Royston at War

Royston’s involvement in the Great War was typical of many communities across the country.

Although it is a town in a rural area, it was kept well informed of events at a national and international level through the local newspaper, the Royston Crow. Some of its men were already members of the local militia, the ā€œEā€ Company of the Hertfordshire Regiment, and would have been able to mobilise quickly when the call came. Others would have enlisted, leaving behind their families and going to an uncertain future.

Those who remained at home also contributed to the war effort by giving their time and skills to raise money and provide much needed items for the men at the front.

These pages set out some of the ways that Royston was affected by the war, both at the front and at home.

The Great War 1914-18


Build up to war

Discover more about Royston in the months and days immediately before the war. Find out how was it represented in parliament and the local administration. What was the local militia? What events occured locally just before war broke out?

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At the front

Read about the men and women of the town who went to war or who were caught up in the fighting. Find out about the battles in which many of the men took part, why they took place and their consequences.

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At home

Find out how Royston was affected by the war and what its population did to help. From troops arriving before going to the front to fundraising, from the buildings being requisitioned to the way the war affected children of the town.

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Peace returns

Read about the way the town celebrated the return of peace and how it honoured those who did not come home. This section also covers the town’s memorials dedicated to those who fell in the Second World War.

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Royston’s War Memorials

The Melbourn Street memorial


In March 1922 Royston unveiled its memorial to those men from the town and its surrounding district who did not return from the fighting. It had taken three years to come to fruition and there were many opinions expressed about its suitability during that time.

It is now a Grade II listed monument and is one of the finest of its kind in the country, if not unique. It has recently undergone a much needed refurbishment and is something of which the town is rightly proud.

Royston's war memorial

The town’s other war memorials

You can find out more about the history of all the Royston War Memorials by following this link.

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The men on the Melbourn Street memorial

Read brief notes about each of the men who died and whose names are inscribed on the Melbourn Street memorial.

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