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Ellen Elizabeth Hack and her family - 200 years in Heath and Reach
I am indebited to Steve Fuller for the content of this page on one of the village's most famous names. Some of Steve's research is yet to be completed, so the following represents his progress to April 2005.
Ellen Elizabeth Hack was born in the last quarter of 1883 at Millards Row, Heath and Reach. She was the daughter of James and Julia Hack, and one of ten children. The whole family were born and bred in Heath and Reach, as were at least three generations before her (research incomplete; April 2005).

Although Ellen was "in service" at Eggington Hall by March 1901, her parents and five of her siblings were living in Lanes End, Heath and Reach. As well as Ellen's family, two other Hack families (her aunts, uncles and first cousins) lived in Bryants row, Heath and Reach at the time. Ellen's 79 year old grandmother Fanny Hack was living with her Uncle John and his family. Fanny was born in, and a lifelong resident of Heath and Reach.

Although unconfirmed, this picture (right) is believed to be Ellen's mother Julia Hack, one of her brothers in the uniform of a Royal Fusilier and one of her sisters. It was taken 21 September 1916, and is marked "Ellen's" (research incomplete; April 2005).

Ellen married Herbert Charles Kendall, on 11th Sept. 1909 in the Heath & Reach Parish Church. Herbert was a Stonemason who enjoyed performing light opera (notably Gilbert and Sullivan) and came from a "notably respected family" in Kettering. The marriage was witnessed by Ellen's eldest brother George Hack and her friend and neighbour Sarah Catherine Tompkins.

As their family grew over the next five years they occasionally moved around as Herbert's profession (by now a "Stonemason Journeyman") demanded but always returned to continue living in Lanes End, Heath and Reach.
But the outbreak of War in 1914 dramatically changed the lives of every family in the country. Ellen saw her husband and at least six of her brothers and first cousins enlist into the British Army by that Christmas. Indeed, of the 68 Heath and Reach men shown by the "Leighton Buzzard Observer" in September 1914 as enlisting into the Army, more than two thirds were Killed in Action or discharged from active service due to wounds received or illness (research incomplete; April 2005).

Ellen's husband, Herbert Kendall enlisted when the new recruiting office in Britain Street, Leighton Buzzard, opened its doors on 4th August 1914. Queuing with Herbert was Ellen's younger brother Joe Hack and another 60 men from the small community - a scene that was being mirrored all over the country that day.

Private 2645, later 32136 Joe Hack of Lanes End, Heath and Reach served in the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (Territorial Force) from March 1910, in England, Gallipoli and Egypt. He was transferred to France & Flanders In 1916, and was "Disembodied" from service due to wounds in May 1918. He earned 3 campaign medals and a "Silver War Badge". Happily, he survived the war and his descendants still live in and around the area today.

Ellen's husband, Private 4400, later 200570, Herbert Kendall of Heath and Reach served in the 5th Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment, in Gallipoli and Egypt. He was seriously wounded in Gallipoli in October 1915 and again in Egypt. After being shipped home and recovering in England, he was transferred into the renowned 7th Battalion of the Bedford's in France. Herbert was Killed in Action on the afternoon of Saturday 23/3/1918 during the intense fighting around the village of Faillouel in the "Somme", as the Bedford's fought their way out of German encirclement. The battle was so intense that just over a quarter of Herbert's entire brigade (the 2000 men of the renowned and respected 54th Brigade) reported for muster on the evening of 23rd March, after 'only' 48 hours of desperate fighting. Herbert has no known grave, and is not recorded on the Heath and Reach War Memorial. He is remembered on the Poziere's Memorial to the Missing of the Fifth Army, and the Kettering War Memorial.

Herbert and Ellen Kendall had four children before he fell.
Annie Elizabeth Kendall (known as "Nance") was born 3 Mar 1910 at Lanes End, Heath and Reach. She lived in Heath and Reach, and married Stanley John Fuller (known as "Jack") in June 1930. In the late 1930's they moved to Rothschild Road, Linslade, where they stayed their whole lives raising two generations. Annie died there on Thursday 19/2/1981, aged 70, as joe Dolci's "Wassa madda you" celebrated reaching the "Top of the Pops". Stanley survived WW2, earning five medals, and died peacefully at home 16 Jul 1985 aged 78.

Hilda Georgina Kendall was born 9 Oct 1911 at Cromwell Road, Cold Ash, Newbury, Berkshire. She survived early meningitis and lived in and around the Heath and Reach / Great Brickhill area her whole life

Herbert George Kendall (known as "George") was born 20 Dec1913 at Lanes End. He married Irene and also moved to and settled in Linslade. Irene died there in 1992, and George died there 22/12/2003 aged 90.

Evelyn Kendall was born 13 Dec 1915 at Lanes End and died 26 Oct 1975, Aged 59.

Herbert is pictured here with three of his children before he left for France and what was to be his final tour. They are standing in the doorway of the church on The Green, Heath and Reach. From left to right, the children are; Hilda, Herbert (George) and Annie (Nance).
Some years after Ellen lost her husband, she married John Taylor, a builder from Leighton Buzzard. Ellen left Lanes End and they lived on Plantation Road, later building the first house in King Street, Leighton Buzzard. Ellen, John and their two daughters, Gwen and Julia, are pictured here in the early 1930's.

After John died, Ellen lived between Heath and Reach, Great Brickhill and Linslade, until she died 5 Jan 1947 at her daughter Hilda's farm.

The modern day descendants of James and Julia Hack of Heath and Reach are known as Hack, Kendall, Fuller, Dickens and Taylor amongst others. They are factory and shop workers, farmers, gardeners, publicans, academics, professional violinists, career army people and nurses, to name a few.

They can be traced as far away as Australia, yet can still be found within a few miles of Ellen's beginnings - Lanes End, Heath and Reach.