Stories

Wilfred Owen in Scarborough

November 9, 201811:30 am

Courtesy of Roy Field, the retired Shropshire county librarian, I have received a copy of the Free Trail Guide ‘Walk in the Footsteps of Wilfred Owen in Scarborough’. Roy also took some photographs for this piece. After his discharge from Craiglockhart and a short spell of leave, Owen re-joined his unit (the 3/5th Bn the […]

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The War Diaries of Geoffrey Owen

October 9, 201812:53 pmOctober 9, 2018 12:56 pm

Geoffrey Dorsett Owen of Plasyn Grove, Dudleston Heath near Ellesmere was commissioned as Sub Lieutenant in His Majesty’s Fleet on 15 Feb 1912. He kept diaries from 1913 – 1920, which are now in the safekeeping of Shropshire Archives. The following are extracts from the diaries show the build up to war. On the outbreak […]

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Wilfred Owen and the Artists Rifles

October 9, 201810:39 am

  How did Wilfred Owen come to enlist in what Patrick Baty, the regiment’s historian, has described as ‘perhaps the most curious regiment in the British Army’? When the First World War broke out Owen was in Bordeaux. He was a private tutor teaching English and French at the Berlitz. Letter to his mother 10 […]

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Civil Life v Army Life

October 2, 20188:16 am

Many men who enlisted during the First World War must have experienced a culture shock when entering military life. No doubt some found it easier than others. Bombadier Thomas F Chard of the Cheshire Brigade Royal Field Artillery, one of the “Hanwood Boys”, committed his initial impressions to paper. Civil Life v Army Life ‘I feel […]

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A refugee story

September 18, 20187:23 am

In August 1914, as the German army advanced, and the Belgian army prepared a defensive line, 20 year old Marie Van Eylen escaped her small village near Louvain in Belgium. With her mother and stepfather, with only the belongings they could carry, she travelled to Antwerp, and from there to London. After a few weeks […]

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Hanwood’s Pulpit Memorial

September 4, 20181:18 pmSeptember 4, 2018 1:29 pm

Listed amongst the names on Hanwood’s War Memorial is Lieutenant Walter Atherton K.S.L.I. In addition, there is another touching memorial in Hanwood Church, the stone pulpit that was erected in his memory by his parents. Walter Atherton was only son of Mr Sam Atherton of Nobold, Shrewsbury. He got his commission in August 1914, and […]

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Scorpions, Pythons, and Lionesses

August 31, 201810:51 amAugust 31, 2018 10:54 am

  As one of the informal group known as the Hanwood Boys, Sergeant Stafford Northcote of the King’s African Rifles Signals was a regular correspondent with Rev. Chitty of Hanwood. His letters give little information about the war but detail life in East Africa and his leisure activities. The following extracts also reveal British attitudes […]

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Wilfred Owen’s Shrewsbury

August 31, 201810:03 amAugust 31, 2018 10:23 am

Meg Pybus: review of Wilfred Owen’s Shrewsbury; from the Severn to Poetry and War, by Helen McPhail A book to treasure to read and re-read. The cover deserves special mention. Helen’s title trumpets the long-overlooked association between Owen and Shrewsbury. A smiling Owen (so unusual in a military portrait) stand to attention, behind him is […]

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Arthur Allwood. Shropshire RHA and KSLI 1912 – 1919

August 28, 20187:45 am

Arthur Allwood enlisted in the Territorial Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery on 3rd February 1912, shortly after his 18th birthday. He died in March 1993 aged 99 years. A former Wem Grammar School pupil [1905–08], he served in both World Wars and wrote many booklets and articles on military history and his family life. He farmed […]

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White Feathers, Railways and Service Badges

August 14, 20189:26 am

It didn’t take long for Admiral Charles Penrose Fitzgerald to blot his copybook. In the month the War broke out, he founded the Order of the White Feather. The idea was based on traditional cock-fighting lore that a cockerel with a white feather in its tail was a coward. The Order encouraged women to give […]

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