G Co. of the 4th Territorial Battalion Essex Regiment
‘A drill hall was built in 1873 subscription, for the 18th Essex (Ongar) Volunteers.’ (Kelly, 1878)
‘The drill hall was built in 1873 by subscription, for the G Co. of the 4th Territorial Battalion Essex Regiment, at a cost of £255.’ (Kelly, 1914)
‘In 1873 a drill hall was built by subscription for the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Essex Regiment; it was
also used for meetings and concerts.'
From: 'Chipping Ongar: Public services and social life', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4:
Ongar Hundred (1956), pp. 158-159. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15627
. Date accessed: 22 July 2008.
We have been given permission to use the photograph of the drill hall in the 1930s. The sign above the door reads: COY 4 BATT - Essex Boys - T.F. - Drill Hall.
The sign to the bottom left, underneath the window, is only partially legible. Where words can be made out, it says: ONGAR - FREEHOLD PREMISES - THE OLD DRILL HALL - ??? - ??? - LARGE HALL (?) – KEMSLEYS.
The drill hall still stands. It is off the High Street in Ongar. (2008)
The photograph of the drill hall in the 1930s can be compared with the modern photograph from almost the same spot. The distinctive St Martin’s Church is in the background. Sadly the old lamp and the stone steps have gone. The hall behind is now called Wren Hall and it is used by a chartered building consultancy. According to their website, the hall is a Grade 2 Listed barn.
We are grateful to Mark Vivian of the Mary Evans Picture Library for his help in deciphering the old photograph, which is reproduced with permission.
Thank you to Janice Lazell-Wood and family for tracking down the location and to Ben Mills for the photographs of the premises in August 2008.