Last weekend I visited the Menin Gate in Ypres to attend the very moving daily Act of Remembrance at the Memorial. At 8pm every evening The Last Post, the traditional final salute to the fallen, is played by buglers in honour of the memory of the soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies who died in the Ypres Salient during the First World War. At around 7.30pm the traffic under the Gate was stopped and shortly afterwards members of the local Fire Brigade and Fire Brigade Buglers marched from the market square along Menenstraat to the Gate for the ceremony whilst members of the public gathered beneath the Memorial.
The Menin Gate designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer on 24th July 1927. The Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. Amongst those commemorated are the following men from Broadway:
Private George Barnett, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment who was killed in action, aged 28, on 9th July 1915.
Private William Harold Gabb, 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards who was fatally wounded in action, aged 34, on 7th November 1914.
Captain Archibald Robert Hewitt DSO, 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment who was killed in action, aged 32, on 25th April 1915.
Your County Needs You! Can you help commemorate the role Worcestershire played in the First World War?
The People’s Collection is the culmination of a four-year programme of events and activities, organised by Worcestershire Archives, part of the Worcestershire World War 100 project, commemorating the role Worcestershire played in World War One.
The organisers are looking for as many of your ancestors as possible to be represented – to display items belonging to them, or used by them, whether they were serving abroad or keeping the home fires of Worcestershire burning – be they letters, medals, uniform, photographs or anything else that relates to their war time experiences.
The project wants to tell their stories. They want to bring them to life, so that they can be remembered and cherished by those of us who owe our way of life to their sacrifices.
Donated items will be displayed as close to their home town as possible, in one of the participating venues during Spring/Summer 2018.
Please search through your drawers and attics and help create a long-lasting legacy of your ancestors’ role in changing the lives of so many.
Donations can be taken to the Worcestershire Soldier Gallery at the Museum and Art Gallery, Foregate Street, Worcester WR1 1DT, or contact the team directly for advice either by phone on 01905 766352, or by email at email@example.com.
Please note it may not be possible to display all donated items, but they will be held by Worcestershire Museums/Archives to be accessed by all.
On 13th June, during the 2016 Broadway Arts Festival, David Boyd Haycock will be giving a talk on ‘Artists in The Great War’.
David Haycock is the author of ‘A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War’ which was nominated in the “Best Non-Fiction Book” category at the 2010 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards. Artists Sir Stanley Spencer RA (1891-1959), Paul Nash (1889-1946), Mark Gertler (1891-1939), C. Richard W. Nevinson (1889-1946) and Dora de Houghton Carrington (1893-1932) were five of the most exciting, influential and innovative 20th century British artists. From diverse backgrounds, they met at the Slade School of Art, London, in the years before the outbreak of the First World War, where they formed part of what their teacher Henry Tonks described as the school’s last ‘crisis of brilliance’.
David Haycock’s talk takes place in the Torrington Room at the Lygon Arms Hotel on 13th June 2016 starting at 7pm. Tickets are £10 and are available to book via www.broadwayartsfestival.com.
On 30th November 1918 it was announced in the Evesham Journal that Private 14969 John William Jarrett (born 1893) of Bury End, Broadway, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jarrett, who served with the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment during the First World War, had been awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile.
The official communication from the headquarters of the 10th Infantry Brigade stated:
You have been awarded the undermentioned French decoration for devotion to duty during the operation at Neuve Eglise in April last: Croix de Guerre avec Etoile. Your name appeared in the London Gazette dated 10th October 1918. The Divisional Commander and Brigadier General desire me to express their congratulations on the honour you have brought your division and brigade.
Private Walter John Tebby, son of Thomas and Mary Tebby of Broadway Wood Cottage, West End, Broadway, died aged 20 on 23rd July 1916 of wounds received in France.
Walter was born in Syresham, Northamptonshire, where he spent most of his childhood. By 1911, the family had moved to Broadway and Walter was emplyed as a cowman at Kite’s Nest Dairy. Walter served with the 14th Battalion The Welsh Regiment (originally the ‘Swansea Pals’) during the First World War and he was wounded in the head in the Battle of Mametz Wood on the Western Front in July 1916, and transferred home for treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, near Southampton, where he succumbed to his wounds. Walter is buried in St Eadburgha’s Churchyard, Snowshill Road, Broadway, and is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on a new Memorial Stone in Syresham which marks the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Further information about the men from Broadway commemorated on the war memorial on the village green can be found in Broadway Remembers (ISBN: 9780992989101) a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal.
Walter Tebby is also included in the publication The Lost Men of Syresham an account of the service lives and deaths of the soldiers from the village who fought and died in the Great War 1914-1918 by Bruce Smith and Ian Draper. To obtain a copy contact Syresham and District History Society (www.syresham1914.co.uk).
During the First World War, the local newspaper the Evesham Journal, published a number of war poems including Go Forth! attributed to ‘E. Linor’:
Go forth, go forth to war,
Ye sons of England brave!
With willing hearts go forth,
Your Motherland to save.
Go forth, from cottage home,
From office, farm, or hall;
Go forth, an endless host,
Your country needs you all.
Go forth, with courage high,
With steadfast mind, and bold;
Go forth to do or die!
As did our sires of old.
Go forth, and if perchance,
On battlefield you fall;
With this thought close your eyes –
You followed duty’s call.
And though no grassy mound
Mark where your young form fell;
This be your epitaph –
“He nobly fought and well”.
We will remember them.
13th June 2015
Mary Anderson as Galatea, 1883
On 6th June 1917, Mary Anderson de Navarro gave a matinee performance of Galatea in W.S. Gilbert’s satire Pygmalion and Galatea at the Grand Theatre, Birmingham, to raise money for the War Relief Funds and her private hospital for wounded soldiers at her home, Court Farm, High Street, Broadway.