Somme Centenary – Special Commemorative Service

Somme 100 Picture for website

 In 2016, many throughout the world will be commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916), and remembering those who fought and died during this battle.  The Somme remains the theatre of one of the most deadly battles of the First World War. The French and British armies rallied troops from the colonies and the French Foreign Legion and units from 25 nations and 50 countries were involved in the battle. In five months of combat, the total number of men killed, wounded and missing reached over one million and entire nations were sent into mourning. The British and Germans suffered 420,000 casualties each, the French 190,000. The landscape of the north-east of the Somme was completely devastated; villages were razed to the ground and fields turned into lunar-landscapes by shelling. A century after these events, the trauma of the battle is still strongly felt and the numerous cemeteries and memorials, punctuating the landscapes, embody the continued memory of a “lost generation”.

Laurent Somon, President of the Somme Departmental Council

In Hambledon, we will be holding our own service to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on:

Friday 1st July, 7.30pm at Hambledon Church

Our aim is to include reflections from those whose families had a connection with someone involved in the battle. If this is you, Catherine McBride (Associate Vicar, Busbridge & Hambledon Church) would love to hear from you to find out more and see how you could be involved. Do give her a call on 01483 421267 or by e-mail


Hambledon – A Celebration In Flowers

flowersContributors are invited to take part in a Celebration in Flowers, which is to take place at St Peter’s Church on Saturday and Sunday, June 20th and 21st.

The aim is to celebrate in flowers the many and diverse clubs and organisations in the village. Individual contributions are also welcome.

Please come along to the church at 10.30am on Saturday May 30th to discuss your entry and the space allocated to it.

The church will be open all day on Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th June to set up displays.  Please include a label with your name or organisation.

Regardless of whether you are taking part please come along over the display weekend – between 10am and 6pm – to enjoy the floral celebrations, especially if your organisation is represented.  The church, which plans to produce a handout listing the contributors, will be open both days for cream teas.  Sunday services will be held as usual at 9am and 10.30am.

If you have any queries before the contributors meeting on May 30th please contact Sue Blackman on 01428 683871.


Village Church: Funds needed to secure its future

ImageThe future of Hambledon’s parish church cannot be assured without new funding, its rector has warned.   The Rev. Simon Taylor took the opportunity, as guest speaker at the annual Parish Assembly, to outline the funding crisis that Hambledon and many other rural parishes face.  Put simply, St Peter’s Church does not generate enough money to pay for itself. He said it currently relies on around 27 “very faithful people” to fund its ministry. They give around £70,000 a year but it requires in the region of £100,000 to run and insure the church, pay the salary and accommodation of its minister and provide pastoral care and support.

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Church Graveyard Survey -now online


Hambledon Graveyard Project

In the summer of 2010 three old villagers thought it might be a good idea to research the churchyard at St Peter’s, to re-organise the written records and survey the gravestones before some of the older inscriptions became illegible or disappeared altogether. The aim was to see if family names could be researched (with the help of the internet), and perhaps linked to extant relatives who may not be aware of their antecedents’ burial places.

Two young volunteers, Alex Sehmer and Vicky Grove, took on the work.

The project has successfully tidied up the burial records, and the database is available for anyone engaged in research. It was interesting to note how time-consuming it became when trying to research the genealogy of just one family, let alone 50! However, the records are now ‘alive’ and let’s hope we can keep them up to date!

The detailed survey is available as a Google Doc:Hambledon Surrey Graveyard Survey Document

Webmaster’s note:  Now that this survey is on our website it does greatly increase it’s prominance Worldwide.  The Hambledon website has a good Google ranking and so the lists of names will appear in serches made by family history researchers..