Fundraiser for the Worcester Regiment at Symonds’ Picturehouse, Broadway

On 6th May 1915, a fundraiser was held in Broadway at the Symonds’ Picturehouse to raise money for the Worcestershire Regiment. Half of the money raised was used to buy cigarettes to send to the Worcester Regiment in France.

Wounded in Action: Private 14959 Reginald Duncan Folkes, Worcestershire Regiment

Amongst the audience was Private Reginald Folkes who was on sick leave after being wounded in the Battle of Neuve Chappelle. Private Folkes was one of the first men of Broadway to join up to fight following the outbreak of the First World War arriving in France in 1915 with the 3rd Battalion Worcester Regiment. After being wounded in March 1915, and a period of convalescence at home in Broadway, Reginald returned to active duty with the 4th Battalion Worcester Regiment by the end of May 1915. Describing the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, Private Folkes said:

When they had reached the German trenches, they found, to their chagrin, that all the barbed wire was still intact, our artillery not having touched their front just there. That was the time that the men fell fast, but the Worcesters were not done with.

At the end of the war Reginald Folkes returned to Broadway. He married Alice Taylor in Stroud in 1920 and died,aged 64,in 1956.

Other Broadway Men Serving with the Worcesters

Other Broadway men fighting with the Worcesters included Privates Gordon Russell, Leonard F. Green1, Edgar Turner, Arthur Berry. Another Broadway man, Private Malcolm John Denton<sup2, had also been wounded having been shot through the jaw. He was an old reservist having served with the Royal Berkshire Regiment before enlisting with the 8th Battalion Worcester Regiment after the outbreak of the WW1.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

Notes:
1. Private Leonard Frank Green, Corporal 240841, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1896-1917). Len enlisted in September 1914 and was killed in action at during the Battle of Passchedaele and is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial and the Broadway War Memorial.
2. Private Malcolm John Denton was born c1879 in Drayton, Berkshire. He married Rosina Collins in Broadway in 1902.

 

 

Remembered Today: Lance Corporal 30871 Edmund J. Wale, 8th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment

Edmund Joseph Wale was born in Carrickfergus, Ireland, in 1885, the middle son of Joseph and Mary Wale from Margate, Kent. Edmund’s father worked for HM Coastguard and Edmund and his two brothers were brought up on the Kent coast.

After leaving school Edmund worked as a gardener and moved to London where he worked was employed by the landscape painter and garden designer Alfred Parsons RA1 in Kensington. Alfred Parsons was a member of the Broadway Colony2 of artists who lived and worked in London and Broadway in the late 1890s. Many of the colony were expatriate Americans and after Edmund’s marriage to Millicent Smedley in London in 1910, the couple moved to Russell House Cottage, Broadway, Worcestershire, where Edmund was employed by the American artist Francis Davis ‘Frank’ Millet and his wife Lily to tend the 14 acre gardens at Russell House.

page115aEdmund was supposed to accompany Frank Millet on RMS Titanic to New York on 10th April 1912 but did not travel due to the birth of his son, Brian, who had been born in Broadway in 1912. Frank Millet died in the sinking of the Titanic on 15th April 1912, and Edmund remained in the employ of Frank’s widow, Lily, until his conscription in August 1916.

After receiving his conscription papers in early 1916, Lily Millet twice appealed against conscription at meetings of the Evesham Military Service Tribunal but after being granted exemption until 31st July 1916, Edmund enlisted in Evesham with the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Edmund served on the Western Front and during the 4th April 1918, during the Defence of Amiens, Edmund was killed in action. His body was never recovered from the battle site and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial. Edmund is also recorded in the Roll of Honour 2914-1918 in St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Broadway. His name was added to the west panel of the Cheltenham War Memorial in 1921 (his wife, Millicent and son had moved to Cheltenham from Broadway following his conscription).

Edmund is one of 48 commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial. Further information about Edmund and his fellow men from Broadway commemorated on the memorial can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (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).

 

1. Alfred Parsons RA was a Broadway Parish Councillor and Chairman of the Broadway War Memorial Committee from May 1919 until his death in January 1920.
2. The Broadway Colony of artists was a group of predominately American artists, writers, actors and musicians who made Broadway their home in the late 1880s and included Francis Davis Millet, Edmund Gosse, Mary Anderson de Navarro, John Singer Sargent, Alma de Tadema and Edwin Austin Abbey.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers