WW1  Pershore

Click here to edit subtitle

This website has created to serve as a First World War Centenary Commemoration to all those who served their Country from 1914-1918 from the town of Pershore in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.


All the information has been pieced together from archive files including local newspapers,  published books about the town and information available on the Internet. Some of the photographs have been kindly donated by local families.  It is hoped that by putting all this data in once place, this will serve as a long term record of our town's heroes.  


Acknowledgements & Thanks :

Derek Farmer and the late Malcom Farmer

Newsquest Evesham Journal & Berrow's Journal

 Ernie Fuller and the late John Smith http://johnsmithpershore.webs.com/for keeping records

 Mick Turvey for providing much valued information. 

Grateful thanks to Kevin Fuller for providing photographs. 

 Pershore Abbey. (link to website below). 

To the local Authors - Marion Freeman, Margaret Bramford, Marshall Wilson and Arthur Dowty whose books have provided a source of knowledge. 

To the local people of Pershore who have shared information and photographs of their relatives, particularly on our Facebook "Memories of Pershore's Past" Group. 

To the Imperial War Museum's website https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org,

to the Remember the Fallen website http://rememberthefallen.co.uk

Commonwealth War Graves Commission at http://www.cwgc.org and various other smaller websites who have published snippets of information

Wychavon District Council

Malcolm Farmer


10th December 1953 – 22nd February 2013


Malcolm Farmer was born on 10th December 1953 and lived in Mayfield Road in Pershore. He was a very clever chap and was always reading – often several books at one time. He attended Prince Henry’s Grammar School and then Warwick University to study Chemistry. He was very reserved and lived a simplistic life at his house in Cornmore with his cats and beloved books. He contributed to at least one book and was prolific in submitting citations for the Science Fiction Citations website related to first recorded use of phrases in Science Fiction novels.


In the 1980’s, Malcolm carried out a lot of research into his family history. This sparked creation of websites for adding to the national record of War Memorial inscriptions, scanning and placing on-line old Maps of Worcestershire and surrounding counties and the production of a paper containing obituaries and photos of Pershore Men who Died in the Great War. He was constantly updating this document, even doing so the week before he died.

He has contributed to Project Gutenberg by digitalising a number of obscure out of print and out of copyright books. He has done the same with many issues of Punch. So that he could conserve some of his old books he attended classes to learn bookbinding.


Malcolm died suddenly but peacefully on 22nd February 2013 aged 59 and his files went to his brother Derek. Thanks to articles in the local newspapers, Derek learned via a friend of Trudy Burge’s project to create this Centenary Memorial to the men of Pershore who served during the First World War. He made contact with Trudy and kindy shared all Malcolm’s files and research. This included many of the press quotations which he had painstakingly obtained over many years from the Microfiche archive files of the local newspapers in the Library.

Paying tribute to Malcolm, Derek said “Malcolm was many things to many people - he was your friend at University, he was your housemate, he was your colleague at QE medical centre in Birmingham, he was your drinking buddy, he was your friend, he was your neighbour, he was your colleague at Prince Henry's , he was your nephew, he was your cousin, he was your partner, he was your brother in law, he was my brother - he will not be forgotten”.


Thanks to the wealth of information now also available online, Trudy has spent the last 6 months painstakingly adding to this information, filling in more of the gaps, re-typing and editing to bring you this book today. She plans to continue researching and any further information she finds will be uploaded to the Centenary Memorial Website at http://pershoreww1.webs.com and on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pershoreww1


We have endeavoured to be as accurate as we can with the information available with the sole intention of producing a long-standing memorial to all those brave men from our town who fought for King and Country. Each year, the Fallen are remembered during the Remembrance Service in Pershore Abbey where their names are read out. We hope that this provides some background to the men behind those names and that they, as well as those who survived the war and had to live with the consequences afterwards, remain in our thoughts and hearts forever more.

Remember the Fallen


If you are searching for information about Worcestershire War Heroes and memorials then we highly recommend that your first port of call is Sandra Taylor's brilliant website.  Sandra has been of enormous support to us here in Pershore and the address for the site is http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk. Alternatively click HERE to go directly to it.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


The work that the CWGC does is outstanding and if you are looking for details on those who died in conflict, please look on their website where there is a wealth of information.  We are extremely grateful to them for allowing us permission to use the individual CWGC Certificates for those casualties for whom we cannot find a photograph and for aiding us with the research on Pershore.  The website address is http://www.cwgc.org/. Alternatively click HERE to go directly to it.

We are deeply indebted to Newsquest for allowing us to print the text of newspaper articles from local papers such as the Worcester Berrow's Journal and the Evesham Journal. As an organisation, they have fully embraced the Centenary of the First World War with marvellous features in their local papers and on their website and we continue to work with them closely.  Visit their website http://www.worcesternews.co.uk or click HERE to go directly to their  WW1 feature.


They are appealing for any family memories or information on any of the Worcestershire men who served so please, if you have any information, contact them and hopefully they will cover the story.  It's wonderful to learn about our ancestors locally and after all these years, it pays tribute to them all when they are remembered.  Below is their appeal, together with the contact details .....


"DO YOU have any family recollections about the First World War that you could share?


Did your parents, grandparents, great grandparents talk to you about their experiences, or pass down stories they had been told.

Were you left letters, papers, medals, mementoes that you cherish?.


Maybe as a school pupil you or your children have researched your family's war history.


We hope to build up an archive of family memories so that they can be passed on and the individual parts played by so many during a momentous time in our history are not forgotten but live on in their words.


We are working with the local heritage project team and the archive service to try to capture the history of that time for public exhibition. If you have anything to share please contact 


[email protected]

roni[email protected] 

 [email protected]


5th September 1914 EVESHAM JOURNAL

12th September 1914 

EVESHAM JOURNAL

Evesham Journal 12th September 1914:


PERSHORE


A meeting promoted by Messrs H Basil Harrison and W Wood, Chairmen respectively of St Andrew and Holy Cross Parish Councils, took place at the Music Hall on Tuesday night for the purpose of giving a stimulus to recruiting. The meeting was remarkable for its size, its enthusiasm and its results. The hall was packed to the doors, many being unable to find admission and the spirit of patriotic fervour animated speaker and hearers alike. Lord Deerhurst presided and with him on the platform were Lady Deerhurst, Hon Helena Deerhurst, Major-General Frank Davies, Admiral Cummings, Revs. H F Peile (Archdeacon Warwick), F R Lawson (rector of Fladbury), Rev Harcourt Fowler (Vicar of Elmley Castle), Col. A H Hudson, Miss Hudson, Capt. And Mrs Derrington Bell, Miss Bell, Mr & Mrs O Wynne Marriott, Major F Checketts, Capt. J B Dowson, Der Emerson, Messrs G F Hooper, T W Parkes, J E Newman etc. In the front row of chairs sat an old Crimean veteran – Mr Lewis of Fladbury – whose presence and bearing compelled attention. Deafening cheers broke from the audience when Lord Deerhurst invited him on the platform and introduced him. He is as fine a looking old soldier as one would meet anywhere. Tall and of massive proportions, with leonine heat and profile, his great chest being adorned with medals declaring him to have been a unit of the old 46th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry whose exploits in the trenches before Sebastopol added much to the glory of our Army’s history.


It is due to the patriotism of Pershore and the villages immediately surrounding it to mention here a fact which was not brought out at the meeting, which is that the men who now joined up brought up the number of recruits for the past three weeks to well over a hundred (exclusive of Fladbury, 38) and that these when added to the Territorials, Yeomanry and independents already gone mawe up a splendid total of 300. Every day they come in, young fellows of brawn and muscle, hard as nails and fit as fiddles from their daily toil in the field and garden, the very chaps that should develop into the finest British Soldiers.


Lord Deerhurst commenced by saying that the war was due to the arrogance and greed of an individual who not only wanted to be Emperor of his own domain, but also the whole of Europe. The Kaiser was madly jealous of our wealth and possessions but what England had, she was going to keep and there were hundreds, thousands, aye millions, who were willing to lay down their lives for the old flag of Great Britain and to thwart the wicked designs of this military despot (Cheers). Lord Kitchener wanted the men to make the issue of this campaign an absolute certainty and it was up to the men of England, who alone of the great powers adopted and maintained the principle of voluntary service, to now come forward in the time of their country’s great need (Applause).

In the fine speech of Admiral Cummings which followed, he spoke of England’s justification for entering on war, the heroic stand of plucky Belgium and the shameful, disgraceful behaviour of the Germans instancing the destruction of Louvaine.


Major –General Frank Davies, who had a great reception, also made a stirring speech. “History” he said “repeated itself”. Once again this country was fighting for the freedom of Europe. A hundred years ago, we were at war against one of the greatest soldiers of the world’s history; now we were out to crush the greatest military power that ever flaunted itself. But a century ago, we were not united and many took the side of the enemy. Today, however, the Empire stood solidly as one, irrespective of creed, nationality or colour (Cheers). He knew Germany, had been there a good deal and knew its language. He had many friends there, some in the army. As soldiers, they had no quarrel with the men they had to fight. He believed the German nation at heart was kindly desirous of the pursuit of peace. It was the caste that ruled them, the caste that made war their God. They heated our wealth, they hated our freedom, they intended to put us down. France was to be crushed first and then their ports on the other side of the Channel would have been utilised against England. Anybody who wanted to know what it would be like to be ruled by Germany could read it in the blood-stained annals of Belgium. Poor little Belgium. What had she done? Simply sought to uphold her treaty rights, granted by whom? By Germany itself. The Bully (Cheers and a voice: They will have their gruel yet”). “Yes” concluded the speaker. “Germany hang ‘em; they were out to smash us but by God, they shan’t do it.” The blunt military manner of the General worked the audience up to a tremendous enthusiasm.


Mr Parkes who followed, describing the conflict as a fight for the freedom of civilisation and expressing the opinion it would be the last war we or our children would see. A powerful entreaty to young men to come forward was emphasised by the recital of Nelson’s motto never more applicable, commented the speaker than now: “England expects that every man this day will do his duty”. The bright streak in the present crisis, continued Mr Parks, was the splendid co-operation of all the classes. There was no creed, no politics, no social distinction. We were all Britishers. It was therefore with a feeling of repulsion that he read in the local evening paper a letter – a small, mean, nonsensical letter trying to cause some political discussion. “Shame on the man who wrote it” cried Mr Parkes amid cheers.


Non one trounced the “unscrupulous originator” of the war more than Col. Hudson in his vigorous ten minutes’ speech. The Colonel emphasised the fact that our Government had used every possible means of conciliation to maintain peace and that war was provoked by Germany, regardless of sacred treaties and obligations, and for the sole purpose of satisfying their avaricious greed for territory. He alluded to Mr Asquith’s magnificent oration at the Guildhall as befittingly expressing the sentiments of Englishmen.

The Ven. Archdeacon of Warwick said we were at war for the sacredness of treaty obligations and for the plighted troth of the English people also. Shame upon them – of the Germans as well. Had we been fools enough to acquiesce in their innocent arrangements, they would, in all probability, have secured naval bases on the English Channel. The Archdeacon paid a splendid tribute to our magnificent Army and Navy.


Other fine speakers , each of which found great acceptance with the audience were made by the Rev F R Lawson, Mr J E Newman and Mr J Cooke, the popular recruiting Sergeant for Pershore and a splendid meeting concluded by the lusty singing of three verses of the National Anthem, led by Mr Charles Mason, the Abbey Organist.

Berrow’s Journal 1914

PERSHORE WOMEN VOLUNTEERS

“Enthusiastic Meeting”


A meeting was held at the Masonic Hall, Pershore, on Tuesday evening for the purpose of forming a branch of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve. A large number of ladies attended, Col. Miller presided and he was supported by Mrs Smithett (Organising Secretary of London who was the speaker). Mrs Henderson (County Branch Secretary) Mrs Hopkins (Birmingham Organising Secretary for the Midlands) and Miss M Davies and Miss G Hudson (Pershore). The two last-named ladies are to act as Joint Local Secretaries. Col A H Hudson was also present. The meeting was very enthusiastic although comparatively few ladies gave their names. It is expected that more will join when the time comes for drill. The movement is to train and discipline a band of women so that they may be ready to act in any emergency and to provide co-operation among women, improve their physique and teach them to help others. Colonel Miller gave a rousing speech on the object of the movement. Colonel Miller said at a time like the present, they all felt that they wanted to do something for the good of the nation and to help in this time of war. That movement would be the means of setting men free. The women would be of great use in signalling and in various other ways. In the event of invasion, there would be great work for them and they would find that instead of a general panic they would each know what to do.


Mrs Smithett said the movement had been considerably extended of late and she foresaw that Pershore was going to be amongst the places to come forward in a large body. The work was varied and it was most extraordinary the way the branches had developed. The members found from experience that they derived great benefit physically and it gave everyone an occupation. They all felt the great need of doing something for England. The age for joining was from 18 years to 50 years and she suggested to the local Secretaries that if there was a desire to join on the part of any under the age of 18 then a cadet corps should be formed. After the war was over, they had every intention of continuing the movement. The work which could be done was camp cooking, signalling, first aid and various other things. There was always the possibility of an air raid and if such should come about there would be no panic on the part of the members of the WVR. There was some doubt existing as to whether members of the Volunteer Aid Detachment would join the WVR. She pointed out that they were most pleased to welcome them as members (applause).


Miss M Davies of Elmley Castle stated that drills would be held at the gymnasium on Tuesdays at 5pm and Fridays at 7pm and that drills would commence on Friday next when any who wished to join could do so then. She also extended an invitation to any who did not wish to join but who took an interest in the movement to come and watch the drilling which would be conducted by Sergt Hook of Pershore. Instructions in signalling would be given by Mr Cholmondeley.


Colonel Miller proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs Smithett for coming and so closed the meeting.

CONSCRIPTION


The Military Service Act was introduced in January 1916 meant that every single man aged 18-45 had to join up unless they were widowed with children or religious ministers. In June 1916, this Act was extended to include married men too. Men could appeal against conscription via a local Military Tribunal on health, employment or religious grounds. The latter became known as Conscientious Objectors and approximately 6000 of them were imprisoned. The Military Service Act was amended several times and the age limit was increased to 51. This is the record of one Military Tribunal hearing for Pershore:


PERSHORE RURAL - Several Military Appeals

Berrow’s Journal 2nd December 1916


Thursday. Present: Messrs J Faulkner (Chairman), A A Paull, J W Dee, M Revill, G Eccles, W Wood and J Watson, Mr E C Cholmondeley (Military Representative) Mr F Davies (Agricultural Representative)


The Military applied for a review of the case of Charles Arnold Crapp, single), auctioneer and general manager of the Pershore Co-operative Fruit Market but a note was received from Col. Miller Recruiting Officer than instructions had been received from the War Office that the appeal should be withdrawn.


Sidney J Sharp, miller (34) married, no children, partner with his brother Harry in the working of Wyre Mills, Pershore was represented by Mr J S Pritchett, Barrister of Birmingham, in an appeal by the Military Authorities against the conditional exemption already granted. Mr Sharp claimed his work was of skilled character and of national important, especially at the present time, and that he was in a certified occupation. He said if he went the mill would have to be shut up. The Military had offered no substitute. He and his brother worked the mill entirely themselves. They did a good deal of grinding for farmers, averaging 4000 bushels a year and supplied a good deal of feeding stuffs. They expected to be even more busy in view of the new Government regulations respecting standard flour. The old stone mills could deal better with the new kind of flour than the roller mills. The Tribunal decided to refuse the Military Appeal.


Joseph Glover (41) photographer, shopkeeper etc. asked for his application to be heard in private. His previous appeal was dismissed but his appeal before the County Tribunal was referred back to Pershore. Conditional exemption was now granted.


Harry Taylor (35) single, a Kempsey Farmer of 200 acres, whose temporary exemption expired on the 1st inet, made application for conditional exemption. His brother Norman 923) his stockman had been exempted. Applicants request was granted on the condition that if a substitute was found the younger brother joined. Mr Cholmondeley said if Norman did not pass the medical test, he should appeal for a revision of this case.


Having found as they claimed a substitute for Arthur James Bennett (26) single, shepherd and assistant cowman for Mr C Hewlett, former of Birlingham, the Military asked for the certificate to be cancelled. Mr Hewlett said the substitute was recommended to him as a good man but from enquires he found he had not been accustomed to milk cows or look after sheep. Applicant had at present 104 ewes, 86 cattle and frankly he did not like the idea of parting with an experienced and very reliable man for one whom he knew nothing about, neither ought to be expected to do so. Mr Davies said he thought the Military did not realise the extreme importance of experienced shepherds. He understood the substitute would be given a week’s trial before the man whose place he was to take was withdrawn. Mr Dee: A good general farm hand. And he has worked on the roads for the Upton District Council. Military appeal refused. Certificate already granted to be altered to April 1.


Rowland Oliver Rose (36), single, of Cropthorne said he had been passed for sedentary work at home. He worked seven acres of garden land single-handed and helped everybody in his parish who wanted him. Conditional.


The Military applied for the conditional exemption granted to Walter Harold Harris, plumber and engineer of Broad Street, Pershore to be cancelled. Harris said he was married and worked for his Father who at present was very ill in Malvern. They had only one labourer working for them now. Seven men had left and joined the Army. In addition to the plumbing business they had nine acres of grass land and kept three cows, two horses and nine pigs. He had been passed for general service. Mr Paull: the Doctors appear to pass anybody nowadays. Mr Cholmondeley, referring to an invitation issued to the medical officers at Norton Barracks to any member of Tribunals to go up and see how the work was done, asked Mr Paull why he did not go. Mr Paull said that he had not the time. Mr Revill said he should take care to stop away for fear they might “collar” him. Military appeal allowed.


The Military also asked for Archibald Bowkett (31) single, market gardener, Defford. He had 8.5 acres and half an acre was open. He had been passed for garrison duty abroad but would sooner stop at home. Appeal allowed.


Mr Roberts, Solicitor, Evesham represented James Teale (28), married, no children, a wardrobe dealer, oilman and carter for the Pershore Co-operative Market and R T Smith and Co. The Military asked for the certificate to be withdrawn. Mr George Daniels, a Lieutenant in the local Fire Brigade, supported the claim that the exemption should stand as Teale was one of the best firemen the Brigade had now to rely upon. Mr Cholmondeley asked Teale why he had told the Recruiting Officer he would be willing to serve on December 1st. Applicant replied because he had been misled. After he obtained his exemption the Military pressed him as to serving and he discovered afterwards that the Tribunal who granted the exemption was the only body who could take it from him. The Military appeal was allowed by Mr Cholmondeley granted the request of the Tribunal that he should not be called up before January 1st.


Joseph Evans (31), married, no children, Pershore was appealed for by the Military Mr Cholmondeley said a substitute had been offered to and accepted by Mr D Tower, the employer. Evans said his employer had been waiting outside for some time as he wanted to know what sort of substitute he was likely to get (laughter) but he had now gone home. He had worked for Mr Tower for seven years on his garden plantation on the Hill. Certificate withdrawn providing an efficient substitute was provided. Mr Cholmondeley said that he would like it to read “Provided a substitute be found to the satisfaction of the Board of Agriculture Representative” in order to find that gentleman something to do (Laughter). Mr Davis intimated he was not desirous of the job

MEMORIAL SERVICE AT THE ABBEY

Evesham Journal 10th February 1917


A memorial service was held at the Abbey Church on Sunday night for the 50 men fallen in the war who were residents of the ecclesiastical parishes of Pershore. The night was bitterly cold but the church was filled in every part, the congregation including the members of the Pershore Volunteer Training Corps under Commandant the Rev. H Clifford (who read the two lessons) and several of the parents and friends of the fallen soldiers. Many were unable to restrain their emotion when the names of their loved ones were read out and again when the solemn music of Chopin’s Funeral March, beautifully played by Mrs Charles Mason, filled the sacred edifice. Two hymns were sung. 595 for absent friends “Holy Father in They Mercy” and 499 “On the resurrection morning”. The Burial Service was read out by the Vicar who also preached a short but impressive sermon from the text found in the 15th chapter of the gospel according to St John, “Greater love hath no man than this that a many lay down his life for his friends.”. He spoke of the many ways in which they could all honour the memory of the men who had sacrificed their lives for their country by thanking God for their bravery and devotion to duty, by living simpler and more godly lives, by showing self-sacrifice and practising economy, by placing their money, no matter how large of small the amount which could be spare, at the service of the country.

Acknowledgements and grateful thanks to Newsquest 
Berrow’s Journal 5th November 1921

PERSHORE WAR MEMORIAL
Town’s Proud Record

On Tuesday afternoon, Pershore’s War Memorial in the Abbey Church was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant (The Earl of Coventry) before a large congregation of the townspeople, relatives and ex-servicemen.

The memorial has been designed and sculptured by Mr Alfred Drury R.A. It consists of a winged figure of Immortality in bronze mounted on a Portland stone pedestal which bears the names of the men of Pershore who sacrificed their lives in the Great War. The figure of Immortality is represented as having alighted on the terrestrial sphere and is holding in her right hand the olive branch of peace while with her left hand she is seen bestowing “the Crown of Everlasting Life, the Crown of Glory that Ladeth not away”. The winged figure, with flying drapery, gives an opportunity to the artist to make a rhythmic composition and to keep the figure in character with the religious atmosphere of the church.

The whole work is cast by the cire perdue (Wax lost) process which was employed by in his famous statue of “Perseus”. This process ensures an absolute facsimile in bronze of the wax model as left by Benvenuto Cellini the sculptor’s hands and the following inscription “To the Immortal Dead 1914-1918 Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a Crown of life”. The memorial is certainly one of the most beautiful in the country and its setting in the south transept of the Abbey could not have been more fitting.

The unveiling ceremony was part of an impressive memorial service, conducted by the Vicar (Canon Stewart Robinson) and the Rev. J Dolphin. A procession was formed from St Andrew’s Church to the Abbey Church and in this procession were representatives of every section of life in Pershore. The crucifer and acolytes, wreath bearer, bugler and choir led followed by the clergy of the Rural Deanery of Pershore (marshalled by the Rev H B S Fowler). There followed the Registrar of the Diocese (Mr W Stallard), Churchwardens of Holy Cross and St Andrew’s, the Rev J Dolphin, the Rev. J B Hunt, the Rev Fr. Denys, the Rev H Clifford, the Vicar of Pershore (The Rev. Canon L S Robinson), the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire (the Earl of Coventry), General Sir Francis Davies (Scottish Command), Lt Colonel A H Hudson (Chairman Pershore War Memorial Committee), Mr J Willie Bund (Chairman Worcestershire County Council), Mr J Faulkner (Chairman Pershore District Council), Mr W J Gregson, Major W H Taylor, Major H Davies, Captain Elkington (Pershore Old Comrade’s Association), Dr Emerson, Mr A W Smith (Hon Treasurer Pershore War Memorial Committee), Mr W J Gardner, C C, Mr W Wood (Chairman Pershore Board of Guardians), Mr W T Chapman (Chairman Holy Cross Parish Council), Mr T Gurat (Postmaster of Pershore), Police Inspector Grey, Mr H Bick (Chairman Ancient Order of Foresters), Mr J R Wilke (Chairman Independent Order of Oddfellows) Mr C Partridge (Chairman Cirencester Conservative Benefit Society) , Mr J R Coombe (Chairman Rational Mutual Benefit Society) and members of the Pershore War Memorial Committee. When the memorial had been unveiled, cadets bearing wreaths advanced and placed them in position.

LORD COVENTRY’S TRIBUTE

Lord Coventry said that he regarded it has a very high honour to be invited to unveil that memorial to the gallant men of Pershore who laid down their lives in the Great War. When recruiting commenced in the early days of the war, the men of South Worcestershire gave a hearty response to the call and Evesham, Pershore and Broadway would always be remembered for their ready and loyal response to the appeal. He was informed that the number of Pershore men serving at the time of the Armistice was 276; 89, alas, were killed in action, 12 died while serving and 27 were discharged making a total of 404. This was a record of which Pershore might well be proud. They must all feel that it was right and proper that they should place on record for all time the names of those valiant men who made the supreme sacrifice. They helped, by their bravery, to gain a glorious victory which they trusted might ultimately be the means of securing, with the blessing of God, peace and goodwill amongst all the nations of the earth.

“LEST WE FORGET”

The Rev. H Clifford said a dedicatory prayer and the procession returned to the Chancel. Speaking from the Chancel steps, General Sir Francis Davies, whose home is at Peopleton, said he had been asked to say a few words. He said they had come together on a very solemn and notable occasion. He ventured to say that such an occasion had never come about before in the long history of that ancient Abbey Church and he hoped the reason for it would never occur again. They had come together to do what little they could to honour the men of that town who gave their lives that they who remained might live and be free. Those men had brought them great honour: every one of those men had brought honour to his family and the town in which he lived. Nothing we could do could ever repay that debt. The Lord Lieutenant had told them how in the first days of the war, when the King’s call came, the whole of the nation had rushed to arms and foremost among them were the men of their town. They bore themselves gallantly and every battalion of the County Regiment covered itself with glory. He hoped those things would never be forgotten. He asked those present not to think, when they had left the Church, that they had done all there was to be done in honour of those men. He would rather ask them to think that what they were doing that day was just the beginning of one long act of reverent remembrance and recognition of what those men had done. Let it not be said in years to come that it had been forgotten. He asked them to bring their children up in the understanding of what the memorial meant. If the child was a boy, perhaps the call might come in his time and he would do what these men had done. If it was a girl, they should remember the part that women played in the war. The girls should be told what the women of our generation did – how they sent their men to fight and never flinched, however great the sacrifice.

The names of the fallen were read out and the “Last Post” sounded. An offertory was taken for the memorial fund, the Committee of which are faced with a deficit of about £200. As the congregation filed past the memorial out of the church they reverently laid wreaths at the foot of it.

Photo courtesy of Michael Turvey


SCHOOL MEMORIAL UNVEILED BY 
GENERAL SIR FRANCIS DAVIES
Evesham Journal 1922

General Sir Francis Davies K.C.B. of the Scottish Command, who in November last year unveiled the beautiful monument erected in the Abbey Church by the townspeople in honour of Pershore’s fallen sons, again visited the town on Monday afternoon to unveil the School War Memorial. This consists of a handsomely carved fumed oak tablet erected on the wall of the main room of the Boy’s School. Inscribed in bold letters on three panels are the names of 63 former scholars of the school who fell in the war. The ceremony was performed in the presence of all the boys, in charge of the Head Master (Mr W T Chapman), the Assistant Master (Mr F Osbourne), Miss Barrett and Miss Bick; the senior classes of Girls’ School, accompanied by Miss Ismay (the Head Mistress), also attended. The Fathers and Mothers and other relatives of the fallen soldiers were well represented and the company also include Canon and Mrs Stewart Robinson, the Rev. B Hunt MC, the Rev A A Cockle (Stoulton), Dr H B Emerson, Mr Geoffrey F Hooper, Mrs Hutton (head mistress of the County Council Schools), Captain T A Hutton, Mrs W Brickell (whose late husband was Head Master of the Boys’ School from 1872 to 1902) and Messrs Duncombe Gibbs and J Spiers (local school managers).

The proceedings opened with the singing of the hymn “O God our Help in Ages Past” after which the Rev B Hunt read the opening sentences from the Burial Service, the Lesser Litany and the Lord’s Prayer. Two scholars (Masters H Palfrey and T Summerton) then sang with clear enunciation and nice expression Elgar’s “Land of Hope and Glory” the refrain being heartily taken up by the whole assembly. After reading the dedicatory prayers, the vicar spoke a few words in introducing Sir Francis. He explained that the Memorial Table was provided by the local Educational Authority and it was hoped in time they would be erected in every school in Worcestershire and be regarded by the present generation as a tribute of honour to those who died that England might live, and be a stimulus to future generations to maintain the unconquerable spirit of our race. It was a great honour to Pershore to have so distinguished a soldier as General Sir Francis Davies to come to perform that service for them. Although the General spent the greater part of his time at his far away home in Scotland they knew, for he had often told them so, that his heart was with his own people of his native village of Elmley Castle and Pershore. And while the Memorial Tablet would be a reminder of those who had trod the path of duty even unto death, they would also remember that it was unveiled by one to whom great honour and distinction had come through the part he took in the Great War. 

Sir Francis then rose to unveil the Memorial which was immediately at his back and draped with the national ensign. He had been asked to say a few words to the children and he was glad to do so. He required no thanks, for he esteemed it a privilege to have been invited and would like to express his appreciation to those who had arranged the proceedings that they should have kindly postponed the event to have better enabled him to make his plans for his visit to Pershore. He had unveiled a great many memorials – he believed that made the 63rd – at all manner of places. School memorials he thought were the most touching of all. They were irresistibly reminded that the men whose memories they had met together to honour were once schoolboys like he saw before him; they learnt their lessons at those very desks; they had their games in that playground; they experienced their little griefs and joys; and to a large extent their characters were formed in that place. “Listen you boys” said the General, “few of you are old enough to remember what happened seven years ago. In August 1914, war came upon us like a thunder clap. We had but a tiny army and small territorial force. The greater part of our people had never been taught fighting, never expected fighting. The call for service loud and anxious sounded throughout the land. It came to Pershore and men brought up just like yourselves who had left school and taken jobs in the gardens, on the farms, in the shops, dropped their occupations and went forth to war for the honour of England, and fired with the high resolve that our enemies should not wreak their baleful purpose of destroying the freedom and liberty of the world.” “I do not think”, continued the General, “that throughout all the all the King’s dominions there was a more magnificent response to the call of duty than from the Pershore District. They simply streamed to the colours” cried the General, making an eloquent gesture and with his face aglow with pride “But many, oh so many, never came back to their loved ones at home.” “And you girls” turning towards the eager faces of the classes on his left hand “Must hear what the women of England did for their country. In a special degree they showed splendid courage in sending forth their husbands, sons and brothers to the field of danger. They tilled the land, they gathered in the crops, they drove motor cars and above all they worked with stout hearts and unyielding determination as nurses of the wounded soldiers”. He would tell them a story of a Worcestershire lady whom he knew well. Her Husband and two sons had fallen on the field of battle, other relatives had also gone and the only one left in her household was a son of 18. And she drove up one day to the War Office to see him, she was dressed in deep mourning and her face reflected the sorrow of her heart. The military authorities were accustomed to do something in such cases as these to try and save the last of the family and before they allowed her to enter the room, he said to his colleagues “she has come about her only surviving son and if possible she must be allowed to keep him. We must do something but her first words when she entered his office were “My son is hardly 18 and he is so afraid the war will be over before he can get out. Can you allow him to enlist at once?” The General paused and then abruptly ended his speech by saying “As that Worcestershire lady was, so many Mothers of England ever be”.

After treading the names of the fallen men inscribed on the tablet, the Head Master (Mr Chapman) said that was without doubt the most solemn and interesting ceremony that had taken place in the school since he came to take charge there 20 years ago. He recalled happy memories connected with the school life of many of the lads who fought and died for their country and he felt sure that Mrs Brickell, whose association with the schools went back much farther than his, had experienced similar emotions that afternoon. Two lads of the senior class – J Twigg (who had lost 2 brothers in the war) and E Price (who lost his father) placed a huge laurel wreath at the base of the Memorial Board. Kipling’s recessional hymn was then sung by the teachers and scholars then Sergt. Scott of the local Cadet Corps sounded the “Last Post” and the memorable proceedings closed by the Vicar pronouncing the Benediction.

The names on the Memorial are as follows: First panel – Charles Frederick Andrews, James Oswald Andrews, Reginald Francis Andrews, James Archer, William Barber, Arthur Bozzard, Alfred Brant, Albert Brookes, Arthur Buckle, Frank Charlwood, Albert Coldicott, Harold Conn, George Henry Cosnett, Henry William Cosnett, John Cosnett, Thomas Herbert Cosnett, William C S Crooke, Albert Dancocks, Walter John Dolphin, Herbert Dufty, William Dufty, Second panel – Walter Edwards, Fred George, Mark A Giles, Joseph Grinnell, William George Grinnell, Arthur Hall, Ernest Hall, Howard John Hall, George Meysey Hammond, Ernest Haynes, George Haynes, Douglas Hook, Harry James, Albert Trimnel Jones, Arthur Kings, Arthur Langford, Charles Marshall, Edwin John Marshall, Arthur Mayo, Harold Moseley, Leonard Moseley. Third Panel – Arthur Moulson, Hiram Wilfred Moulson, William Mumford, John Need, George Edward Palfrey, Ernest Price, Hubert Clendon Pugh, Thomas James Pugh, Charles Reeves, Robert Reeves, James W P Richards, Harry Stanton, Charles Stevenson, Harry Silas Smith, John Wm Smith, Percy Wm. Smith, William A Taylor, Charles E Twigg, Leonard Twigg, William Winwood, Reginald Young.


NEW JOINT CLUB
Evesham Journal Archives - 
with acknowledgements to Newsquest

The first general meeting of the Pershore Working Men’s and Old Comrades’ Club was held in the new Billiard Room on Saturday evening, Canon Stewart Robinson, the Chairman of the Committee, presiding over a large attendance which included the Rev H Clifford (Hon secretary of the Old Comrades’ Association) and Capt G Elkington (Hon Treasurer). The Chairman said there were two gentlemen to whom they were greatly indebted for services of much value. He believed that if it had not been for the capable direction and pertinacity of the Rev H Clifford, the scheme would never have gone through and it was through the good offices of Dr H B Emerson that the building, although still without some of the advantages set out in the original scheme, had been provided with one of its greatest assets – central heating. (Applause). It would be ungracious of him not to allude to the work and sustained interest of the committee, which as they all knew, had been elected to remain in office another year, until the project had been established. The only official the committee had been empowered to elect was the caretaker and canteen manager and they had voted for Mr E J Nutting a member of the old Working Men’s Club for forty years. The eleven hundred pounds subscribed towards the Memorial to the Living by the public would only about pay the cost for the erection of the new room and the furnishing and equipment of both rooms and the canteen, the instalment of the heating apparatus, the renovation of the main hall etc. all meant considerable additional expense but the committee felt that their commitments were justified and were amply satisfied with the results of their work up to the present. The recommendations of the committee were then dealt with by the meeting. Mr W Wood was unanimously elected Hon Treasurer, the Chairman the Rev H Clifford and others speaking in admiration of the many years he had so worthily sustained that office for the old Club. The Rev. H Clifford, in moving the election of Mr George Addis as a paid secretary, spoke of the assiduous and valuable services he had voluntarily rendered in that capacity during the initial stages of the scheme – this was conditionally approved. A considerable amount of discussion took place on the rules, which however were passed with but little alteration –Mr W Wood proposed a vote of thanks to the late Hon Secretary of the Working Men’s Club for all the generous assistance he had rendered in carrying out the scheme and for personally defraying the cost of putting in that fine pair of doors to the billiard room. In responding, Mr H Workman said he should still continue to take an interest in the Club. The enrolment then took place, over 80 joining. It is expected that a similar number will have joined before the formal opening ceremony.

In this newspaper report from the archives, we learn that opinion was divided about the War Memorial being erected inside Pershore Abbey:

PERSHORE’S TWO WAR MEMORIALS
Evesham Journal 1922

A meeting of the Executive Committee was held at the Drill hall on Tuesday evening, Colonel A H Hudson presiding. It was explained that at a meeting of the committee held in November last it was estimated that there would be a deficiency on the account of the memorial to the fallen of about £186 and it was decided to endeavour to raise the greater part of this amount by means of a Shilling Fund and a committee was appointed to carry through the scheme, which the Chairman said he believed had been very successful. The Hon Treasurer’s reported that they had raised on behalf of the Memorial Club Hall the sum of £1313 11s 9d and after deducting the expenses incurred they had handed over to the Treasurer of the Old Comrades’ Association the balance of £1,278 8s 11d. There were donations of £57 6s to come in. The total expenditure on the memorial to the fallen was £969 18s 9d. All accounts had been paid and it only now remained to clear off the bank overdraft and the prospect of doing this at an early date was very hopeful.

The Shilling Fund Committee had met with much success and was one of the brightest features connected with the work of the memorials. Over 250 individuals had contributed and the 3,000 shillings (representing one shilling for each inhabitant of the town) which the committee set out to raise had been exceeded. This was mainly due to the action of Mr G F Hooper through whom the local Church Council had promised to provide a thousand shillings and he himself, the Vicar, the Rev H Clifford, Dr Emerson and Mr A W Smith had contributed 200 shillings each and 100 had also been received from Atlas Works War Fund – The Chairman (Col Hudson) promised to give 200 shillings which would bring up the sum total from the Shilling Fund, after deducting expenses, to £166 15s and reduce the deficit on the memorial to the fallen account to £23 6s 6d. A vote of thanks was passed to the organisers and collectors of the Shilling Fund who were warmly congratulated on the splendid results of their efforts; to the Church Council and the Atlas Works’ Committee. It was decided to allow the fund to remain open until July 1 unless the deficit be provided by further donations previously.

The Vicar proposed a vote of thanks also to the Treasurers and Secretary for the work they had done and this was seconded by Col Hudson. Mr Hooper, in supporting, said that although there had been in many places much difficulty and even quarrelling with regard to the form of the War Memorials, they could congratulate themselves in Pershore on the smoothness and good feeling with which this memorial fund had been raised. Mr Fearnside said that on his return to Pershore he found opinion considerable divided as to the position of the memorial to the fallen, yet people generally had, out of respect to the officials and the committee and to the feeling that they were acting for the best, had been content to leave the matter in their hands. Mr Critchley, as a member of the committee, praised the work of the officials and said although he had known of differences of opinion, he now felt assured that they had a memorial in all respects worthy of Pershore’s fallen sons and of its own credit.

The matter of a memorial for the Baptist Chapel, it was agreed, would be dropped by the committee but in the event of this emanating from the Chapel authorities they would be pleased to give the project their cordial support. A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the meeting.

The forthcoming book to be published by Trudy Burge on behalf of Pershore & District Royal Naval Association has been awarded funding from Wychavon District Council from their WW1 Centenary Grants. 

Pershore's War Memorials


Written by Marshall Wilson


In common with towns and villages across Britain, Pershore resolved to remember those who had served in the World War of 1914-1918. In September 1919, a Town Meeting resolved to form a committee to raise funds for the War Memorials. There were to be two Memorials, one for those who fell in the Great War and another to commemorate the war service of those who survived.


There was general agreement that the Memorial to the Fallen should be placed in Pershore Abbey. The site decided upon was the centre of the South transept, the oldest part of the Abbey, already associated with the monuments of soldiers from other, older wars, including the knight of the thirteenth century. The preparation of the site required the repairs of the floor with large headstones taken from St Andrew’s churchyard. The Victorian font had to be moved – it was sent to a church in Ceylon. This allowed for the return of the original Norman font from a garden in Kempsey!


As there were various opinions about the form of the Memorial, the committee sought the advice of Sir Aston Webb, the only architect ever to be elected President of the Royal Academy, the nephew of Mrs Hilditch Evans of Wick. He was connected with the Pershore churches for over forty years, having undertaken the 1887 restoration of St Andrew’s. He recommended Alfred Drury, RA, as designer and sculptor. Alfred Drury was responsible for many war memorials including those at Malvern College and Kidderminster. His best-known work includes the bronze figures on the frontage of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the War Office and the statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds at the Royal Academy. 


In his design, the figure of Immortality is represented as having just alighted on the terrestrial sphere, holding in her left hand the Olive Branch of peace. In her right hand she holds a Crown representing Everlasting Life. She stands on a pedestal of fine Portland stone.

On the upper part of the front (North) of the pedestal is a bronze plaque depicting a fallen soldier with an angel on his head and his widow and child at the foot. Messrs Collins and Godfrey of Tewkesbury constructed the Memorial at a cost of £927.00.

Pershore sent one fifth of its adult population to the Great War. Of the 460 men who went, 101 (22%) never returned. Their names are recorded on the Memorial. They are listed without distinction of rank or title but simply alphabetically by the 26 Regiments and Services in which they served.


The War Memorial to the Fallen was dedicated at a moving Service on 1st November 1921. The Earl of Coventry, Lord-Lieutenant of the County, unveiled the Memorial. General Francis Davies of Elmley Castle, Officer Commanding Scottish Command, gave the Address.

The Memorial to the Living took the form of a Memorial Hall at a cost of £1,318.00. This extension to the Working Men’s Club in the High Street enabled an amalgamation of that Club with the Old Comrade’s Association. In February 1922, General Francis Davies unveiled a Memorial Board to the 63 former pupils who had attended the National School and who fell in the War. This board was moved to the Working Men’s Club when the school in Defford Road was closed and demolished.


Twenty-three names of those from Pershore who fell in the 1939-1945 War were added to the board. On Remembrance Day 1950, General Sir Richard Gale, late of the Worcestershire Regiment and Commander of the Airborne Forces who landed on D-Day, unveiled these new names. One additional name was added, later. As a Town Memorial, a clock was erected on the Rural District Council Offices at 37 High Street.


The Memorial’s own inscription sums up its spirit:


REMEMBER WITH THANKSGIVING THE TRUE AND

FAITHFUL MEN WHO IN THESE YEARS OF WAR

WENT FORTH FROM THIS PLACE FOR GOD AND THE RIGHT.

THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO RETURNED NOT AGAIN

ARE HERE INSCRIBED TO BE HONOURED FOR EVERMORE.

R.I.P.

 For further information, please visit Pershore Abbey's website:

http://www.pershoreabbey.org.uk/


With grateful thanks to the family of the late Marshall Wilson who have kindly given us their permission 

for his work to be published both on this website and in the forthcoming book.


 

The current and third Town Clock was installed on the opposite side of the road above the Pershore Town Council offices at 34 High Street.  There was a formal ceremony held on 28th June 2009 with a Service in Pershore Abbey followed by the official dedication.

The second Town Clock was installed on 37 High Street in 1979.

It fell down on Saturday 13th September 2008 just before Midnight and had to be removed by the Fire Brigade on the Sunday Morning as the brackets were beyond repair.  The clock was badly damaged and a new one had to be purchased. 

Photographs courtesy of Wychavon District Councillor Andrew Dyke, former Chairman of the Council.

The Memorial Board in Pershore Working Men's Club was originally in the Pershore National School in Defford Road, Pershore.

The newest Memorial is the Pershore Commemorative Stone which was formally dedicated and blessed on Sunday 8th May 2011.  A special service took place firstly at the Garden at the entrance to the Abbey Park where the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Michael Brinton, laid the round wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. The second anchor wreath was laid by The Mayor of Pershore Councillor Chris Parsons as a tribute to the late Claude Choules who died on 6th May 2011 and who was the last surviving Tommy of the First World War.

The Cross of Sacrifice was erected in Pershore Cemetery in 1951. There are 8 WW1 graves scattered in the cemetery and a CWGC section beautifully maintained.  During WW2, there were 64 burials - 41 of them Canadian.  Most were Airmen based at nearby RAF Pershore at Throckmorton. There are 72 War Graves altogether. 

Pershore Almanac 1915

Excerpts taken from the Pershore Almanac of 1915:


1914

August 4th

England declared war on Germany from 11 o’clock tonight, in consequence of the violation of Belgium’s neutrality. Worcestershire Territorials recalled from camp at Minehead.


August 5th

Intensive excitement on the news that war had been declared. People began to lay in stocks of foodstuffs and the price of goods advanced enormously. Sugar was 3d. per lb, butter 1/6 and bread advanced 1d per loaf. Banks were closed for 5 days.


August 7th

The Government asked for another 500,000 men. Mr J J Cooke was appointed Recruitment Officer for Pershore.


August 10th

Owing to the high price of sugar and difficulties of transit, the price of all garden produce was affected. Pershore plums this week dropping as low as 1/- per pot.


August 24th

Among others from Pershore who volunteered for service at the front were Messrs Hugh Mumford, CE Slater and RC Edwards.


August 30th

An enthusiastic recruiting meeting at Fladbury, presided by the Rev F R Lawson, 37 recruits being obtained.


September 9th

Crowded and enthusiastic recruiting meeting at Pershore, presided over by Lord Deerhurst. The number of men who enrolled made up a total of more than 100 joining during the last 3 weeks, exclusive of Yeomanry and Territorials.


September 19th

The first wounded man to arrive home in Pershore was Private George Tye of Head Street. He was shot in the foot at the battle of Mons.


October 21st

Largely attended public meeting to discuss what steps should be taken to render assistance to Belgium refugees. The committee were instructed to ask that 30 be sent down for maintenance. At this meeting, it was stated that Mr JR Lacey had offered Laugharn House (3 Bridge Street) for 20 refugees and was also making himself responsible for their maintenance.


October 22nd

In response to an appeal from an Admiral of the Fleet, the Pershore Fruit Growers’ Association sent away a splendid consignment of apples for the sailors on duty in the North Sea.


October 22nd

A plump little pumpkin of the intrinsic value of 3d was sold and re-sold at the Co-operative Market till £2 5s. 8d. was realised for the Prince of Wales’ War Relief Fund.


October 27th

Arrival at Laugharn House of 15 Belgium Refugees, mostly of the fisher-class who hailed from Ostend. Three Flemish Sisters accompanied them.


Worcestershire Regiment

There is a fascinating website for the Worcester Regiment at http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/

Remembrance in Pershore

Details of Remembrance Services and fund-raising events for the Poppy Appeal can be found on our Pershore Poppy Appeal website at http://pershorepoppyappeal.webs.com/

google0ff79f2895ad4ea3.html