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Mr Wren's Burial Board Notice Board

Mr Wren One of the objects on display in the Museum is a very old and weathered cemetery notice board. The notice was put up by William Wren, who was Parish Clerk at Ash from 1907-1941. This picture shows Mr Wren c.1911-12.

Children under twelve years of age are
not admitted unless accompanied by
their parents or other responsible
person. Any persons found stealing
wreathes or flowers or doing any other
damage to the Cemetery will be
No dogs allowed unless led.
By Order of the Board
W. WREN. Clerk

William Thomas Wren was the son of a Garrison Sergeant Major at Aldershot, who in his younger days was a keen sportsman, a good rugby player, an excellent cricket player and a cyclist. For many years he had been the Aldershot correspondent for The Times, and then in 1907 he was appointed Clerk to Ash Parish Council.

Wren moved from 79 Queen's Road Aldershot to Farmside, a large house on the Ash Hill Road, where he lived with his sister.

He was highly respected and known as a man of many interests, acting as Secretary to the Basingstoke Canal Company, collector of income tax, Clerk to the Burial Board at Ash, and secretary to the committee organising the Coronation celebrations in the village in 1911.

When he was taken ill at home on Christmas day 1940, Wren was admitted to the Aldershot Cottage Hospital of which he had been the honorary secretary since its foundation 43 years before. But “despite the loving care bestowed upon the person under whose direction many improvements had been made to the establishment”, he never fully recovered his health, and finally he was moved to Farnham County Hospital where he died on 21st June 1941.

A requiem mass was held at Holy Angels Church, and he was buried in Ash Cemetery next to his sister Eleanor. The graves are I366 & I338 and there is a very unusual rough asymmetrical headstone.

Stored in the History Room, we have letters sent by Farnham Union to Mr Wren in 1923 requesting payment of rates (Refs 31/1-2); and a notice sent to Mr Wren by the Mid Southern Utility Company in 1935 about a proposed electric line supported on wooden poles (Ref 37/2). We also have interment documents relating to the burials of both William Wren and his sister Eleanor (Refs 89/38,41,44).

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