritage to consider listing the kiosk on behalf of Hambledon Parish Council, giving reasons why the kiosk should be protected.
English Heritage informed him this week that its criteria had been fulfilled and BT and Waverley Borough Council would be informed of its listing. Continue reading