November 21, 20161:02 pmDecember 12, 2016 10:44 am

 The ‘Home Office Scheme’ in July 1916 offered conscientious objectors, whose reasons for objection were considered genuine, an alternative to prison.  This would be a Work Camp where they would live communally, wear civilian clothes, and undertake ‘arduous work’. Ditton Priors Camp dates from March 1917, and was largely forgotten both in the village, and […]


The ‘Two Men’ – Masters from Shrewsbury School

October 3, 20163:06 pm

The first week of the Somme was the beginning of a terrible period of the war. Two Masters and good friends from Shrewsbury School, Malcolm White and Evelyn Southwell, were killed in the Battle of the Somme. Both joined the School in 1910; both were inspiring and inspired teachers, admired and respected by pupils and […]


Memorial to Major C.A.L. Yate, V.C.

August 30, 201611:13 amAugust 30, 2016 11:34 am

On the 26th August 2016, Madeley Town Council held a dedication service for the commemorative stone to Major Yate, V.C. The memorial has been laid in the refurbished square on Russell Green along with the repositioned war memorial. Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate was one of the first soldiers to win the Victoria Cross. It was […]


War-times ABC

August 1, 201610:52 amAugust 1, 2016 11:02 am

A is for armour all shiny and bright that men used to wear when they went off to fight. B is for button that ought to be bright when you fight for your King, your home and your right. C is for commandant whose uniform is red and when a train load comes in she […]


Olympian dreams and the First World War

July 25, 201610:06 amJuly 25, 2016 12:03 pm

For sixteen days in August the eyes of the world will be on Rio and the finest athletes. There will be many invocations of the Olympic spirit, of fair play and sportsmanship. I expect to be accused of sour grapes when I recall that the Ancient Greeks saw their athletic events as an important preparation […]


WW1 Memorials Remembered Review

July 19, 20169:05 amJuly 19, 2016 11:00 am

St Mary the Virgin Church Shrewsbury 10:00 – 16:00 until 13 August 2016 Carl Jaycock is a generous man. With his wife, Zareen, he has spent months tracking down and photographing some 200 war memorials in Shropshire. The art project (financed by Arts Council England) which has resulted now stands like a pyramid before the […]



July 4, 20161:13 pm

What turned a decidedly sluggish seller into the one of the most popular books of poetry ever published? Originally published in an edition of 500; at the end of two years, the poet’s brother, Laurence Housman, bought up the last few copies. The Times, in a round- up of “Books of the Week” on 27 […]



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 […]


Waste Not, Want Not – Recipes from the First World War

June 6, 20162:14 pmJune 14, 2016 10:47 am

Buried among the documents that have survived in Stokesay Court’s WW1 hospital archive I came across a sheaf of 4 large, double sided printed pages headed: …WASTE NOT, WANT NOT… ECONOMY WILL WIN THE WAR As I started to read them in detail, I realized that these recipes themselves, together with the ingredients they used, […]


THE PRICE OF RULING THE WAVES (Marking the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland)

May 31, 20169:17 amJune 27, 2016 1:50 pm

Admiral ‘Jackie’ Fisher wrote of HMS Warrior ‘It was not appreciated that this, our first armour-clad ship of war, would cause a fundamental change in what had been in vogue for something like a thousand years.’ Having spent a good part of my life on new product development; rather than the battle itself, it is […]

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