Hebden & Variants Family Website


   Introduction 900 AD - 1500 1501 - 1700 1701 - 1836 1837 - 1913 1914 - 1938 1939 - 2000


1914 - 1938 The Great War and its aftermath

  In 1901 the number of family members totalled 2,493 comprising Hebden (1,085), Hebdon (240), Hebdin (nil), Hepden (57), Hepton (311), Ebden (158), Ebdon (293), and Epton (349). The numbers continued to grow through the century despite two world wars and other conflicts.

Though Casualty Lists give brief personal details of men killed in the Great War, it is difficult to calculate whether Hebden family losses were more or less than the national average. From BMD data it is possible to count the number of males who were eligible to join up in 1914, and using the casualty lists, to determine the percentage loss of life. It is not possible to determine how many men actually enlisted (some would have been in reserved occupations and some would have failed fitness requirements).

Sampling the HEBDEN family only, 335 men were within the age limits (18-42) for enlistment in 1914, but the sample is skewed by higher numbers of older men between the ages of 35 - 42, and a more realistic estimate would be 178.

18 Hebdens were killed in action, a casualty rate of 10.1%. Using official figures, the Hebden casualty rate is virtually identical to the national figure of 10.2%. Official figures for wounded are 23.4% and missing or taken prisoner 2.2%. In the family, this would equate to 42 wounded and 4 missing. This gives a total of 64 Hebden men killed, injured, or missing on War Service.

For details of men killed on active service in World War 1 see the Data Pages


Above: Harry Hebden of Burnley, Lancashire, joined the  1/5th East Lancashire Regiment 42nd Division,  He was gassed at Passchendaele and repatriated for treatment & convalescence in Scarborough. He never completely recovered and died of Pneumonia in January 1929 at the age of 44.

World War 1 Medals

The medals are the British War Medal (left) and the Victory Medal (right). The British War medal was awarded to any soldier serving overseas, not necessarily in a theatre of war between 1914 and 1920. The medal is silver, with an image of King George V stamped on the obverse and St. George on the reverse. The soldier's regiment and number are engraved around the edge. 6,600,000 British War Medals were issued.

The Victory medal was awarded to all soldiers who served in a theatre of war, for example France or Belgium. 5,750,000 Victory Medals were issued. The medal is bronze with a full-length image of a winged Victory on the obverse, and "The Great War for Civilisation" is inscribed on the reverse.

With the war over, most servicemen and women were only too glad to get back to their home areas, but some met spouses whilst on war service and on demobilisation moved to new pastures. This was another period when many Hebdens moved further away from their northern roots to seek better employment prospects or a better life. The post-war optimism soon cooled, and the economic depression in the the thirties, with the resurgence of German nationalism soon brought the realisation that another confrontation was not far away.

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