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.
A fascinating glimpse into life in Cheltenham during the First World War. The gallery below shows a small selection of the material relating to WW1 held at Cheltenham Local & Family History Library (Chester Walk, Cheltenham GL50 3JT). You can also view several wartime programmes and leaflets from their collection by visiting our new WW1 Library page, which we will be adding to over the coming months.
Several peace celebration took place in Cheltenham over the summer of 1919. Commencing with a Peace Fete held in Pittville Park during July and culminating in a tribute to the ‘fighting men of Cheltenham’ in August, where more than 4,000 returned servicemen marched between Montpellier Park and Pittville Gardens. Later this year on November 10th, we hope to follow in their footsteps and hold a community march through Cheltenham to commemorate the 1,290 servicemen and women who are listed on Cheltenham’s War Memorial.
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.
University of Gloucestershire students presented their work at this year’s Cotswold Centre for History & Heritage exhibition. The exhibition focuses on a range of local history topics including four panels about Cheltenham during the First World War.
Next time you are passing North Place car park look out for the finished street art mural featuring Gustav Holst. The ‘exhibition’ is arranged by the Holst Birthplace Museum as part of their WW1 programme.
The installation includes letterpress posters created by Pittville School and the general public in response to The Balkan News (a WW1 era publication that Holst is likely to have read whilst in Salonika). The display also features a special portrait commission of Holst by Andy ‘Dice’ Davies, Street Artist and Director of the Cheltenham Paint Festival.
To read more about it visit http://holstmuseum.org.uk/exhibition-the-balkan-news-and-holst-street-art-style/
Stunning animation to be projected onto the Municipal building 11 November, 5pm
On Sunday November 11, as part of Cheltenham Remembers Remembrance Sunday commemoration events, a 10 to 15 minute high-impact film of WW1 imagery will be projected onto the Municipal Offices throughout the late afternoon and into the evening and will be accessible to everyone.
This week local residents and school pupils took part in letterpress workshops at the Univeristy of Gloucestershire, led by Andy Kinnear. Letterpress posters based on headlines found in ‘The Balkan News’ were created as part of the Holst Birthplace Museum’s WW1 programme. The posters will be on display in North Place car park from Wednesday 18th July.
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.
Read this fascinating article about the contribution of local Cheltonian women during the First World War. Reproduced with kind permission of by Neela Mann (author of Cheltenham in the Great War) and the History Press.
How the well-organised women of Cheltenham contributed to the war effort