Roll of Honour

The Hance Brothers

he Hance family are thought to have moved to Rayne around 1600. For an unbroken period of 150 years they were the Parish clerks for the village and on occasions also Parish Constables. Most seem to have been very long lived - most reaching their 80s or even 90s. Their professions included journeymen tailors or cobblers.

When a housing development was built in Rayne, one of the roads was named Hance Close.

In 1901 the Hance family were living at Rayne Gore, Felstead:
George Hance - age 45 - Carpenter - born Felstead.
Julia Hance - age 35 - born Shalford.
Samuel Hance - age 15 - General Kitchen Domestic - born Felstead.
George Hance - age 13 - Groom - born Felstead.
Edward Hance - age 11 - born Felstead.
Lily Hance - age 8 - born Felstead.
Fred Hance - age 4 - born Felstead.
William Hance - age 1 - born Felstead.

Edward E. Hance

Edward Elmer Hance was born in the last quarter of 1890 .Grave of Edward Hance, courtesy

Edward went to Rayne School, being admitted on 14th December 1896, leaving on 12th October 1903 to work on a farm.

In 1911 Edward was living as a boarder with the Barnard family, at Rayne Street, Felstead.
The Barnards were the local bakers and Edward was age 20 working as a Journeyman Baker.

Edward enlisted in Chelmsford and served as a Private Soldier, with the 9th Battalion of the Essex Regiment.

Edward went to France 30th May 1915. On the second day of the Battle of the Somme the 9th Battalion of the Essex Regiment was brought in to the front line opposite the village of Orvilliers. They were to attack on the morning of 3rd July 1916. As the troops readied themselves in the early hours, they came under heavy machine gun fire, it is believed that Private Edward Hance was one of these casualties.

He died aged 26 on the 3rd July 1916. He is remembered at the Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers-La-Boiselle.
(photograph of grave courtesy

George J. Hance

Grave of George Hance, courtesy John Hance was born in the first quarter of 1888.

He went to Rayne School, being admitted on 7th January 1895, leaving on 1st February 1901.

In 1911 he was still living with his parents at Gore Terrace, Rayne, age 23, and working as a Laundry Worker.

George was a Private soldier with 'C' company of the 9th Battalion the Essex Regiment.

George enlisted in Chelmsford. Went to France 30th May 1915.

In July 1915 the 9th Essex Regiment were in a relatively quiet sector of the trenches to the south of Ypres. Although there were no major battles taking place, a number of casualties were sustained each day through shell and sniper fire. George is believed to have been killed by a rifle bullet while on sentry duty, aged 27 on 13th July 1915. The 9th Battalion war diary for July 1915 refers to a well hidden snipers nest that was found by a patrol.

He is remembered at the Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery.
(photograph of memorial courtesy

Samuel Hance

Samuel Hance was born in the second quarter of 1886Arras Memorial. courtesy

Samuel went to Rayne School, being admitted on 12th December 1892, leaving on 15th April 1898 to work on a farm.

In 1909 Samuel married Beatrice Howard in the Braintree registration district.

In 1911 the family is living at Church Road, Seal, Shoreham, Kent:
Samuel Hance - age 25 - Gardener Domestic - born Felstead.
Beatrice Hance - age 25 - born Limehouse, London.
Kathleen Elizabeth Hance - age 5 months - born Felstead.

Samuel enlisted in Maidstone and served as a Private Soldier with the 23rd Battalion the Royal Fusiliers, formerly with the Royal Sussex Regiment.

During April and May 1917 the Battle of Arras was launched, it had two objectives, one which succeeded was to capture the high ground East of Arras, known as Vimy Ridge. The second objective was to take some pressure off the French Army which was attacking the Germans further south. The Royal Fusiliers took part in some the heavy fighting which preceded the capture of Vimy Ridge, and suffered heavy casualties. Private Samuel Hance is yet another soldier who sadly has no known grave.

Samuel was killed in action aged 30 on the 3rd May 1917. He lived at Godden Green Sevenoaks and left a widow Beartrice. Samuel is remembered at the Arras Memorial.
(photograph of memorial courtesy

All three are remembered in Felsted as much of Rayne was in the Civil Parish of Felsted at the beginning of the 20th century.