Hatchlands Park and the First World War

A stained glass window in the village church

The First World War had an impact across the country and at all levels of society. Hatchlands, like many grand houses and estates, was not immune to the trauma and tragedy of war.

In 1913 Hatchlands was inherited by Hal Goodhart-Rendel, the last private owner here. Hal held a commission in the Grenadier Guards, but didn’t see active service due to poor health. Despite this, Hal remained an important part of the regiment for the rest of his life. He came out of retirement in the Second World War to train younger recruits and rewrote the Grenadiers’ Squad Drill Primer book.

Hatchlands itself was put to use as an auxiliary hospital, in 1917 we provided 14 beds. The hospital was registered as ‘convalescent cases only’ so we probably provided little actual nursing care, instead receiving recovering patients from the larger Guildford War Hospital. Nearby Clandon Park had a much larger role to play in this area.

The village memorial
The village First World War memorial
The village memorial

Hatchlands war heroes

Roland Stuart Hebeler was Lord Rendel’s nephew, he lived at Dene Place in nearby West Horsley. Roland served as a Captain in the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. He died of his wounds in France in 1915, and today you can see a stained glass window dedicated to his memory in the church in our neighbouring village of East Clandon.
Francis Grenfell was born here in 1880 while his family were tenants of the Sumners. He and his twin brother Riversdale both served in the war. Francis is one of only two men from the Guildford area to have been awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. A monument to Captain Grenfell was unveiled in Guildford town centre in summer 2014.
Beatrice Holme Sumner was also born at Hatchlands, her parents were the last generation of Sumners to own the estate. Beatie was involved in great scandal in her youth, but went on to help run the naval training ship Mercury. During the war Mercury, under Beatie’s management, increased their intake by 50% reducing the training time by up to three months. Beatie was awarded an OBE in 1918 in recognition of her services.

East Clandon at war

The Great War of course also had an impact on the neighbouring village of East Clandon. Out of a population of just over 300 people, 80 men from the village served throughout the war. The War Memorial, designed by Hal Goodhart-Rendel and erected in 1922, still stands in the village today. It remembers 14 men killed in action.