Category: World War 1

William Kenny VC

William Kenny (24/08/1880 – 10/01/1936) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery on 23 October 1914 near Ypres, Belgium.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29074, Page: 1699 reads: 

“6535 Drummer William Kenny, 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders.
For conspicuous bravery on 23rd October, near Ypres, in rescuing wounded men on five occasions under very heavy fire in the most fearless manner, and for twice previously saving machine guns by carrying them out of action.
On numerous occasions Drummer Kenny conveyed urgent messages under very dangerous circumstances over fire-swept ground”

He died at Charing Cross Hospital, London on 10th January 1936. and was buried in the Corps of Commissionaires Section of Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 07:42

Cyril Hubert Frisby VC

Cyril Hubert Frisby (17/09/1885 – 10/09/1961) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 27 September 1918 at the Battle of Canal du Nord, near Graincourt, France.

The Citation, recorded on the London Gazette of Supplement: 31034, Page: 14039, reads:

“Gds. (S.R.). attd. 1st Bn.
For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty in action on the 7th September, 1918, across the Canal Du Nord, near Graincourt, when in command of a company detailed to capture the Canal crossing, on the Demicourt-Graincourt road. On reaching the Canal this leading platoon came under annihilating machine-gun fire from a strong machine-gun post under the old iron bridge on the far side of the Canal, and was unable to advance, despite reinforcing waves. Capt. Frisby realised at once
that unless this post was captured the whole advance in this area would fail. Calling for volunteers to follow him, he dashed forward, and, with three other ranks, he climbed down into the Canal under an intense point-blank machine-gun fire and succeeded in capturing the post with two machine guns and twelve men.
By his personal valour and initiative he restored the situation and enabled the attacking companies to continue the advance.
Having reached and consolidated his objective, he gave timely support to the company on his right, which had lost all its officers and sergeants, organised its defences, and beat off a heavy hostile counter-attack.
He was wounded in the leg by a bayonet in the attack on the machine-gun post, but remained at duty throughout, thereby setting a splendid example to all ranks.”

He died on 10th September 1961 aged 75 in Guildford, Surrey and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 05:40

William Robert Fountaine Addison VC

Reverand William Robert Fountaine Addison (18/09/1883 – 07/01/1962) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery on  9 April 1916 at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia,

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29765, Page: 9417, reads: 

“Rev. William Robert Fountaine Addison, temp. Chapl. to the Forces, 4th Class, Army Chapl. Dept.
For most conspicuous bravery. He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.
In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcherbearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded.”

He died on 7th January 1962, aged 78, in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 05:20

Bristol Cenotaph

The Cenotaph in Bristol may be found at  Google Earth co-ordinates 51.454987°,  -2.596391°. in Magpie Park, Colston Avenue, Bristol. I believe the area around the cenotaph as recently been remodelled so everything is in a reasonably good condition.  War Memorials Register entry

It was unveiled on 26 July 1932, attended by: Field Marshall Sir William Birdwood. There are no names on the memorial, and only two commemoration panels. The panel on the face above is:

SACRED TO THE MEMORY
OF BRISTOL’S SONS AND
DAUGHTERS , WHO MADE
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.
THEY DIED THAT MANKIND MIGHT LEARN TO LIVE IN PEACE

The opposite side panel reads:

“O VALIANT HEARTS WHO TO YOUR GLORY CAME,
THROUGH DUST OF CONFLICT AND THROUGH BATTLE FLAME:
TRANQUIL YOU LIE, YOUR KNIGHTLY VIRTUE PROVED,
YOUR MEMORY HALLOWED IN THE LAND YOU LOVED:
SPLENDID YOU PASSED THE GREAT SURRENDER MADE.
INTO THE LIGHT THAT NEVERMORE SHALL FADE.
ALL YOU HAD HOPED FOR, ALL YOU HAD, YOU GAVE
TO SAVE MANKIND, YOURSELVES YOU SCORNED TO SAVE.”

There are no names on the Cenotaph.

DRW 2018. Created 22/07/2018

Updated: 22/07/2018 — 17:45

Chasetown Saint Anne’s Church War Memorials

St Anne’ Church in Chasetown has become the caretaker of 4 plaques that were sited at the colliery pits where many of the men from the area worked. They commemorate men from 2,3,8, and 9 pits who lost their lives in World War 1.  The four plaques are mounted on the exterior wall of the church.

Unfortunately for most of the time that I was in Chasetown the church was surrounded in scaffolding and I only discovered these memorials towards the end of my stay so was never able to find out much from the people at the church.

Even though the plaques are in a good condition they are difficult to read. 

To the Memory of the Men from No. 2 Pit who fell in the Great War

Thomas Brookes • John Rochelle • Enoch Hancox
William Deakin • Alfred Ross • George H Evans
William A Elson • Enoch Smith • Albert Fairfield
Alfred E Fisher • Charles E Williamson • Walter Reynolds
John Rushton • W Harrold Williamson • Reginald Lees
Ernest Craddock • Frederick Crutchley

To the Memory of the Men from No. 3 Pit who fell in the Great War

Harold Spencer • Thomas Lewis • Albert Lees
Bert Gozzard • Joseph Robinson • Arthur Wright
William Buckley • Joseph Witton • William Daker
Horace Derry • Thomas Downing • Charles Beach
Arthur Heath • Walter Evans • Henry Griffin
John Kelly • Thomas Rose • William Robinson
William Robinson • Percy Bradshaw • William Fellows

To the Memory of the Men from No. 8 Pit who fell in the Great War

Alfred Bradshaw • John Dolman • Richard Stevens
Frederick Bailey • William Longdon • Herbert Nicholls
Edward Bills •  Albert Meaton • Enoch Bedow
William Day • Nonnie Pritchard

To the Memory of the Men from No. 9 Pit who fell in the Great War

Harry B Yardley • Roland Foster • Samuel Evans
Hubert Millard • Joseph W Roberts • Noah Lysons
Henry Duffield • Eli Bott • Bert Roper

DRW ©2015-2018. Retrospectively created 11/07/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

Former St Peter’s Cheltenham War Memorial

I first spotted the church from the 41 bus going to Cheltenham and was always tempted to climb out and take a closer look. The building just has the impressive look about it. However, do not be deceived because it is no longer a church, and it has not been since after 2008. The building  is situated on the south side of the Tewkesbury Road (Google Earth co-ordinates:  51° 54.525’N,  2° 5.445’W) . It is now sign boarded as being a part of “The Rock Youth Charity“.  I took my first images of the church and War Memorial in June 2016.

The memorial can just be seen amongst the trees on the left of the photograph above. It was in a very poor condition and the names were almost illegible.

I went past there once more in October 2017 and there was light at the end of the tunnel as an official notice advised that the memorial was to be refurbished.  In December 2017 work was underway and I made a  mental note to get around there in the new year. That only happened at the end of May 2018 by which time the restoration was complete, the inscriptions and name panels were once again legible and the memorial was looking infinitely better than when I had last seen it.

More importantly it was now possible to read the names on it.

And, the inscription.

The memorial is referenced on the War Memorials Register of the Imperial War Museum.

Alas, our English weather tends to do it’s deed in all seasons and parts of it were already taking on a green hew, but the main thing is that hopefully it will once again become a focus for commemoration and no longer a stone object hidden amongst the trees.

DRW © 2018. Created 03/07/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

William Ratcliffe VC. MM.

William Ratclifffe (18/01/1884 – 26/03/1963), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 14 June 1917 at Messines, Belgium, 

The Citation, published in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30215 Page: 7907, reads:

“No. 2251 Pte. William Ratcliffe, S. Lane. E. For most conspicuous bravery.
After an enemy’s trench had been captured, Pte. Ratcliffe located an enemy machine gun which was firing on his comrades from the rear, whereupon, single handed and on his own initiative, he immediately, rushed the machine gun position and bayoneted the crew. He then brought the gun back into action in the front line. 

This very gallant soldier has displayed great resource on previous occasions, and has set an exceptionally fine example of devotion to duty.”

He is commemorated on the Liverpool Heroes Statue in Abercromby Square in Liverpool

Liverpool Heroes Statue. Inscription

And there is a Commemorative Plaque for him at the Hall of Remembrance in Liverpool City Hall

Commemorative Plaque, Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool City Hall

Outside the Hall of Remembrance is a framed list of names that are connected to Liverpool and he is also listed on it.

A paving stone was unveiled for him at the Liverpool Parish Church on 15 June 2017. 

William Ratcliffe VC. MM. died on 26 March 1963, and is  buried in  Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool.

DRW © 2018. Created 20/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

Liverpool Hall of Remembrance

When I first saw the City Hall in Liverpool I asked myself whether there was a war memorial in it, and naturally it sometimes helps if you go and ask…

I was not disappointed.

Known as The Hall of Remembrance, it was opened by the Duke of Windsor, then Prince of Wales, in 1921 and contains the City’s Roll of Honour.

The Roll of Honour has the names of over 13,000 servicemen men from Liverpool who died during the First World War, with the majority of those named having served in what was then formally known as “The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)” which had many battalions, 

Bell from HMS Liverpool

Eight lunette fresco panels painted by Sir Frank Salisbury (1874 – 1962) decorate the walls and were unveiled by the Duke of York in July 1923. They represent scenes headed Infancy, Duty’s Call, Sacrifice, Immortality, Renown, Remembrance, Triumph, The Silent Watch,  Undaunted, Sea Power, Conquering the Air, and Peace. The area is also decorated with heraldic devices, military badges and symbols representing the Allied Nations.

It is a very beautiful space and worth seeing if you are in Liverpool. 

I asked to see the Noel Chavasse VC entry in the roll and it was there, as are a number of other Liverpool VC holders. 

The building also has a “Chavasse Room” and there is a framed VC list outside the room.

There is also a plaque dedicated to William Radcliffe VC., MM. presumably rescued from elsewhere. 

The City Hall is a very beautiful building in its own and dates back to the late 1700’s.  It is really a ceremonial building rather than an administrative building, 

The ground floor contains the city’s Council Chamber and a Hall of Remembrance for the Liverpool servicemen killed in the First World War. The upper floor consists of a suite of lavishly decorated rooms which are used for a variety of events and functions. 

More images of the interior of the building are available at the Town Hall Website, and I have used some of the text from the website in this post.

Special thanks to the gentlemen who we so kind as to show me the hall and permit me to get a quick glimpse of that part of the building. Thanks guys. 

DRW © 2018. Created 16/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:10

Liverpool Pals Memorial

Lime Street Station in Liverpool has seen a lot in the years that it has served Liverpool since it officially opened in August 1836. It also saw many men leave for war, and probably many returning victorious years later.  When I saw it in May 2018 it was somewhat of a mess, with ongoing renovations and the station due to be closed for 2 months. 

Naturally my 2nd question was: where is the War Memorial? and somebody who worked there said that it had been removed to the railway museum at York, which did not help me much. However, there are two memorials if you look for them. The first is a reasonably new addition and was unveiled by HRH The Earl of Wessex on Sunday 31 August 2014.

The Liverpool Pals Memorial is in the form of two large friezes stuck high up on a wall where you are not likely to see them. The £85,000 artwork was designed by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy and was funded through donations, I am not sure whether the place where they are sited is the original site or final site.

The Friezes are entitled:
 ‘Recruitment and Farewell.’

Recruitment and Farewell (1500 x 569)

 

‘Time to go home.’

Time to go home. (1500 x 574)

There is an explanation of the friezes by the artist  at http://www.liverpoolsculptures.com.  

More than 1,000 men were recruited on August 31 1914 alone. Over 6,000 men were initially signed up in 1914 – enough soldiers to serve in four battalions and for two reserve battalions. Unfortunately many would never walk through Lime Street Station again.

The second memorial that I spotted was quite odd, it almost felt like a reminder, or an apology.

I hope that once the huge renovation has completed the original war memorial will be restored to where it should be and that the Pals Battalions gets placed in a better spot so that they can be seen better. They are amazing pieces of work.

Oh, as an afterthought, just image what the inside of that glass cathedral must have looked like during the age of the steam engine.

DRW © 2018. Created 11/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Liverpool Exchange War Memorials

There are two war memorials in the open square behind the Liverpool City Hall that is bounded by a large building that seems to have been called “Exchange Flags” but is now called Horton House and Walker House.

The first memorial was dedicated to “the Men of the Liverpool Exchange Newsroom”

Funded by donations raised from members of the Liverpool Exchange Company in 1916 and originally intended to be dedicated to those members who had joined the forces, the emphasis of the memorial changed at the end of WW1 to commemorate members and sons who had sacrificed their lives. Made of bronze and marble by artist Joseph Phillips, the sculpture features Britannia sheltering a young girl with two soldiers and a sailor looking outwards while  a Queen Mary Auxiliary Services nurse tends a wounded soldier.

Unveiled in 1924, the sculpture was moved to its current location in 1953. (https://www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/memorials-memories/)

The names are listed on the stonework next to the central dedication panel.

Above the memorial on two columns on either side of it are 4 figures: a female adult with a young boy and a male adult with a young girl. I do not know whether these are part of the original memorial or not.

The Exchange Flags square may be found at Google Earth  53.407654°,  -2.992094° 

The second memorial is in visual range and is The Unknown Soldier, Liverpool Cotton Association Memorial.

Unusually the bronze soldier stands at ground level  having been relocated in 2013 to be closer the ICA’s new office in Walker House.

Commissioned in 1922 by the International Cotton Association (ICA), known then as the Liverpool Cotton Association, the bronze statue of the Unknown Soldier was originally situated in Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange Building on Old Hall Street. (https://www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/memorials-memories/)

There is one further memorial in the square which is neither a First or Second World War Memorial. It is known as the Nelson Monument  and it  is really a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson.

It is somewhat of a wedding cake of a monument, with  four statues depicting prisoners sitting in poses of sadness and representing Nelson’s major victories, the battles of Cape St Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar.

The first stone was laid on 15 July 1812, and the monument was unveiled on 21 October 1813, the eighth anniversary of Nelson’s death. In 1866 the monument was moved to its present site in Exchange Flags to allow for an extension to the Exchange Buildings.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11
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