Room Template

Join Our Meeting

Meetings at St Johns Church annex Lemsford Village

Built & Maintains our Website
Read More »

Quick View of lemsford Parish - Click on Star

  • St Johns Church
  • St Johns School
  • Lemsford Mill
  • Brocket Hall
  • The Sun Inn
  • Long & Short
  • Crooked Chimney
  • Waggoners
  • Lemsford WW1
  • Lemsford Springs
  • Lemsford Village
  • Cromer Hyde
  • Stanborough
  • Handside
  • Publications

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 Halsey 1875 – 1916 – Killed in the Great War

James Halsey was born in 1875 in Welwyn, Hertfordshire. In 1881, he was living with his family in London Road, Welwyn where his father, Thomas Halsey, was a Woodman. By 1901, James was a Domestic Footman living and working in the home of a Mining Engineer in Bletchingley, Surrey.

In 1909, James set sail from Liverpool to Quebec in Canada on board the Empress of Britain arriving on 17 September 1909. The manifest describes his occupation as a Coachman. On 19 May 1915, James now age 40 enlisted into the Canadian Armed Forces (Service No 435211), in Calgary. He was described as a Foreman and his next of kin was Mrs L Cochrane, his sister, who by now was married to John Cochrane, a Flour Mill Waggoner living in Lemsford.

On the morning of June 2, 1916, the Germans mounted an attack to dislodge the Allies from their positions at Mount Sorrel just north of the Ypres-Menin road. In the fiercest bombardment yet experienced by Canadian Troops, whole sections of trench were obliterated and the defending garrisons annihilated. Human bodies and even the trees of Sanctuary Wood were hurled into the air by the explosions. By evening, the enemy advance was checked, but the important vantage points of Mount Sorrel and Hills 61 and 62 were lost. A counter-attack by the Canadians the next morning failed; and on June 6, after exploding four mines on the Canadian front, the Germans assaulted again and captured Hooge on the Menin Road. At Mount Sorrel Canadian troops suffered 8,430 casualties. On the first day of this attack, James Halsey as a Lance Corporal, Service No 435211, of the 49th Canadian Infantry was killed and is buried in the Divisional Collecting Post Cemetery and Extension near Ypres (Leper).

Note on the back of the above image of Jim Halsey ( Photo in the possession of Shirley Knapp). ‘ Dads uncle Jim Halsey, died in Bethune 1916 in the Canadian Army. He lived in Calgary, Western Canada, at the outbreak of the First World War. Our eldest brother, John Cochrane lived with him for a short time trekked, 500 miles into the Peace River County and was drowned trying to save a friend. Dad’

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

Article Author Date Read Article
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