Way We Were: Newport Pagnell during the First World War

MPMC John Taylor book
MPMC John Taylor book

Like every other community in the country the ancient market town of Newport Pagnell was affected by the Great War which began on August 4, 1914.

Nobody could have anticipated the change it was to bring about in society and Newport Pagnell was a very different place 100 years ago.

In this important book, Newport Pagnell during the First World War, historian John Taylor records the events of a century ago and illustrates the daily lives and efforts not only of those at home but also of those young men who were to experience the horrors of an unanticipated and prolonged trench warfare.

Another book, Home Fires, tells episodes of daily life from the many villages of the district; regarding Haversham, that of the eviction of Mrs Tysoe and her children and is particularly poignant.

The books are available from MK Museum, Waterstones, Amazon, Cowper and Newton Museum, Ken Graham’s and Woburn Heritage Centre.

>Not so long ago it seemed it would never stop persistently precipitating and, as a possible result of climate change many people think this is a man made phenomena.

But our region is well ahead of the game, for many years ago an experiment at Cranfield caused such a sudden deluge over the surrounding countryside that a talk on how it was done was given on a BBC radio programme.

“It was a fine day and there has been no rain for weeks. After lunch some meteorologists came to me and said: ‘We are going to make it rain’.”

They had identified a cloud which seemed to carry sufficient moisture and, in consequence finely ground salt was thrown from an aircraft just below the cloud base. Rising warm air then carried the particles into the fluffy mass and as predicted and, at the time predicted, rain fell in torrents.

An interesting phenomena, while as for natural phenomena during one summer when extensive flooding had submerged the district around Weston Underwood a watersprout was seen to descend in a meadow. Watching in amazement several labourers in the field thought supernatural forces were at work and, getting in quite a spin, they promptly legged it!