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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 major activity this year was the WW1
Exhibition at Corinium Museum from 15
August to 14 September, 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 on Wednesday 26th
November. This year’s programme is
available here .
Page last updated 29 October 2014
The archives have received a HLF grant to
help preserve past records, and are looking
for enthusiasts to help. Press Release
Commemorating The First World War
16th August – 14th September
Corinium Museum, Park Street, Cirencester
Cirencester Historical and Archaeological Society
illustrated the impact of the First World
War on Cirencester and residents through
this retrospective exhibition. If you
visited the exhibition or not, do keep on
sending in your family notes if your
family had Cirencester connections
during that period.
Don’t forget that there are other exhibitions on in town
about WW1, The RAU Chapel exhibition runs until the year
end, and the Timeline in the Parish Church runs until 2018.
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.
Cotswold Archaeology Seeks Your Help
This note has appeared before, but they still are looking
One project is based at our Kemble offices near
Cirencester and involves processing finds and paper
records from the 1960s-90s excavations at Crickley Hill
hillfort, readying them for deposition with the National
Trust so that they will be available for study, with the
ultimate aim of facilitating full publication of the site,
although that is beyond the scope of our project. This
work is ongoing, Mon-Fri. 0830-1600.
The second project will be based at the Gloucestershire
Archives premises off Alvin Street, Gloucester and will
involve processing finds and paper records from a
number of important excavations undertaken by Glos
City Council in the 1980s/90s, with the aim of depositing
this material at Gloucester City Museum and making it
available for future study. This work will start on Tues
14th Oct and will be undertaken every Tues/Weds from
0930-1600 for the next c. 6 months.
Jon Hart 01285 772617