Closer to home... The Herveys and the House

Portrait of Gerald Arthur Hervey- Black and White

The Great War impacted on and united everyone. Every family in the land knew someone who was at the front or supporting the war effort. Ickworth was no exception and the Hervey family were no different. The 4th Marquess and Marchioness supported many organisations set up to provide food or voluntary support in the Great War. Find out more about the Herveys and how the house was affected.

The Hervey Family

Frederick William Hervey, the 4th Marquess, was a retired admiral but didn’t see active service in the Great War. Frederick and his wife Theodora; both became involved in many different organisations which worked towards the war effort and both their daughters took up voluntary roles. Frederick’s younger brother Walter, who was 41 at the start of the war became a member of the Suffolk Imperial Yeomanry seeing action in France and receiving a long term injury.

Lady Majorie's Red cross card from volunteering.
Lady Marjorie's Red Cross card

The House and Estate

The House at Ickworth wasn’t requisitioned by the military. However, the estate was used for training purposes including two firing ranges. As with the rest of the country, the estate and village suffered from the social and economic effects the war brought with it. The biggest everyday issue was the rationing of food.  On the  31st March 1916, the war was bought much closer to home. A Zeppelin bombed Bury St Edmunds, killing 7 people, before moving on to Sudbury, killing a further 5.

In 1914, Princess Mary organised Christmas gifts for the troops. Ickworth has one on display in the house.
Open Princess Mary Christmas Tin from 1914 - contents on display


The Marquess of Bristol decided to honour the men from the estate who had served in the Forces. On 19 July 1919 a service was held in St. Leonard’s Church, before the 66 former officers and men marched up to the house to music played by the Horringer Brass Band. They then had dinner with the Marquess in the Entrance Hall of the house before attending the ‘Peace Celebrations’ in Ickworth Park.

Come and see our dining table set for the Peace dinner.
Close up view of the dining table, set out for the Peace dinner