Meeting: 18th October 2021 – An Illustrated Talk by Robin Goldsmith Entitled Seeds of Victory, The First World War

The History Society’s October meeting will take place at 7pm on Monday 18th October 2021, in the Lifford Memorial Hall. Robin Goldsmith will be giving an illustrated talk entitled Seeds of Victory, the First World War.

In the summer of 1914, Britain had a small, tightly funded army, widely considered to have the best trained soldiers in the world. It had been extensively restructured and modernised following conflict against the Boers in South Africa, that ended in 1902. A General Staff had been created to command the Expeditionary Force.

No-one, German, French nor British predicted the nature of the war that would break out that summer. The Prussians and French had had a dry run in 1870-71, which the Prussians had won convincingly. From that conflict both had learned the wrong lessons and Britain was determined not to become embroiled in a continental war. How did Britain’s small Imperial Army transform itself, over four years into the most powerful force on the Western Front? It is a story of enterprise, initiative, innovation, organisation, and determination. Surprised? Let me tell you something.

All welcome. Non-members £3 on the door. Annual membership costs £10 per person.

 

Broadway History Society

 

One Hundred Years Ago: 21st August 1919

Broadway’s Returned Soldiers Entertained

During the evening of Thursday 21st August 1919, starting at 6.30pm, Broadway Parish Council held a dinner for the discharged and demobilised service men of Broadway who had returned home at the end of the First World War.

The dinner, held in the Lifford Memorial Hall, was suggested and planned by Parish Councillor Archibald Renfrew, MRCVS. Mrs Mary Renfrew was in charge of the catering with many villagers contributing to the supper, the meat provided by West End farmer and Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council Austin Williams. Nurses from Farncombe Red Cross Hospital and members of the Parish Council, amongst others from the village, waited on the tables. The Evesham Standard and West Midlands Observer reported:

About 170 sat down to a hot dinner of beef, mutton and two vegetables; a variety of tarts and sweets followed and beer and cigarettes haded round. The tables were beautifully and artistically decorated with flowers…..and flags and bunting.

Mr M. Murray-Davey2, the famous basso, came in and sang three songs, which were loudly applauded, the singer being recalled repeatedly. Dr Standring sang a topical ditty, causing much amusement.

Songs were given during the evening by the men, some capital comic songs being given by the Private George Smith3, who highly amused his comrades….. the harmony being kept up till past midnight.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:
1. Archibald Renfrew (1862-1930) moved to Broadway in 1892 when he took over Broadway’s Veterinary Practice. He was one of the first members of Broadway’s Parish Council and founded Broadway’s Working Men’s Institute. He rode with the North Cotswold Hunt, was a Member of Broadway Lawn Tennis Club, Golf Club and Bowling Club. He was a keen botanist and ornithologist, was one of the pioneers of the autochrome process of colour photography and the first owner of a motor-car in Broadway.
2. Opera singer, Michael Murray-Davey, lived at Willersey House, Willersey from 1912-1922. He was friends with the actress Mary Anderson de Navarro and her husband, Antonio de Navarro of Court Farm, Broadway. Murray-Davey studied singing in Paris under Ernest Masson and Jean de Reszke and made his debut at the Paris Grand Opéra in 1905. In 1909 he reached the London Covent Garden, where he was engaged till 1914 during several seasons. On 25th February 1912 he appeared as guest in a Sunday Night Concert at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and in 1922 he made guest appearance at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. He still appeared up to the beginning of the 1940s.
3. Private 9563 George Smith served with ‘A’ Company, 2/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (source: Broadway Remembers).

 

Sources:
Ancestry.co.uk
Broadway Remembers

Meeting: Monday 12th December 2016 ‘The Worcestershire Regiment in World War One’

On Monday 12th December 2016, the Society will meet in Broadway Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Broadway, for a talk on ‘The Worcestershire Regiment in World War One’ by Dennis Plant starting at 7pm. Non-members welcome (£3).

The Worcestershire Regiment
Men of the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment marching to the trenches; Acheux-en-Amiénois, France, 27 June 1916

Over 30 men from Broadway served with the Worcestershire Regiment in the First World War which saw action on the Western Front, the Middle East and Salonika. Several men from Broadway died whilst serving or having served with the Regiment during WW1 and are commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial on the village green:

Private 25249 Josiah James Baylis
Private 34604 William Robert Billey (2nd Battalion)
Private 203259 William Bishop (10th Battalion)
Private 15373 Albert Henry Clarke (11th Battalion)
Private 30483 Bertram Clarke (2nd Battalion)
Private 47558 John Sydney Cull (Yeomanry)
Private 2414, Francis Alfred Folkes (Yeomanry)
Corporal 240841 Leonard Frank Green (1/8th Battalion)
Private 15024 Gerald Haines (2nd Battalion)
Private 241170 Charles Jackson (9th Battalion)
Private 202406 Walter Jordan (1st Battalion)
Private 27819 Charles Hubert Keyte (3rd Battalion)
Private 22994 Alfred Layton (9th Battalion)
Private 241819 Frank Rastall (1/8th Battalion)
Lance Corporal 3674 George Sandel (1/8th Battalion)
Private 21387 Wilfred George Scrivens (4th Battalion)
Private 42530 Alec Silvester Stanley (2nd Battalion)

Amongst the men who served with the Worcesters during the First World War was Wilson William Keyte. Wilson was posted to Salonika with the 11th Battalion and was awarded the Military Medalin 1917 for stretcher-bearing duties during the Battle of Doiran. Two of Wilson’s cousins, George Thomas Handy and Albert Henry Clarke (see above) were involved in the same battle. At the end of the war, Wilson Keyte was awarded the Greem Military Cross, the highest decoration awarded by the Greek Government, for meritorious service in action.

 

Broadway History Society