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Great Baddow is full of history and recently some old photos were donated showing scenes from the centre of the village around the time of the First World War 1914-1918. These old photos are provided in the hope they may appeal to those interested in the social life of the village in the early part of the last century, and prompt anyone else with similar images to provide them for archiving.

We are also interested in any documents relating to the history of the village and are delighted to have been supplied by Roger Smith with transcripts of two old letters. Roger's Great Uncle Bill mentioned the Vineyards in his 1918 correspondence home. Bill was a driver with the 37 Squadron Royal Flying Corp. [From records held in the National Archives: 50 Wing RFC was formed on 28 Aug 1917 at Adastral House in London. It comprised of three Home Defence Squadrons, 37 Squad: 61 Squad & 75 Squad. On the 26 March 1918 the HQ was transferred to Great Baddow.]

White HorseThe first image shows the White Horse pub at the time of the First World War. Soldiers are standing in the doorway and a small child is standing with an adult civilian in the roadway. Beyond is Vicarage Lane. Galleywood road corner with an advertisement for the property on the corner reading "To be sold"... The pub itself is easily recognisable.


Vicarage LaneThe second picture shows a very leafy and rural Vicarage Lane. The location is not easily identified - anyone with knowledge of the precise spot is invited to email the web manager.



Blue Lion

The third photo shows an easily recognisable image of the Blue Lion pub, taken before 1917. The property to the left of the pub no longer exists but that on the right of the picture is occupied today as offices. Note the advertisement for refreshments, 'tea room'  and the advertising hoarding across the roof line for 'sparking ales and stout, wines and spirits'. Also observe the telegraph pole, most of which have now disappeared with the advent of underground cables.


New RoadThe final fourth picture shows New Road - only properties on the right hand side facing away from the Vineyards had been built. Most of these remain relatively unchanged today and those with the porch canopies remain identifiable.



Collectively the four pictures show the more rural aspect  of the village from a century ago; anyone with more information or additional pictures is invited to get in touch. For a larger image click on the picture to open a larger version.

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January 2022
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