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  • St Johns Church
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  • Lemsford WW1
  • Lemsford Springs
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Shirley Knapp (nee Cochrane) is a leading member of Lemsford Local History group and has provided more memories and images for our archive than any other member. When we asked her for her memories of WW1 that were passed onto her she produced a comprehensive, personal and loving recollections of her family, she bought them all to life for this generation. Her first article ‘Cochrane family Loss & Grief,’ deals with the reality and hardship of WW1 to a close country family. Her articles about the members who died, wounded and returned give a feel for the times. Her images provide us with an idea of what those times were like to live through. – Thank you Shirley To find full list of Census entriesClick Here

James Cochrane 1881 – 1967

James Cochrane 1881 to 1967 was born into a farming family, the 4th son of Robert and Marion Cochrane. His parents came down from Scotland in 1876 to West End farm in Essendon, Hertfordshire. One of 11 children, his early life was spent in Lemsford where he went to school. June 6th 1899 James enlisted into the Northumberland Fusiliers at Portland. He became a Sergeant 12 June 1912 and 3 years later in 1915 Company Sergeant major he was discharged in 1920 due to termination of engagement a total of 21 years.

On completion of military service, James Cochrane worked for Welwyn Department Store Ltd for 35 years (1926 – 1961) He was presented with a watch when he retired with an inscription on the back ‘ Presented to Mr J Cochrane in appreciation of his 35 years loyal service with Welwyn Department Store Ltd 1926 – 1961

A thank you note for Mrs & Miss Holdsworth

Lemsford News January 1916

Christmas Parcels for the Boys at the Front – As announced last month, the subscriptions for the school prizes would this year be devoted to parcels for our old boys, the present scholars took up the cause with great zest. On Thursday, 9th December, 27 boxes and the necessary contents were taken into school, and the children were very busy packing the individual contents into the several boxes. These consisted of sweets, chocolates, tobacco, cigarettes, cocoa, soap, candles, apples, oranges, cakes, magazines or papers, and a sprig of holly. Then the boxes were tied and afterwards sewn up in canvas. On Tuesday, December 21st, our first reply came. To show how the boys appreciated the contents I have quoted an extract from one of the letters received. “. . . Just a few lines to thank you and the children for the splendid parcel received on December, 15th, in excellent condition. Some of the contents are luxuries and some are just what we want for we cannot get anything here just behind the trenches, where we are now resting before going up again. It seems nice to think we are not forgotten and anything from home is always appreciated. “ Our thanks are due to the following ladies and gentlemen for kindly subscribing to our prize fund this year – Mrs Holdsworth, Colonel Fellows, Mrs Sear, Mr Horn. Ten letters have already been received full of grateful thanks. Image above is Alice Holdsworth

A thank you letter from James Cochrane

Lemsford Local History Group have a large archive of documentation & images for all aspects of history in Lemsford Parish. For our website we require your help to update and provide memories, facts and images about all aspects of the past in Lemsford Parish. Please Contact us on

Andy Chapman LLHG

Enjoy Our Images

All photographs, images, PDFs and text used on this website are for your enjoyment. Please remember all photographs and material used on this site MAY NOT be copied, in whole or in part, or be duplicated to another computer, transmitted, published, reproduced, printed, hotlinked, etc. without the express written permission of the Lemsford Local History Group. To apply to use an image or article Contact

Cochrane family Loss & Grief Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More
David Cochrane 1883 -1917 Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More
James Cochrane 1881 – 1967 Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More
James Cochrane 1898 – 1982 Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More
James Halsey 1875 – 1916 Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More
William & Robert Cochrane Shirley Knapp 2014 Read More

Lemsford Local History Group

The Lemsford Local History Group, formed in 2001, is interested in all aspects of the history and the people of this area - both ancient and modern. We welcome correspondence from anyone who shares this interest.The group archives now include a significant number of photographs and documents, as well as records of baptisms (to 1985), marriages (to 1970), burials (to 2003) and memorial inscriptions (to 2003) from the St John's parish church registers. Records of births, marriages and deaths before the consecration of the church in 1859 will be found in the registers of Bishop's Hatfield parish. The archive also contains admission records for the village school - St. John's Church of England Junior Mixed Infants school - since it was first opened in 1872