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Cirencester commemorates World War 1
(From Newsletter 59 April 2014)
A (very) small team of Society members is researching the impact of World War 1 on the town
and its residents. Can you please help us?
Cirencester has a richness of memorials to the fallen of World War 1 but they are not all
immediately apparent. Two striking memorials adorn the walls of the south porch of St John
Baptist and the facade of the Memorial Hospital in Sheep Street, with smaller memorials to the
former members of the Church Lads’ Brigade, the bell ringers of Holy Trinity, Watermoor, and
pupils of Cirencester Grammar School. Pupils of Oakley Hall and students and lecturers at the
Royal Agricultural College (now University) have their own plaques. The staircase within the
former Cottage Hospital in Sheep Street was paid for by the family of Major E.J. Bannatyne in
gratitude for the care he received following a fatal air crash in 1917.
The Sheep Street Roll of Honour lists 211 names while that on the parish church names 188
individuals. Why the discrepancy? And why in our research are we finding the names of fallen
servicemen not commemorated on either, even though they were Cirencester born and bred?
The town played a significant role in recruiting volunteers with over 400 answering Kitchener’s
call in September 1914. Regiments were billeted in the town and Earl Bathurst’s Park was the
focus for training camps and drill. The Midland and South Western Junction Railway in
Watermoor was a significant link to the south coast ports and the proximity of the Bingham Hall
lent itself as an ideal site for a Red Cross Hospital.
Despite the hardships of war, food shortages and higher prices life continued with the town
rallying to support the war effort on all fronts. Pupils at the Girls’ Council School in Lewis Lane
knitted socks and mitts for the Christmas parcels for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Comforts
Committee, giving up their drawing lessons in November 1916 to complete the consignment.
This and many other snippets of interest are there to be uncovered.
All this is working towards an Exhibition in the Society’s name at the Corinium Museum from 16
August to 14 September this year. We cannot hope to tell the full story of the impact of World
War 1 without your help in this ongoing project. Please help us - we are still searching for
Frederick G. Burge, Charles Burrows, J. Johnson, William Lane, William Mustoe, George
Thompson, Cyril B. Williams. Do you know of them? Are they relatives?
If you can help please contact the Society via the editor. Meanwhile, many thanks for the efforts
and enthusiasm of Dale Hjort, Florence Beetlestone, Linda Viner, Christopher Fear, Michael
Rose and Aileen Anderson.
See local press for full details of all the events and activities for ‘Cirencester Commemorates
WW1’; and for Gloucestershire Local History Association’s day school see
Welcome to Cirencester
Archaeological & Historical
We are always happy to see new members.
Do browse our site to see what we do. While
our main activity is our meetings, we have
other interests, such as our projects and the
publishing of short articles in our
Newsletters or even on line.
Our current activity is the WW1 Exhibition
at Corinium Museum from 15 August to 14
September, for which we still need a few
stewards. If you can help for an hour or so
please contact us. See left and article
below. See the WW1 blog
News items will usually be on this page.
Feel free to hover over and click any picture
to see what happens.
Our next meeting is in September. The new
programme is available here and will be
mailed out in late August.
Page last updated 18 August 2014
VCH Gloucestershire Newsletter
This Newsletter might look a bit dry, but
there are several interesting local articles in
it. Your Society intends to help fund this
work in the future.
A Study Day about mediaeval Cirencester
Brasses may also be of interest
Commemorating The First World War
16th August – 14th September
Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester
Cirencester Historical and Archaeological
Society illustrates the impact of the First World
War on Cirencester and residents through this
retrospective exhibition. Extensive research of
the town’s War Memorials, objects and
ephemera from the County archives, Corinium
Museum, Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
together with community stories and
contributions, have all been pulled together to
share a picture of the Cirencester community
during the First World War. The exhibition is
part of a wider HLF funded
project entitled “Cirencester
Commemorates,” which brings
organisations in the town
together to commemorate100
years since the start of the First
offers free e-books
As part of its 25th anniversary, CA has made
available a number of its publications that
are now out of print for free download as
photocopy pdf files. You can browse them,
and paid-for publications on their website.
The most notable might be “Cirencester-
Town and Landscape”, 1994 by Tim Darvill &
Take a look at their 25 highlights while you
are there. There are also job opportunities.
In the past 6 weeks pages
viewed in the US have
soared to be our most
popular readers, way
above our British readers.
We are mystified. What is it
you are looking for here in
Cirencester, and have you
Do let us know.