Who was Warden Holes?

Warden Holes
Author: Kath Walker

Today, the Christopher Tower Reference Library received a digital copy of this wonderful report for its Second World War section. It documents enemy action with bombs dropped in the neighbourhood of the Hardley Battery, but who were Warden Holes and R.W. Budge?






Date: 1939
  1. Jo Smith


    A search of the 1939 Register locates Harry E Holes living with his wife Rachel at the Holbury Pharmacy in Long Lane. Born on the 9th April 1903, he describes himself as a ‘Master Dispensing Chemist’. The later annotation of the record shows that he was a part time member of the ARP.

    The author of the letter was RW BUDGE, the Senior Warden of the Holbury Sector.

    The imprinted letter heading was:-

    Chenewood House

    Again on the 1939 Register information about Mr Budge is recorded. He was Reginald W Budge, a Schoolteacher, living at Chenewood House, Long Copse, with his wife Amelia. He was born on the 30th August 1908 and the later annotation of the Register shows that he was a Senior ARP Warden.

    The letter is an account of the bombing incident near the Hardley Battery at some time in WW2 and includes the information that the bombs that fell that night were the cause of the death of Special Constable Renyard.
    A search of the death index for the New Forest between 1939 and 1945 provides the details of the death of Ernest W Renyard, aged 44 in the last quarter of 1940.
    The search of the 1939 Register provides the following details for Ernest:-

    Born on the 14th September 1896
    Wife’s name was Winifred
    They lived at The Forge, Hardley
    Ernest was a Master Blacksmith
    The later annotation records that he was a member of the Hants Special Constabulary

    The list of Civilian Deaths in WW2 gives further details of Ernest.

    This date of death pinpoints the time of the incident as prior to the 17th November 1940. A search of local newspapers may provide an accurate date.

  2. Kath Walker

    Thanks, Jo, that’s great. Discussion of this letter has also continued on the Fawley and Blackfield Memories Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1484107968492221/ The group confirms that the raid was on the night of Sunday 17th November when a field at the rear of Hardley Farm was heavily bombed. Several people remember ‘Budgie’ Budge, deputy headmaster at Hardley.

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