Putting a Sock into Trench Foot

May 17, 201612:07 pmMay 23, 2016 2:24 pm

No sooner had the short war of movement ended with the retreat from Mons and victory in the Battle of the Marne, than the BEF faced a new grave threat. In October 1914 No 6 Casualty Clearing Station encountered a condition which was to become known as ‘trench foot.’ During the first winter more than 20,000 […]


Military Conscription

May 3, 20163:33 pmJuly 26, 2016 8:28 am

Following the implementation of the Military Service Act almost all unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 41 were expected to join the military after 2nd March 1916. Many appealed and a series of tribunals were set up by local authorities to hear their cases. Due to the sensitivity of the subject very few […]


Caleb Halfpenny of the Grenadier Guards

April 19, 20163:07 pm

Guardsman Caleb Halfpenny of All Stretton died 26 October 1914 in Belgium, aged 25. Caleb Halfpenny was born in April 1889 in All Stretton. His family lived at The Overs in Batch valley. His mother was Mary Ann Halfpenny nee Huson, a member of the large Huson family living in the village. There is no […]


Captain Brian Hanbury Sparrow killed in the Baku campaign

April 12, 201611:05 am

Captain Brian Hanbury-Sparrow of Hillside, All Stretton, died 26 August 1918 in Baku, aged 21. Brian Hanbury-Sparrow was born in 1896 in Tettenhall in Staffordshire, the younger son of Alan and Christina Hanbury Sparrow.  Brian’s father, by then a retired solicitor, built Hillside, the impressive Edwardian Villa which stands above the road from All Stretton […]


Gunner Edward Lewis of All Stretton

April 12, 201610:55 am

Gunner [Thomas] Edward Lewis of All Stretton, died 8 October 1918 in France, aged 24. Edward Lewis was born on 24 January 1894, the son of Edward and Rosa Hannah Lewis, the third in a family of 9 children born between 1890 and 1910. Edward gave his birth place as Shifnal on his enlistment papers […]


Hal Simpson and the Friends Ambulance Unit in World War 1

April 4, 20161:58 pm

Alfred Henry Simpson known to all as Hal was born on the 14th June 1890, the son of Henry Simpson who was partner in the Horsehay Company Ltd. Like the Darbys, the Simpson family were members of the Society of Friends and, in late 1914 they faced a dilemma which divided the Society and initiated […]


The Waste of Daylight

March 10, 20162:40 pm

When the clocks spring forward on March 27th who will remember that we owe British Summer Time to the First World War? And to the Germans? Happily the Hero of the Hour is impeccably British. William Willett was a keen horseman. In summer he would take an early morning ride. In 1907, returning from a […]



February 1, 20162:47 pmFebruary 1, 2016 2:55 pm

UNIFORM was not the word for it According to the official military historian Brigadier James Edmonds, “The British Army of 1914, was the best trained best equipped and best organized British Army ever sent to war.” He was, of course, referring solely to the Regular Army. They were the only army to wear any form […]



February 1, 20162:00 pm

The Minister of War dismissing an appeal to return our troops to ‘coloured magnificence’, replied “the uniform outlook gets drabber and drabber and will continue to do so.” It had all begun in India on the North West Frontier. The Second-in-Command of the first unit to opt for the drab look claimed the uniform would […]


From the Baltic to Burwarton

January 19, 20169:34 amMarch 7, 2016 2:15 pm

Big Wood, Castle Covert, Ditton Enclosure, Old Lodge Coppice, The Moat, and Woolers Wood … what might have hauled the timber from these woods in Burwarton, Shropshire into the Front Line of the First World War? In 1913 90% of the nation’s timber requirements were imported. Why was wood a strategic material? It literally propped […]

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