Cheltenham and the other pandemic – the Spanish ‘Flu


Many commentators today are likening the Covid-19 pandemic to that of the Spanish flu which hit the world in 1917-1920.  It was named as neutral Spain had no need to censor its newspapers and therefore the  first reports of the ‘flu appeared in Spanish newspapers, particularly  as the Spanish King Alfonso XIII was seriously ill with the disease.  The first wave of the ‘flu was relatively mild in the summer of 1918, peaked heavily in October 1918 with a more virulent strain of the disease,   and not fading out  until April 1920.  Eventually more died worldwide than all the civilian and military deaths of the first World War.   Death rates were highest amongst the 20-40 year olds – the age of most of the soldiers returning to their homes after the war.  There were no antibiotics or means of treating the illness. Continue reading “Cheltenham and the other pandemic – the Spanish ‘Flu”

Collaborative working recognised

We were over the moon to be nominated as a finalist for the APSE -Association for Public Service Excellence awards. Cheltenham Remembers was shortlisted for the ‘Best collaborative Working initiative’ award. 

We didn’t win our category…  However, to be a finalist is a huge achievement in itself and perfect recognition for all the hard work that has gone into this initiative over a number of years by Cheltenham Borough Council  and our amazing partners. This included a whopping 1,800 volunteer days!

A huge thank you to everyone who helped us to make this project possible.



Recognition for WW1 Projection

Last Friday, Cheltenham Borough Council, along with some key partners, attended the Audio Visual awards in London.

The Cheltenham Remembers projection was nominated for public sector project of the year and we were up against some big international names! We were pipped to the post by the European Parliament.

It was a fascinating evening and we felt incredibly proud of the achievement of being a finalist. 

Ernest Davis & Alfred Moon

Following the Memorial March on 10th November 2018 and WW1 banners displayed along the railings of Montpelier Park we’ve been contacted by some of the relatives of Cheltonians who lost their lives in the First World War. Here Ian Goodridge tells the story of Ernest Davis & Alfred Moon and helps us put a face to the names to ensure they will be remembered.

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Major Inglis Remembered

A service was held at Prestbury St Mary to commemorate Arthur McCullock Inglis. The photos below were provided by Stephen Pope who attended the event and said:

“The Prestbury parishioners provided a wonderful welcome on Sun 12 May; a great deal of effort had been taken to mark each of the Great War casualties who were either buried or remembered in the churchyard and Father Nick provided a stunning commemorative service.”

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The Forgotten Female Casualties of WW1

Over the coming months we will be telling the stories of some of the Cheltenham women who died as a result of their work at Voluntary Aid hospitals during WW1.

Nurse Anna Madeline Shaw, known as “Lena “ was born in 1884 in Harbourne, Staffordshire. She is one of Cheltenham’s forgotten female WW1 casualties who died of illness contracted whilst on duty as a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse.

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Arthur Inglis – The First Tank Commander

Image © IWM (HU 116182)

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…

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Battlefield Crosses Project

A special event took place last week at Pittville School to celebrate the completion of a project to conserve and restore over 20 wooden WW1 battlefield crosses. The crosses had been subject to the elements for a number of years on display at the entrance to Cheltenham Cemetery. They have now been restored and preserved for future generations.

This project has been coordinated by the Cheltenham Civic Society and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Continue reading “Battlefield Crosses Project”