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.
Paving stones are to be installed to mark the 100th anniversaries of Cheltenham’s First World War Victoria Cross heroes. Three men from the borough who received the award will have commemorative stones placed at the war memorial outside the Municipal Offices.
Richard Annesley West was born at 1 Oxford Street, Cheltenham on 26th September 1878. He was married to comedy actress Maude Aston (real name Cushing, aunt of the actor Peter Cushing) who he met in South Africa after joining the Army to serve in the Boer war. During WW1 West earned a number of medals for gallantry including a DSO and Military Cross. He became an acting major in the Tank Corps on January 18, 1918 and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his outstanding gallantry on August 21 and again on September 2, when he died on the battlefield. © IWM (detail of VC 1291)
Arthur Kilby was my maternal grandmother’s first cousin. Laura Herbert nee Kilby was also born in 1879 at East Hayes, Pitville Circus Road, Cheltenham. She was close to Arthur Kilby and had spent some of her childhood in the same household as he did. Capt Kilby gave my mother a copy of “At the back of the North Wind” by George MacDonald, and in the frontispiece she has pasted a copy of the newspaper cutting from 31 March 1916 with the details of his bravery for which Capt Kilby was awarded the VC. (Photo submitted by Franklyncards) Continue reading “Captain Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby VC”
Captain Anketell Moutray Read was born in Beaumont House, 56 Shurdington Road, Leckhampton on the 27th October,1884. He rejoined the Northampton Regiment and was shipped to France in 1914. He was killed on the opening day of the battle of Loos, 25th September, 1915, and was subsequently awarded a posthumous VC.