Hatfield relatives of those who served in WW1 needed for exhibit

PUBLISHED: 11:30 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:12 10 August 2017

Edwin Payne on leave in Alexandria, 1918.

Edwin Payne on leave in Alexandria, 1918.

A society is encouraging relatives of local heroes who served in WW1 and then returned to Hatfield to share their stories at an exhibition.

Edward Dobbs, standing. Edward Dobbs, standing.

Next year the Hatfield Local History Society is planning to organise an event exhibition to commemorate the ending of WW1. The Society has already researched the men from the Parish of Hatfield who were killed in action or died as a result of going to war but are hoping to find out about the men who returned and tell some of their stories.

Edward Dodds was born on January 25, 1901, in Hatfield and lived in Park Street with his parents Thomas David and Mary and his siblings.

Edward joined the navy as a ‘boy 1st class’ and in October 1916 the Royal Naval Hospital in Plymouth wrote to his mother to say he was suffering from Rubella.

At the end of the war, Edward returned to Hatfield and in 1927 married Ada Maddison.

The couple lived first in Park Street with his parents then moved to Briars Lane where they raised their five children.

During WW2 Edward worked at de Havilland, repairing and painting Mosquito aircraft. The workers were given milk and orange aid to drink to try and minimise the risk of dust from the dope paint used on the aircraft.

Edward a painter and decorator later worked for Welwyn Builders. He was also a keen gardener who grew wonderful sweet peas. He died aged 67 in March 1968.

Edwin Payne, 24, was living at 18 Primrose Cottages when he enlisted in the Royal Engineers at the end of 1914.

After basic training he was shipped out to the Middle East with the 10th Division Signal Company Royal Engineers, serving in countries such as Serbia, Macedonia, Palestine and Egypt.

During the war, Edwin wrote a diary of his experiences which will be featured in the exhibition.

Afterwards, Edwin returned to Hatfield where he started a successful printing business.

By 1931 Edwin was living at Dovecott, Cecil Crescent where he carried on his business and raised a family.

Edwin retired in 1964 aged 74, and when his wife died moved away from Hatfield to be nearer his daughter.

If anyone has a story to tell about one of their relatives who served in WW1 and then returned to Hatfield the society would love to hear from you.

Contact Derek Martindale on 01707 269662 or email dderekmart@aol.com.

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