The Anglo Boer War Memorial in Evesham, Worcestershire is technically not a memorial as we know it. Rather, it commemorates men who volunteered for active service in the ABW. It would be interesting to know how many of them came back alive, and which may have died in combat or as a result of Enteric Fever. It may be found on the wall of the Town Hall and is easily overlooked.
DRW © 2018, created 15/07/2018
Michael Gibson (06/1906 – 18/10/1940) was awarded the George Cross for his actions on 17 October 1940 in Coventry.
He was 34 years old and serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers when he and Second Lieutenant Alexander “Sandy” Campbell GC were called in to deal with an unexploded bomb which had fallen on the Triumph Engineering Company’s works. War production in two factories had stopped because of it., and a large number of people living nearby had been evacuated. Campbell found the bomb was fitted with a delayed action fuse which it was impossible to remove, so he decided to transport it to a safe place. This was done by lorry. Campbell lay alongside the bomb so that he could hear if it started ticking and could warn Gibson, the driver, to stop and run for cover. Next the two men carried it a mile from Priory Street to Whitley Common, where they successfully made the bomb safe. They were both killed the following day while working on another unexploded bomb.
Following a funeral service at Coventry Cathedral on 25 October 1940, the squad were buried in a collective grave in Coventry’s London Road Cemetery. The squad comprised Second Lieutenant Alexander Fraser Campbell GC and Sappers William Gibson, Richard Gilchrest, Jack Plumb, Ronald William Skelton, Ernest Arthur Stote and Gibson.
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/03/2017. Images and information courtesy of Mark Green.
Chepping Wycombe Parish Council Cemetery was the first cemetery that I visited in the United Kingdom in 2008. I did not spend too much time there as a funeral had just occurred and the gravedigger was still closing up the hole, but the one thing I do remember is the pile of soil that was stacked up next to the grave, it was white, being mostly chalk. It would be interesting to revisit after so many years, but it is not on my list as yet. The cemetery may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates: 51.610216° -0.693834°
© DRW 2008 – 2018. Created 06/05/2015
The major War Memorial in Birmingham is the Hall of Memory. I visited it on 10 April 2014, and it was a very pretty structure, although I do expect many people have very little idea of what it is or represents. The Hall of Memory was built to commemorate the 12320 Birmingham citizens who died and the 35000 who were wounded in the First World War.
When I arrived that morning it was still closed (it opens at 10am), so I was able to have a look at the four statues that surround it. Each representing a branch of the armed service as well as the Women’s Service.
Inside the chamber it is solemn, and the centerpiece is a sarcophagus-shaped dais in which are two Rolls of Honour from both World Wars.
A further Roll of Honour is in a glass case behind the main one, and this is for those who lost their lives in further conflicts after the Second World War.
In each of the four corners there are niches that are currently holding the many wreaths and tributes that were made since Remembrance Day, and Poppy Crosses surround the central dias.
Three bas-reliefs are affixed high up on each wall, and they each have a message for those left behind.
The Hall of Memory was designed by S. N. Cooke and W. Norman Twist and was opened by H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught on 4th July 1925.
© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 11/04/2015
The War Memorial in Alrewas seems almost superfluous when the National Memorial Arboretum is relatively close by, but then the war memorial has been around much longer. A bus service runs between the village and Lichfield. The Arboretum is in walking distance from the village.
The memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: 52.732875°, -1.749580°. The National Memorial Arboretum may be found at 52.727889°, -1.731161°
Interestingly, the tree on the same traffic island has a plaque on it that proclaims that it was planted on 26 June 1902 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.
© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 09/04/2015
I was quite surprised to find the Garden of Remembrance in Lichfield, considering I was not looking for it in the first place.
Lichfield Garden of Remembrance
The War Memorial was designed by Charles Edward Bateman, and the garden was opened on 20 October 1920.
The War Memorial
Dedication: First World War
After the Second World War additional plaques were added to encompass the casualties from that conflict.
World War 2 and “Struggles That Followed”
There is one statue on the memorial, and curiously another statue on the library which may or may not tie into the memorial.
War Memorial Statue
Statue at the Library
There is one memorial which I found on the station which I want to include here, even though he did not come from this city but is worthy of being remembered.
Plaque of Remembrance to Private WR Davies
From what I could find, Private WR Davies was 19 when he was shot dead by the IRA, in an attack at the station where he had been waiting for a train, to take him back home to Wales after completing his first 12 weeks of training.
© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 21/03/2015
This beautiful memorial I found in Oldham, in Town Centre and close to the St Mary’s Church. Its a beautiful memorial but seems out of place opposite a pub with rowdy revellers doing their thing.
A large number of men from Manchester and Oldham died in the “Pals Regiments” and Albert Toft was commissioned to provide the memorial to them. The memorial was unveiled by General Sir Ian Hamilton in April 1923 while William Temple, Bishop of Manchester, provided the dedication. The interior of the pedestal contained a chamber in which were placed books containing the local roll of honour, and a space in which people could pray. After the Second World War it was decided to incorporate a Book of Remembrance into the base of the original memorial as a tribute to those who had died in the recent war.
There are two Victoria Cross holders commemorated on the name plates. Walter MIlls Vc and James Kirk VC.
© DRW, 2008-2018. Created 30/08/2008. Moved to blog 04/03/2014
The Cenotaph in London may be found in Parliament Street and is very close to the Cabinet War Rooms and The Ministry of Defence. (Google Earth co-ordinates 51.502678°, -0.126115°)
It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and was intended to commemorate the victims of the First World War, but is used to commemorate all of the dead in all wars in which British servicemen have fought. I believe it is based on the Cenotaph in Southampton, and the Cenotaph in Johannesburg and Hong Kong are based on this structure. The dates of the First World War and the Second World War are inscribed on it in Roman numerals.
© DRW 2013-2018 Created 03/2013. Moved to blog 24/02/2014