From Bakerboy to Red Beret.Edwin Savory’s Life

The Edwin W Savory Life Story

arlesey post office

The bakers shop see the baskets outside where Edwin worked.

10 The Gardens Henlow (5 bells car park)

Edwin was born in this house.It’s now the 5 bells Car park

edwins uncle

Edwin savory and his dad at his brother dickies wedding

edwin and his dad at dickie savories wedding mollie lemon ron blows and little russell blows


Edwin Savory Senior always wore a rose in his lapel. Edwin W. Savory junior carried on this tradition.
Edwin was a real worker , he was a Red Beret during the War , and did 3 jobs at one time.
Graveyard worker digging graves , a Refuse Collection Business , and a building business Harper and Savory.
These are Edwin’s own words and his own story I just asked a few questions along the way. I have just edited a few controversial bits .  But I am not politically correct myself so I apologise if there are any left in. No offence meant.
Born 1924 at 41 Stockbridge Rd , Clifton just after Stockbridge Farm.
Went to live with his grandma in Henlow.
His father was the tenant of the council house but he let his brother have the house and he moved into a cottage in Henlow but it was condemned.
So Edwin moved into the Murtles which is now the 5 bells car park.
They then got a house in Arlesey.
Crawley Terrace .
Brian Soleys mother lived next door to him.
Nora Allen( a relative of mine on Allen side), she was the line from which the Soley’s came from .
Algy King’s butchers shop was opposite Nora Soleys.
Brown timber yard superseded where Algys butchers shop was
Mrs Soley . was , Les Allens mother , and Big Bill Allen moved to Hitchin.
Les married Lizzie Hibbert . Bill Hibbert’s sister.
They had one son.
George Hibbett all lived in Asylum road.
Punch Allen lived next door to Ranji Allen in Asylum Rd.
Doreen Soley married a Bill Jackson they live in Primrose Lane.
Pair of cottages cottages are still there Mrs Soley lived there Edwin used to take Cakes there wen he was a boy and she was an old lady.
Lizzie Hibbert had 2 brothers Fred ,George they originated from London .
Another family of Hibberts was Dot Riddick and her sister were a different Hibbert family.
Father and son always wore black overcoat.
They light a fag and then put there hands in their pocket so they had nicotine all in the palms of their hands.
Bille Hibbert was the youngest .
Her married a Letchworth girl came over to his sisters had a heart attack and died .He always had ponies on the on the land which is the cemetry in Letchworth.
Hansen took over the common near the brickyard in Arlesey.
You had to cross the river to get into the second common.
Edwin’s father then got a house in Crawley Terrace Arlesey.
It was rough , the roughest houses in Arlesey.
Edwin had to take the rent every Sat night to the Clarks in the High St.
Jimmy Prutton was a grumpy old man and had a tap outside his house.
Maude Joslin used to sell newspapers.
Had a son called George Joslin used to play the piano
He rolled up one day with a lovely motorbike and sidecar on HP and he sold it.
He then got time for selling it when he didn’t own it.
Maude got tangled up with Jimmy Prutton .
He he used to drink a lot and Maude used to sell papers from the front room .
She was really nice used to give the kids sweets .
They were related to Soleys as well , I think or was it just neighbours?
George was a coop coalman ,in the first house.
The fishman used to go round selling wet fish and he got paid in kind.
But he got found out and sacked.
Edwin’s youngest brother and sister  the twins were born in Crawley Terrace .Betty Joan ,Edwin William .Kenneth George (dickie) were born in Henlow. The twins were Audrey Margaret ,and Peter Jack .
Dr Farmer was the doctor then.
Ray Reader set a stack alight , Dolly Haskell , Alan Papworth and Dickie drove Tractor drawn Reaper.(They were a gang of Agricultural labourers)
Brother Dickie borrowed his fathers bike , it poured with rain , and he hit a car and bent the frame and it was ruined .
He had to borrow one of Edwins bikes to go to work at the KL Foundary.
Krine and Lay because Dickie had destroyed his dad’s bike.
Edwin was on the buildings before the war with his dad.
All the buildings stopped during the war.
Edwin was in the Royal Artillery trained in Montreal Park , Seven Oaks Kent.
Edwin was conscripted during the war and never had any choice  him where he was going to be sent , or what force he was going to be put in.
He was sent to Saffron Walden to do basic training as an infantry man , then Northampton Barracks trained him for the artillery..
It felt very strange because Edwin had never travelled far he had never been anywhere so it was strange , to go away from home.
He worked with a 5.5 Inch gun .He had a photo of it up on the wall.He went to the second front .
He was with Medium Battery 98 and didn’t have a care in the world .The gun had a 10 mile range for 95llbs shell and 8 miles for 100llb shell .
The Limber gunner was George Gittchin.
A lot of the men got perforated ear drums .
Gun team consisted of ten .
They didn’t have Ear Defenders just had cotton wool but if you put this on you couldn’t hear anything
Limber gunner was in charge , then No 2 would take over if he got hurt .
The charge propelled the shell forward .
It there was a misfire in the breach it would kill every one behind it .
Got a misfire once . Bloke forget to put a charge in.
Shell has to be rammed in down the barrel .
Shut the breach before the charge went in.
When they opened the breach after the misfire , there was no charge in there .
They put them on tank landing craft in Normandy then they travelled  to Germany.They weren’t needed so they were sent home again.
Flew back to England on a Dakota .
Then sent them to Pickering to train as an Infantryman .
You are paid 24hrs a day so you can’t say no to anything .
Sent me 25hru in Belgium kept us there for six weeks then said they didn’t want us .
Send them back to Sailsbury Plain to join The Red Berets the 6th Airborne Regiment . He was on gliders as reserve red beret .
Before training though they got a months leave .
Then joined Royal Ulster rifles Air borne Battalion .
When he got his wings they worn down near the cuffs cos he was on Gliders , he got an extra shilling making it 26 shillings a week.
The Gliders used to land , before they got off , they were going to the Far East .
But they dropped the H bomb and that was it over there.
Their C.O. volunteered them to go to Palestine.
Jewish problem was already there . Jews were cast out into the Wilderness.
They loaded the boats up with Jews cos nobody would take them.
They illegally got off of the boat because no country would take them.
So they all got off the boat themselves and settled into Palestine off their own back.
The Arabs are not united that is why they have never got the Israeli-Arab problem sorted out.
They started up these kabuts’ on Arab land.
They never gave the conquered land back to the Arabs after the six day war.
Mosha Dyan thrashed the Egyptians and the Syrians.
They took over the Golan Heights.
You need to Partition Israel one half for the Jews and the other for the Arabs.
The Stern gang were murdering British Soldiers.
Tel Aviv is a modern city , but Jaffa is like going back 2,000 years still a wooden plough and a donkey to plough.
If you went to town you had to take half a dozen rounds with you .
But weren’t allowed to shoot back unless an officer gave you permission.
The Stern gang shoot a load of soldiers in their beds.
So the Paratroopers went down the town and shoot the town up.
There was so much unrest out there.
Edwin said “I believe in God Yes , but I don’t practice it.
Cos I believe a bloke were goes to church is no better than me .
I went to all these holy places when I was in Palestine .The Wailing Wall etc.
You can’t run with the hare , and hunt with the hounds you got to be one or the other .”
Edwin went to Arlesey Siding school.He left school at 14 and went on the buildings with his father.
The Building work packed up during the war so his father went to work at K and L and Edwin went to work at Morse Chain ,Works Road.
He had a row with the foreman so he then moved to Arlesey Papworths as a Bakers boy delivering bread at the top end of the village
It’s all pulled down now .
He then had a disagreement with Harold Papworth , so He went and worked for Tidnams the concrete item makers , until he was called up in 1941 Dec
In 1946 he came back and went back to work for Tidnams.
He got the sack cos I insisted on going on holiday with his girlfriend.
His boss said if you go I’ll sack you , well he had already made arrangements and said I’m going so he was sacked .
He went back to work with his father.
1957 His mum died the same day as he went to work for his dad as a dustman.
Edwin Snr ran the firm he had his own lorry.
When he first started it was 2 men and a bath as everyone had coal fires then.
Nobody had a bathroom unless they had money.
He got plenty of rollockings and other men got paid more than him.
His dad died at 60 then he took over the firm.
But the council gave him 3 months trial to make sure he could do the the job.
He knew the job but I had to prove to the council he could do it.
So he saw the contract out .
Then they offered him another 10 year contract.
All this time Edwin was digging graves for different funeral directors as well.
When you dig a grave the top of the grave has to be at least 4 foot under the ground so that wild animals can not pick up the scent of a dead body and dig it up.
If its a double grave it has to be 6 foot under the ground.
It also has to be inline with the other graves and the headstone has to be at the foot of the grave.
The feet have to point east and there has to be a certain distance between the graves.
When you buy a plot you only get it for 50 years.
Reverend Andre reclaimed the burial ground before 50 years and there was hell to pay people quite rightly were not happy with him.
If you are digging were the soil is light you have to put planks around the hole and pegg the planks in place otherwise it can collapse and bury the digger alive.
I think they get paid £500 a hole nowdays.
Sometimes if the double plot has not been dug deep enough you have to build up the sides with soil to get enough depth 4 foot for the second coffin.
Edwin’s Father died in November 1957 so Edwin was 33 and in charge.He was married and had a son John , then in 1962 a daughter was born .
His round was Arlesey , Stotfold , Astwick ,Henlow , Clifton. Dads one lorry round.
Then he got another round doing Meppershall Shefford right down as far as Tempsford , he then took over Biggleswade and had four lorries then and it eventually went up to seven.
He contracted labour to start with , but he then I had to provide the Lorries.
He bought second hand Lorries he couldn’t afford new ones.
He had them resprayed yellow and had Savory and Son put on them.

edwin savory1 Savory's yard

Edwins Yard
He built them up to seven Shelvoke and Drury Lorries.
He carried on running the dustcart business until he was 70.
Edwin diversified into the building industry between 1960 -1978 .
Harper and Savory. Harper did the bricklaying and Edwin did the labouring.
He didn’t take any money out , He left it in the business to get bigger and better jobs.
But it didn’t end well for Edwin.
Their last job was modernising St Peters and Glebe Avenue for the council.
Edwin was left to finish this project on his own.
George Parcell was the foreman and Edwin has nothing but good to say about gentleman George.

This man told a fantastic story , every sentence he said was a gem.

He died at the end 2013 November I believe , and it was a pleasure to write his story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s