Category: Heritage

War Memorials in Stroud

My visit to Stroud in September 2017 was somewhat of a disaster, although a number of goals were achieved. One of those goals was to photograph any war memorials that I would see on my way. Unfortunately the Stroud War Memorial was in an area which was far removed from where I ended up but one day I may return.  As far as I can see it is situated at  51.747915°,  -2.214784°. 

The major war memorial that I saw was in St Laurence Church in Stroud, and the World War 1 section was remarkably legible. 

Flanking this central Roll of Honour are the names for the Second World War. A Book of Remembrance is kept in a glass case near the memorial.

 

There are more images of the church in the blogpost that I did about my trip to Stroud

My next memorial I found in The Holy Trinity Church which I passed on my way to the cemetery. The memorial looks like it was made from alabaster and it had a screen blocking off the best view. The two windows on either side of it confused my camera too.

A shot from the side did leave me with a more legible Roll of Honour so all is not lost.

That was my collection from Stroud. I will have to return one day to get the war memorial and revisit Painswick. Just not this year.

©DRW 2017. Created 01/10/2017

Updated: 01/10/2017 — 19:32

War Memorials in Painswick

While attempting to visit Stroud last weekend I ended up in Painswick in Gloucestershire instead, and while I was there I photographed two War Memorials.

The first was outside the parish church of Saint Mary in Painswick.

The memorial is surrounded by Yew trees, and I believe that there are 99 of them in this churchyard! unfortunately the weather was grey and gloomy and I did not take as many images as I would  have liked. It was designed by Arts and Craft architect Frederick Landseer  Maur Griggs and was erected in 1921 and commemorates the men from Painswick who lost their lives in the two world wars. 

The weathering of the stone has made the memorial hard to read, so it may be easier to have a look at the memorial inside the church.

What makes this memorial interesting is that it not only commemorates those who lost their lives in the two wars, but also those who served in it. The gold engraved names are of the former. I have darkened portions of the image to enhance legibility, 

It is a nice touch to know that all of those who served are on the ROH, and it is one of the few occasions that I have seen it done.  Unfortunately though there were chairs in front of the memorial so I was unable to get all of the plaques. I was also pressed for time so could not be picky about my piccies.  The one thing I do know is that the village lost a lot of men in the wars, and I expect this church was the centre of the many memorial services that would have been be as a result of the wartime deaths. 

© DRW 2017. Created 30/09/2017

Updated: 30/09/2017 — 19:59

George Allan Maling. VC

George Allan Maling (6/10/1888 – 9/07/1929), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving with the 12th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own) 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29371,  Page: 11448, reads: 

Temporary Lieutenant George Allan Maling, M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the heavy fighting near Fauquissart on 25th September, 1915.

 Lieutenant Maling worked incessantly with untiring energy from 6.15 a.m. on the 25th till 8 a.m. on the 26th, collecting and treating in the open under heavy shell fire more than 300 men. At about 11 a.m. on the 25th he was flung down and temporarily stunned by the bursting of a large high explosive shell, which wounded his only assistant and killed several of his patients. A second shell soon after covered him and his instruments with debris, but his high courage and zeal never failed him and he continued his gallant work single-handed.

He died on 9 July 1929, at the age of 40, after suffering from pleurisy. He is buried in Chislehurst Cemetery,  Chislehurst, Kent. Section A, Grave 2017, and is commemorated with a plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum. 

Capt. George Allan Maling. VC.

© DRW 2017. Created 12/07/2017. Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions, © 2001, first issued 1916

Updated: 13/07/2017 — 18:54

William Barnsley Allen VC. DSO. MC*.

 William Barnsley Allen (08/06/1892 – 27/08/1933) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions with the Royal Field Artillery, near Mesnil, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29802 Page: 10394, reads

“Captain William Barnsley Allen, M.C., M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.  
When gun detachments were unloading H.E. ammunition from wagons which had just come up, the enemy suddenly began to shell the battery position. The first shell fell on one of the limbers, exploded the ammunition and caused several casualties. 

Captain Allen saw the occurrence and at once, with utter disregard of danger, ran straight across the open, under heavy shell fire, commenced dressing the wounded, and Undoubtedly by his promptness saved many of them from bleeding to death.

He was himself hit four times during the first hour by pieces of shells, one of which – fractured two of his ribs, but he never even mentioned this at the time, and coolly went on with his work till the last man was dressed and safely removed. 

He then went over to another battery and tended a wounded officer. It was only when this was done that he returned to his dug-out and reported his own injury”

Lt. William Barnsley Allen. VC. DSO, MC*

He was also awarded the DSO and Military Cross, and later, a bar to his Military Cross.

He died of an accidental drug overdose in 1933 and is buried in Earnley Churchyard, Brackleham, Sussex and is commemorated on a plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum.

DRW 2017. Created 12/07/2017. 

Updated: 12/07/2017 — 12:26

Durban High School War Memorial

The images of the Durban High School War Memorial are courtesy of Mrs Bee. It may be found at GE co-ordinates -29.844204°, 30.997675°.

The school has existed since 1866 and recently celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. Sadly the Roll of Honour lists so many from the school that perished during the two World Wars as well as the Korean Conflict and the Border War, and one of it’s most famous old boys was Edwin Swales VC.  It is the oldest standing school in Durban and one of the oldest in South Africa.

250 old boys died, and more than 2000 were injured in both World Wars.  The Victoria Cross (VC), 27 Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), 21 Military Crosses (MC), 10 Military Medals (MM) and 8 Distinguished Service Orders (DSO) were awarded to old boys in these and subsequent conflicts. In the Battle of Delville Wood in 1916, 12 old boys were killed, 9 wounded and 3 were taken prisoner. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durban_High_School)

The dome was designed by Professor L. Croft, and old boy, and was erected at the Durban High School and Old Boy’s Memorial Trust through the generosity of the late Mrs Lilian Readshaw, a benefactor of the school. Dedicated by the Reverend R. Horrocks, 11 November 1992.

Roll of Honour panels are available on request.

© DRW 2017. Created 10/07/2017

Updated: 10/07/2017 — 06:55

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Warrior’s Gate, Durban

75th (Natal) Siege Battery: Warriors Gate Durban

My quest to have a record of all of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorials is one step closer as I can now share images of the SAHA Memorial at Warrior’s Gate in Durban. Special thanks to Carl Hoehler for the  information on where these memorial could be found, as well as additional information on the 6 guns that made up the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery, and to Mrs Bee for all the effort she took to find and photograph the memorial.

 

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa. It is to be found within “Warrior’s Gate” at the corner of Old Fort Road and Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, in Durban (GE Co-ordinates -29.851048°, 31.026746°). Unlike its counterparts in Johannesburg Zoo and Port Elizabeth, there was no dedication plaque to be seen. However, the tompion on the gun does give some indication of why it is there.

 

The weapon ties into the 75th (Natal) Siege Battery and from the images it appears as if it is in a very good condition, and it is heavily fenced off to prevent illicit harvesting of scrap metal. 

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

© DRW 2017. Created 08/07/2017. Images courtesy of Mrs Bee. 

Updated: 08/07/2017 — 18:52

Derelict War Memorial in Springs

Since I first started photographing memorials I have been of the opinion that war memorials on the East Rand are really wasted. The only exception to the rule was the former Brakpan Roll of Honour that was claimed by the Cosy Corner MOTH Shelhole in Brakpan.

The latest in extinct war memorials was found by a correspondent; William Martinson, who kindly sent me images of what is left of what may have been a memorial erected by a MOTH shellhole in Springs.

The clue here is an inscription that is left on the structure.

Naturally I wanted to know more, so have mailed off my contact in the area to see whether he can shed any light on it. There is a Honey tank in Springs and she does not seem to have a a context in the place where she is now (being stripped while nobody is looking), and I could not help wondering if she was not the gate guard from there. I did a blogpost on her recently, and this may be part of the puzzle.

The next question is: just where is this structure. It took me some time but eventually I found it on Google earth.  The co-ordinates are roughly -26.246636°, 28.429237°.

I was very curious about the area that the derelict is in, from GE you can see a large parklike area with lots of trees shaped like a cross. You can see the trees in the image below, the white arrow points to the derelict.

The cemetery can just be seen in the top centre of the image. Historical images on GE date back to 2008 and it appears as if it was a wreck even then. My own thoughts were: “Why build a war memorial there anyway?” From a 2017 perspective it makes no sense, but immediately after the 1st world war it was a totally different story, the memorial being erected in the 1930’s. The other derelict war memorial in Springs pretty much sums it up.  A change in demographics, less money for maintenance and more for mercs, a culture of neglect for history and the never ending quest to cut costs so that the suits will have more to spend on salary increases in spite of them never earning one in the first place. 

Many years ago the MOTH was a thriving organisation, with shellholes in most cities, but the decline in their membership, and a policy of declining former national servicemen membership really put the nail in the coffin. Witness the closure of the former headquarters in Johannesburg and the abandonment of the war memorial in “Remembrance Square”

Whatever the reason for the state of this structure, had the inscription not remained it would really have been worth ignoring, but the words “Mutual Help, Comradeship and Sound Memory” really are a farce in this case.

My thanks must go to William Martinson for his images. He also sent me a link to the Artefacts site that has an entry on the  memorial.  The link also provides an answer to the cross shaped trees in Olympia Park. It is a pity that no images have surfaced that could show how this structure looked when it was originally inaugurated, perhaps the answer is in the local library in Springs? assuming one exists in the first place. 

I am hoping that somebody will be able to add to the history of the structure. If you do have any information I would love to hear from you. 

Update 07/07/2017

My contact had the following to say: “I managed to track down that this structure was a cenotaph and garden of remembrance for the Springs Dugout of the MOTHs during the early 30s. There are no longer any Shellholes in Springs. The last one to close was Mudhook which was situated diagonally across the road of the new Springs Civic Centre. The Shellholes in Spings were Mudhook, Black Cat and Seven Seas. We have the Bell from Seven Seas Shellhole at Cosy Corner,  There are supposedly two field guns standing close to the public swimming pool that used to stand next to the wall of Remembrance,I will make a plan and go and check it out. The park as far as I know is called Olympia Park.”

The monument also featured in an article about illegal dumping in the Springs Advertiser of 6 August 2015.

So there we have it in a nutshell. The MOTH shellholes closed down and the memorial was left behind. The field guns? who knows. I have not forgotten this memorial though and will keep an eye open. Somewhere out there must be an image of some information. 

© DRW 2017, created 02/07/2017, updated 07/07/2017, 18/07/2017

Updated: 18/07/2017 — 18:41

Harry Norton Schofield VC

Harry Norton Schofield (29/01/1865 – 10/10/1931) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving as a captain in the Royal Artillery (Royal Field Artillery), during the Second Boer War  on 15 December 1899, at the Battle of Colenso.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27350, Page: 5737, reads: 

“Royal Field Artillery, Captain H. N. Schofield.

At Colenso, on the 15th December, 1899, when the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been killed, wounded, or driven from them by Infantry fire at close range, Captain Schofield went out when the first attempt was made to extricate the guns, and assisted in withdrawing the two that were saved.”

He was awarded the VC along with Lieutenant Frederick Roberts, Cpl George Nurse and Captain Walter Congreve for their attempt at “saving the guns”.

He served in the First World War and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel and is buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in London.

© DRW 2017. Created 14/06/2017. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions © 1997, first issued 1902. 

Updated: 20/06/2017 — 05:58

Sir Walter Norris Congreve VC.

Walter Norris Congreve (20/11/1862 – 28/02/1927) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving as a Captain in the Rifle Brigade during the Anglo Boer War at the Battle of Colenso. Along with Lieutenant Frederick Roberts, Cpl George Nurse and  Harry Norton Schofield they were awarded the Victoria Cross for their attempt at “saving the guns” on 15/12/1899.

The Citation that was recorded in the London Gazette of Issue:27160, Page: 689, is about the actions of Captain William Congreve and Lieutenant Frederick Roberts. George Nurse is seemingly mention as an afterthought. The Citation reads:

“The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officer, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval, for their conspicuous bravery at the battle of Colenso, as stated against their names:—

The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), Captain W. N. Congreve.

The King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Lieutenant the Honourable F. H. S. Roberts (since deceased).

66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Corporal G. E. Nurse

At Colenso on the 15th December, 1899, the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been either killed, wounded, or driven from their guns by Infantry fire at close range, and the guns were deserted.

About 500 yards behind the guns was a donga in which some of the few horses and drivers left alive were sheltered. The intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire.

Captain Congreve, Rifle Brigade, who was in the donga, assisted to hook a team into a limber, went out; and assisted to limber up a gun. Being wounded, he took shelter; but, seeing Lieutenant Roberts fall, badly wounded, he went out again and brought him in. Captain Congreve was shot tbrough the leg, through the toe of his boot, grazed on the elbow and the shoulder, and his horse shot in three places.

Lieutenant Roberts assisted Captain Congreve. He was wounded in three places.

Corporal Nurse also assisted.”

Captain Congreve served held a series of command posts in Britain and Ireland and was served with distinction during World War I, deployed with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France, and taking part in the Battle of the Aisne. He went on to command the 6th Division from May 1915 and then XIII Corps from November 1915. 

From 1924 to 1927, he served as the governor of Malta, where he died. He was buried at sea in the channel between the coast and Filfla Island.

Congreve’s son was Major William La Touche Congreve, VC – they are one of only three father and son pairs to win a VC (Frederick Roberts VC and Lord Roberts VC were also father and son) 

© DRW 2017. Created 14/06/2017. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions, © 1997, first issued 1902. Biographical Information sourced from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Norris_Congreve.

 

Updated: 20/06/2017 — 06:00

George Nurse VC

George Nurse (04/04/1873 – 25/11/1945) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving as a corporal in the 66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, during the Anglo Boer War at the Battle of Colenso.

The Citation that was recorded in the London Gazette of Issue:27160, Page: 689, is about the actions of Captain William Congreve and Lieutenant Frederick Roberts. George Nurse is seemingly mention as an afterthought. The Citation reads:

“The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officer, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval, for their conspicuous bravery at the battle of Colenso, as stated against their names:—

The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), Captain W. N. Congreve.

The King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Lieutenant the Honourable F. H. S. Roberts (since deceased).

66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Corporal G. E. Nurse. 

At Colenso on the 15th December, 1899, the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been either killed, wounded, or driven from their guns by Infantry fire at close range, and the guns were deserted.

About 500 yards behind the guns was a donga in which some of the few horses and drivers left alive were sheltered. The intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire.

Captain Congreve, Rifle Brigade, who was in the donga, assisted to hook a team into a limber, went out; and assisted to limber up a gun. Being wounded, he took shelter; but, seeing Lieutenant Roberts fall, badly wounded, he went out again and brought him in. Captain Congreve was shot tbrough the leg, through the toe of his boot, grazed on the elbow and the shoulder, and his horse shot in three places.

Lieutenant Roberts assisted Captain Congreve. He was wounded in three places.

Corporal Nurse also assisted.”

George Nurse achieved the rank of Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery during World War I and died in Liverpool on 25 November 1945.  He is buried in Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool in the Church of England section.

© DRW 2017. Created 13/06/2017. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions © 1997, first issued 1902. 

Updated: 20/06/2017 — 06:00
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