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Matlock Bath: South Parade & Heights of Abraham, 1914-18
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Boden's Bakers and Confectionery shop

Boden's restaurant about 1910

The Grand Pavilion, from Temple Walk, 1911-20 - also shows restaurant building

Fishpond, 1927
(and fish food)

South Parade seems to be very quiet in this scene, with just a handful of soldiers admiring the fish in the Fish Pond. Matlock Bath was to have a large number of soldiers billeted in the village during the First World War. In February 1915 the Army Services Corps (ASC) arrived with their horses and men were billeted in both the Royal Pavilion (it became the Palais Royal in the 1920s) and the Kursaal (Grand Pavilion) with their officers staying in the Royal Hotel. The Grand Pavilion's Pump Room became the soldiers' canteen[1].

With the arrival of the soldiers, a local journalist noted that the men found the fish pond "an almost irresistible attraction", something that was likely to increase the Council's revenue through the sale of fish food, and equally likely to increase the almost aldermanic proportions of the fish[2. More troops, this time from Harrogate, arrived in March and went to the New Bath, Masson House and several others large properties including The Central Café[1]. If they continued to buy fish food, it didn't reach the newspapers.

The name on the roof of Boden's large restaurant behind the pond as quite faded by this time and the building was later used by the glove factory.

In August 1917 what was deemed to be an excellent report on health conditions in the district was submitted to Matlock Bath UDC. In his half yearly account Dr. Harvey, the Medical Officer, said that nine births and eleven deaths had been recorded, so the birth rate was 5.9 per thousand of the population and the death rate 7.2. As the average age at death was 51½ it was a sign of longevity in the district[3]. This presumably only covered the people actually in Matlock Bath and Scarthin during the period. Earlier in the year there had been a memorial service for Corporal F. R. Froggatt, Trooper John Clay (grandfather of the web mistress) and the Watson brothers who all had links to Matlock Bath. My grandfather is the only one of these whose name appears on the memorial[4]. William Ernest Knight was killed shortly afterwards and George William Boden was killed in the May, leaving a wife and large family. Another young Matlock Bath man, Frank Wigley Boden, whose father owned Boden's restaurant, was to die in November. He was only 19. William Henry Elliott was killed in action in September and Thomas Cecil Burdett was to die in December.
The full list of those with Matlock Bath connections to be killed or died in 1917 whilst on war service, and in other years, can be found on Names on Matlock Bath's War Memorial

Matlock Bath's Council was faced with a different problem later in the year as the Clerk had been approached by Mr. R. Taylor, clerk of Matlock Council, about the new name for the former West Derbyshire Parliamentary Division as he wished to know if Matlock Bath would support a name change to the Matlock Division. Whilst Mr. Buxton was adamant that it should be the Matlock Bath division, the rest of the Council thought they should support Matlock's request. It all came to nothing anyway as the name of the Parliamentary constituency is still West Derbyshire[5].

Matlock & Matlock Bath Newspaper Cuttings, Jul 1914 - Nov 1918

Postcard of "South Parade and Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath". Published by W. H. Hackney, Stationer, Household Stores, Matlock Bath, No.4963-315. Stamp missing but posted in Matlock Bath to Miss Cottee, possibly a Nottinghamshire school teacher. Message not relevant.
Image © Ann Andrews collection.
Information researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] Beresford, Charles (2007) "The Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War". Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8.

[2] "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 19 February 1915.

[3] "Belper News", 24 August 1917.

[4] "High Peak News", 28 April 1917. Our Roll of Honour. Memorial Service at the Parish Church. My grandfather was the only resident. See Matlock Bath War Memorial Clay, John and Names Not on the Memorial about the other men.

[5] "Belper News", 26 October 1917. Matlock Bath Councillor Digs It up again (this referred to the longstanding rivalry between the two Councils).