Military

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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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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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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Barbed wire in the First World War and in the Shropshire Hills today.

May 15, 20189:25 amMay 22, 2018 10:41 am

Who would have guessed that barbed wire would prove the inspiration for Shropshire’s own war poet Wilfred Owen? At the opening of Exposure he draws upon those years walking from their home in Cherry Orchard, Shrewsbury along the Severn. Exposure Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us . . . Wearied we keep […]

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Leonard Cooke’s tour of duty

March 27, 201711:05 amMarch 27, 2017 11:08 am

It has often been remarked that many young men joined up seeking adventure as an escape from dull lives in crowded homes and the endless drudgery of many jobs, including those in agriculture. This certainly applied to Len Cooke of Grange Farm, Bicton. Len packed his bags and left the family farm at the age of […]

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RAF Shawbury- 100 years since the formation of the first flying Squadron

February 14, 20171:21 pmFebruary 14, 2017 1:26 pm

During the First World War, the west side of England was relatively safe from aerial attack and more airfields were desperately required for the rapidly expanding Royal Flying Corps (RFC). New squadrons were being formed as fast as possible and pilots had to be trained to equip them. In 1915, to the north-west of the […]

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AN ARMY MARCHES ON ITS FEET

January 16, 20171:25 pmJanuary 16, 2017 1:46 pm

When the First World War began, the army was in the middle of field trials for an improved version of the Boots, ankle, General Service (BGS). They were designed to be hard-wearing and long-lasting rather than comfortable. They were worn with long puttees – rolled round the legs from the top of the ankle boot […]

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KSLI Regimental Postcards

December 12, 201612:28 pm

Visitors to this website may have noticed the line of weary soldiers trudging across the header of the screen. These figures are taken from a postcard issued by the 6th battalion of the regiment for Christmas 1916. There is a marked difference in tone between this and other, earlier regimental postcards. In 1914 there was […]

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FROM THE BOG MINE TO A VERY BIG BANG

June 28, 201610:44 amFebruary 14, 2017 3:02 pm

Nationally, we can understand why there’s Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Station. Historic England tells us “Battlefields have frequently been the setting for crucial turning-points in English history.” In Shrewsbury we have Battlefield Road, Battlefield Heritage Park and the church. In town there’s Alma Street marking the first battle in the Crimea and Salamanca Avenue from the […]

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