Tag: Cheltenham

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

Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby VC

Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby (03/02/1885 – 25/09/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the first day of the Battle of Loos.

Arthur Kilby VC

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29527, Page: 3409 reads: 

“Captain Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby, late 2nd Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery.

Captain Kilby was specially selected, at his own request, and on account of the gallantry which he had previously displayed on many occasions, to attack with his company a strong enemy redoubt.
The company charged along the narrow tow-path, headed by Captain Kilby, who, though wounded at the outset, continued to lead his men right up to the enemy wire under a devastating machine-gun fire and a shower of bombs. Here he was shot down, but, although his foot had been blown off, he continued to cheer on his men and to use a rifle. 
Captain Kilby has been missing since the date of the performance of this great act of valour, and his death” has now to be presumed.”

Captain Kilby was killed on 25 September 1915, his  heroism was acknowledged by the German defenders who erected a memorial cross at the location of his death. His body was located on 19 February 1929 and interred at Arras Road Cemetery, Roclincourt, 

He is commemorated on a Memorial Stone at the Cheltenham War Memorial.

© DRW 2018. Created 01/01/2018. Reproduction Gallaher cigarette card first issued 1916, reproduced by Card promotions © 2003

Updated: 16/01/2018 — 13:22

Anketel Moutray Read VC

Anketell Moutray Read (27/10/1884 – 25/09/1915 was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 25 September 1915 near Hulluch, France.

Ankettel Read VC


The Citation, published in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29371, Page: 11447 reads:

“Captain Anketell Montray Read, 1st Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment. 

For most conspicuous bravery during the first attack near Hulluch on the morning of 25th September, 1915.

Although partially gassed, Captain Read went out several times in order to rally parties of different units which were disorganised and retiring. He led them back into the firing line, and, utterly regardless of danger, moved freely about encouraging them under a withering fire. He was mortally wounded while carrying out this gallant work. 

Captain Read had previously shown conspicuous bravery during digging operations on 29th, 30th and 31st August, 1915, and on the night of the 29th-30th July he carried out of action an Officer, who was mortally wounded, under a hot fire from rifles and grenades. “

He is buried in Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, France. Born in Cheltenham, he is commemorated with a Memorial Stone at the Cheltenham War Memorial.

He is also commemorated on the War Memorial.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/01/2018. Gallaher cigarette card reproduction by Card Promotions © 2003, originally issued 1916. 

Updated: 16/01/2018 — 13:23

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 2017-2018. Created 01/10/2017

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:15

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 pics.  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 2017-2018. Created 30/09/2017

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:15

Cheltenham Crimean War Memorial

The Crimean War Memorial in Cheltenham may be found on a small island outside the Queen’s Hotel on the Promenade, Cheltenham,  (Google Earth  51.896628°,  -2.079972°). 

It commemorates men from Cheltenham who lost their lives during the Crimean War and is a grade II listed structure and was restored in 2008.

There is a dedication on either side of the base.

The Memorial originally consisted of a pair of guns taken from Sebastapol and they were erected, each on it’s own base, on 5th July 1858. However during  the Second World War the guns and one base were turned in and melted down for munitions.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/05/2017

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:09

The Drew Statue in Cheltenham

I saw this statue in Cheltenham from the top of a bus, and had to prematurely bail out on my way home to try get photographs of it.  The google Earth co-ordinates for it are:  51°53’41.20″N,   2° 4’57.28″W. Strangely enough my pics taken from the bus are much better than those taken on foot.

After some reading I discovered that this was not a war memorial, but rather a drinking trough for passing horses. Situated opposite to Montpellier Rotunda, near the Montpellier roundabout, it features King Edward VII holding the hand of a barefoot girl, presumably in a benevolent way. It is dated 1914 and was erected by Mr and Mrs Drew of Hatherley Court. With a bit of imagination though it would have made a very good war memorial, given how many innocents were caught up in the First World War.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/08/2015.

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:58

Cheltenham Anglo Boer War Memorial

Again one of those “almost fell over it” occurrences while rushing for a bus in Cheltenham. Situated close to the Cheltenham War Memorial in the grounds of the Municipal office in Cheltenham, it is one of three memorials in this space.

The memorial commemorates the Officers, Men and Volunteers from Cheltenham who lost their lives during the Anglo Boer War.

The memorial was unveiled by Lt-Genl Sir Ian Hamilton KCB on 17 July 1907. Google Earth co-ordinates are:  51°53’58.48″N,   2° 4’37.19″W.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/08/2015.

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:58

The Gloucesters Memorial in Cheltenham

One of the more poignant memorials to the casualties of the First World War may be found within Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.  Passing through the gates of the cemetery, on the right hand side is the Gloucesters Memorial and Crosses.

Prestbury Cemetery. Glosters Memorial highlighted in red

Prestbury Cemetery. Gloucesters Memorial highlighted in red

At first glance the memorial really looks like a rack for storing garden tools, but as you get closer only then do you realise what it is you are seeing.

Beneath the four simple wooden shelters are the original grave markers that stood on the graves of fallen soldiers. Unfortunately, over the years they have lost their legibility and today some of which I cannot identify. There are 21 markers in total and they represent the graves of 21 men. I have since added in a link to the relevant CWGC page for each identified cross. 

Extreme left hand shelter

Extreme left hand shelter

From left to right: L/cpl Leslie James Silvester (1st 5th Gloucesters, 20/05/1915), Pte HR. Arundell (1st 4th Gloucesters 15/04/1917), Pte Ernest G. Smith (2nd 5th Gloucesters, 17/04/1917), Pte William. Regan (1st 3rd Monmouthshire Regt. 22/05/1915), No visible identification.

Left inward shelter

Left inward shelter

From left to right: Lt Francis Charles Erlin Clarke (Worcs Regt and RFC. 11/10/1917), No visible identification, Pte Charles William Harwood (1st Bn Devonshire Regt. 04/10/1917), Not Legible, Maj Lionel Goodeve (1st Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. 26/08/1916), Damaged, crosspiece has legible identification.



In the centre is another cross which is marked with more names of soldiers that fell in August 1916.

Inner right hand shelter

Inner right hand shelter

From left to right: 2Lt. Kenneth Gerard Gurney (spelt Gournly on the marker) 5th Bn Gloucester Regt, 17/10/1917), Pte Sidney Leonad Dean (1st Bn Dorsetshire Regt 27/08/1918), No visible identification, No visible identification, Pte Harold Edgar. Ralph (171st Labour Coy, 15/04/1918).

Right hand side outside

Right hand side outside

From left to right: Capt. John Harold Elleston. Rickerby MC. (2/5 Gloucester Regt, 22/03/1918), Maj. John Gwynne Griffith (32nd Lancers, 24/05/1915), Lt. Reginald Anthony. Lyon (Army Cyclist Corps, 13/08/1917), Pte. Arthur Thomas Hiron (Nth Staffs Regt. 15/10/1918), Not Legible.

This is a unique memorial, although the brown paintwork does make it look impersonal, and of course over the years the identification of some of the markers has been lost. It is a pity that the markers were not given a coat of a clear varnish so that the original colouring of the them could be seen. Not too many of these early wooden markers have survived, and this is the biggest collection that I have ever seen. It is a very humbling experience.

(11/2017 image)

(11/2017 image)

(11/2017 image)

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 09/08/2015. Changed spelling throughout page to Gloucesters 03/11/2017, corrected link that points to blogger, added CWGC links and added new images.

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:25

Richard Raymond Willis VC.

Richard Raymond Willis (13/10/1876 – 09/02/1966) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during World War One at Gallipoli.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 29273, Page: 8395,  reads:

“His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officer and man, in recognition of their most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the field: —

Captain Richard Raymond Willis, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.

No. 1293 Serjeant Alfred Richards, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.

No. 1809 Private William Keneally, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers.

On the 25th April, 1915, three Companies and the Headquarters of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, in effecting a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape Helles, were met by a very deadly fire from hidden machine guns which caused a great number of casualties. The survivors, however, rushed up to and cut the wire entanglements, notwithstanding the terrific fire from the enemy, and, after overcoming supreme difficulties, the cliffs were gained and the position maintained.

Amongst the many very gallant Officers and men engaged in this most hazardous undertaking, Captain Willis, Serjeant Richards and Private Keneally have been selected by their comrades as having performed the most signal acts of bravery and devotion to duty”

Upon his death in 1966 he was cremated and his ashes were interred in the Garden Of Remembrance at Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.

Maj. Richard Willis VC 1876-1966 Prestbury Cemetery, Cheltenham


The Cross of Sacrifice. Prestbury Cemetery, Cheltenham.

The Cross of Sacrifice. Prestbury Cemetery, Cheltenham.

DRW © 2015-2020. Created 09/08/2015, edited 02/05/2017

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:53
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