The Wellesbourne Page


We are assembling information we have on those who served in the armed forces and particularly those who died during or shortly after the Great War. Our starting point was those named on the War Memorial which is now in St Peter's Church Yard but was originally on the land where there the traffic island is by the old Talbot Public House. The illustrations above show how it was first erected and its current site,

The Erection of the Wellesbourne War Memorial.

The proposal for a memorial to the men of the village who fell during the Great War was initially discussed at a Parish meeting held on the 26 February 1919 in the Wellesbourne Concert Hall over which the Rev’d  R.W.Rudgard presided. Although many suggestions were discussed no decisions were made and a further meeting planned.

Three weeks later a large committee was appointed to carry out the proposal to erect a cross in the centre of Wellesbourne Hastings. Messrs E.H. Frost, the local schoolmaster, H. Bennett and Percy Charles were appointed Joint Secretaries and Dr. R. J. Pitt as Treasurer. The hamlet of Walton agreed to join the project but would construct their own memorial. Several months later it was reported that the Wellesbourne Memorial would be placed ‘on the village green’ near to the Talbot Hotel.

The unveiling and dedication of the Wellesbourne Memorial took place on the wet and rainy Sunday afternoon of the 20th June 1920. Members of the Clergy, Parish Councillors, relatives of the fallen, ex-service men, Scouts and Guides and representatives of village organisations assembled in Chestnut Square. Marshalled by Mr. Parrot and led by the Wellesbourne Band playing the hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ the procession set off for St. Peter’s Church.

The church service was conducted by the parish vicar, Reverend R.W. Rudguard. It was originally intended that the address by Reverend  Barton W. Allen, the Vicar of Ettington, a chaplain to H.M. forces during the war, be given at the foot of the memorial but the weather conditions were such that this was changed to the inside of the church.

Following the service the procession reformed and proceeded to the Memorial, a cross carved from Horton Stone. The hymn ‘O God our help in ages past’ was sung after which Reverend Rudgard read the names of the Fallen. The unveiling ceremony was performed not by the ‘Great and Good’ as might be expected but by Lance-Corporal Henry Phazey, a former member of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and a veteran of the Battle of Mons who had during the war been wounded on four separate occasions during. Reverend Rudgard dedicated the Memorial which was followed by the Lord’s Prayer, the Blessing and the National Anthem.

The Memorial at the time bore the names of 25 men. The name of Edgar Frost who died on the 8th September 1920, was later added.

The address made by the Rev’d  Barten W. Allen , Vicar of Ettington at the consecration of the Wellesbourne War Memorial on 20th June 1920.

"We have come together this afternoon to dedicate a memorial to the memory of men who had given the greatest gift that a man could give for his fellow men- his life; a memorial, not for the present generation (they would need no stone to keep ever fresh in their memories those who had loved and given and lost) – but a memorial that would speak to the future inhabitants of Wellesbourne and which would tell them of what men suffered, dared and wrought. When the history of the war is fully written the one great feature that would impress itself upon the minds of men of another age would be the way, during those years of strain, England met and overcame her difficulties. What was the abiding lesson of the war? It was there was no difficulty so great that it could not be overcome by enthusiasm and self sacrifice. “each for all, all for each” That was the motto of the conquering army, and what heroic deeds of self sacrifice marked each hour of those long four years. You and I must try to make England a better and happier place, and you can do it best by bringing into your daily life some of that spirit of self-sacrifice which marked the days of war. It would only be when capitalists and workers, when the employers and those who laboured were content to lay aside their differences and learned to look at each other’s difficulties, that England would be a happy, blessed place to live in, worth all the enormous sacrifice that had been made by those who fought and those who died."

Shortly before the Remembrance Day service on Sunday 10th November 1946 the War Memorial was removed from the original site to its present position inside the Churchyard of St. Peter’s[iv]. Prior to that service, the names of those who died during World War II had been added to the memorial and were unveiled by Lieut-Colonel Brackenbury who also read the lesson and took the salute.

A letter dated the 24th February 1947 addressed to the Joint Parish Councils of Wellesbourne Mountford and Hastings from the Wellesbourne National Savings Committee, Roddis House states that ‘the Committee have now completed the removal of the War Memorial to a site in the Village Churchyard’ and that ‘all expenses incurred in the removal and for the inscription of names have been paid and the Committee hereby hand over the said Memorial to the ownership and care of the Parish Councils.

During the summer of 1972 remedial work to the base of the memorial was carried out by  Mr.England, a local builder.

Wellesbourne Roll of Honour

During the course of research, a Roll has been prepared adding and updating prevous records to show a more comprehensive if perhaps still not complete list of Wellesbourne men who served including those that died.
You can visit the "Roll" by clicking the heading above. 

For information about the compilation of the "Roll" visit:
Wellesbourne and Walton Rolls of Honour


Do you know any of the people on these photos below? 

These old photos below show some of those who served and we would like to see if we can identify any of men photographed.

If you can help please email tony_whiteley@hotmail.com




Newly enlisted men outside the Conservative Club. Again newly enlisted men outside the Conservative Club
Click here to enlarge this picture Click here to enlarge this picture



A group with soldiers outside the  Peacock Pub A photo of volunteers from Wellesbourne
Click here to enlarge picture Click here to enlarge picture

The following  names are on the memorial:



We also have discovered others who served and lived or came to live in our villages:




Who was Captain Pearson M.C.






Captain Nicholas from Tasmania one of two brothers who lost the lives

His brother died in Egypt fighting the Turks at the Battle of Romani 

 




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