On September 15th 1916 Arthur McCullock Inglis became the first person in history to lead tanks into battle. He is buried in Prestbury St Mary’s churchyard, where on 12th May 2019 they will be marking the centenary of his death. This is the story of how Arthur and his family are connected to the Cheltenham area…Continue reading “Arthur Inglis – The First Tank Commander”
Extracts from Cheltenham in the Great War by Neela Mann (2016, The History Press)
“Cheltenham’s Prisoners of War and two remarkable ladies
The large basement at Dumfries House, in Bayshill (now County House) became the source of a life line to 197 Prisoners of War (POWs) from Cheltenham. The house was the home of Mrs Elphinstone Shaw, wife of an Indian Army Colonel and daughter and sister in law of Indian Army Generals. Having been married in India, Mrs Shaw returned to Cheltenham in 1895 to join her sister and family.Continue reading “Remarkable Women of Cheltenham – Part 1”
On November 10th more than 1,200 people will march through Cheltenham to represent the number of people listed on Cheltenham’s War Memorial. Each marcher will be given a name (and image if available) of an individual serviceman or woman to carry.
Whilst in principal this seems like a simple idea a huge amount of research and collaboration was required to create this event. Initially each of the 1,296 men and 1 woman listed on the war memorial needed to be identified and researched. (There were 1,290 original names, 1 added after unveiling in 1921 and 6 added in 2016 during the restoration phase) Continue reading “Making the Memorial March”
A fantastic new World War 1 layer has been added to the Know Your Place mapping website which plots the houses of WW1 servicemen in Cheltenham. Discover their stories, where they lived and what they looked like. Hundreds of images now available. Continue reading “Cheltenham WWI Photos Online”
A commemorative stone was laid on Sunday 2nd September at Cheltenham War Memorial to commemorate Lt Col Richard Annesley West (VC). The ceremony was attended by members of his family (from as far afield as Australia) and representatives from the Royal Tank Regiment, North Irish Horse and the Royal British Legion. The paving stone was unveiled by the Mayor of Cheltenham (Bernard Fisher) and there was a large civic presence including the Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire (Dame Janet Trotter). A summary of the event written by Cllr Paul McCloskey can be read here.
Queen Street was possibly Cheltenham’s most unfortunate street during the First World War. The community lost a significant number of men varying in age from just 17 to 49.
A new roll of honour for Queen Street has been compiled by local researchers Steve Lewis and David Drinkwater.
To learn more about the impact WW1 had on the community of St Peter’s & The Moors visit our new exhibition (created by SPTM Big Local) which opens at the Hardwick Gallery, St Paul’s Road on 28th August.
Today, Cheltenham Civic Society has received a National Lottery grant of £9800 for a First World War memorials project in Cheltenham. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on conserving 23 wooden battlefield crosses currently located in Bouncers Lane Cemetery.
Click here to view the slideshow exhibited at this year’s Prestbury Village WW1 Fete. Learn more about how the village was affected by the war both on the ‘front lines’ and the home front. (Unfortunately we don’t have permission to add the soundtrack and animations to the internet, but there will be another opportunity to view the film at the Gloucestershire & Racing Remembers event in November 2018). Research and presentation by Rebecca Sillence.
A new WW1 exhibition at the Holst Birthplace Museum was opened by the Mayor of Cheltenham on Friday. The exhibition focuses on the time composer Gustav Holst spent travelling around Salonika and Constantinople with the Y.M.C.A. teaching music to soldiers in Greece and Turkey.
You can see original letters and diary entries written by Holst, experience a recreated Y.M.C.A. hut and see the piano at which he composed The Planet Suite during 1914-16. There are also slideshows and video footage which will bring to life the stories as you explore. Visit holstmuseum.org.uk for more information about their programme of centenary events.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.” – Robert Laurence Binyon, 1914
11th November 1918 is a date that has gone down in history; marking the cessation of fighting and leading to the end of the First World War. The Armistice agreement was signed at Compiègne in Northern France, between the Allied forces and Germany. When the fighting was over many British troops began to be bought home to be reunited with their loved ones. The walk home from Cheltenham railway station marked the transition back into civilian life for many returning servicemen. For others it would be several months or even years before they were demobilised and allowed to return home.
In order to commemorate the lives lost during the 1914-1918 war, Cheltenham Town Council commissioned Messrs R L Boulton & Sons to create a memorial that would enable the people of Cheltenham to remember the bravery of the 1284 Cheltonian men that gave their lives for their country.