The Perfect Centenary

If you’ve seen the Historic Havering article in this month’s Living in Havering magazine, it might interest you to know that reprints of all 3 of the Charles Perfect books mentioned about Hornchurch are available from the Havering Museum.

Our Village was written in 1912 followed in 1917 by Ye Olde Village of Hornchurch and in 1920 he published Hornchurch in the Great War.

Our Village was first published in 1912, this is a mirror of life in Hornchurch at the time, noting local personalities and their strengths, organisations that functioned in the village, political matters (including whether street lighting should be introduced in Emerson Park), and anecdotes about this and that – some true, some less than fact.

There is a village Who’s Who at the end of the book that might have pleased some of the people concerned, but probably made others rather cross.

The final section of the book is NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF HORNCHURCH, by Herbert Dale (chaplain and Vicar Temporal of Hornchurch) which goes briskly through the story of Hornchurch and Havering Liberty from the time of Edward the Confessor to the Boer War. There is a full index for the first time, and a second separate index for the final section.

Ye Olde Village of Hornchurch was originally published in 1917,  the history of HornchuIMG_0824.jpgrch renowned for its leather industry in the Middle Ages ranges from the earliest times to the Great War when Grey Towers was a hospital for the New Zealand forces. At the time of the establishment of the Liberty of Havering St Andrews was the mother church for the area and so the story extends far beyond the present parish boundaries. Some of the photographs of contemporary Hornchurch are showing their age, but this is a vibrant record of a thriving town.



Hornchurch in the Great War  is a record of events from 4th August 1914 to 10th January 1920 (the official date for the end of First World War), including civilian and military men and women who contributed to the war effort. The Sportsman’s Battalion and the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Grey Towers are detailed, as is war work at the Roneo Works. Every detail of activity in Hornchurch during that time was meticulously recorded, together with the Roll of Honour recording all servicemen who were in the forces and those who died on the battlefield or in hospital. Original published in 1920.

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