Stories

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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John McCrea the Wellington Volunteers

July 31, 201811:57 amJuly 31, 2018 12:09 pm

When John Alexander McCrea was born in Wolverhampton in 1874 his parents, a travelling salesman and a washer woman, would not have expected him to become a highly respected member of the community of Wellington in Shropshire. John McCrea, the eldest of two sons, followed his father in becoming a traveling salesman. Although it is […]

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The War Diary of Percy Micklewright

July 17, 20183:20 pmJuly 17, 2018 3:27 pm

Percy William Micklewright was born in Myddle on 25 September 1890. He joined up, along with his younger brother Dick, and both men left for the Western Front in December 1915* as members of the Royal Army Medical Corps. The brothers were able to be together throughout the war, which must have been a great […]

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Shrewsbury’s Flying Ace Geoffrey Hornblower Cock MC

June 12, 20181:43 pmJune 19, 2018 10:31 am

The family were tanners in Kingsland, Shrewsbury. Adeline and James Cock had three daughters and two sons spread over seventeen years. They were affluent with four female servants; cook, kitchen-maid, parlour-maid and housemaid. When they named the last child, a son, had they anticipated that he would have to live up to that name? Geoffrey […]

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Katherine Harley

June 5, 20181:50 pmJune 5, 2018 1:57 pm

“Wiry and energetic with a well-chiselled nose, pale piercing eyes, slight and graceful and a love for everything militaire.” Katherine ‘Katie’ Mary Harley, nee French, sister of Sir John French, leader of the British army at the outbreak of World War 1 and of Charlotte Despard, was born on May 3rd 1855 less than three months after the […]

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