Members of Worcester Writers’ Circle contributed poetry and prose for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Living Memory project about the Somme. The Battle of the Somme lasted from July to November 1916 so we look back 100 years to commemorate the fallen, especially those who died after the battle as a result of wounds suffered during action or due to the Spanish Flu which claimed many lives.
This is a CWGC funded pamphlet that is free of charge for the first 250 copies. The pamphlets will be available from reception at Worcester (Astwood) Cemetary from Friday 9 December 2016 until stocks run out – one copy per person.
In the UK alone, there are more than 12,000 sites commemorating men and women from the First and Second World Wars.
“The men who fought at the Battle of the Somme did so in some of the most horrendous conditions and saw many of their fellow comrades killed or badly wounded. We must never forget them, and instead remember these men by visiting their graves here in the UK and finding out their stories.
“With more than 300,000 war graves and memorials in the UK, I would urge people to get together and explore their nearest war graves – find out about the person behind the headstone and remember them for the sacrifice they gave.”
Maggie Smith – The Friends of the Fallen
A history of the Battle of the Somme can be found here.
If you have memories of a relative who lost their life during or after the Battle of the Somme due to injuries sustained there, or memories of survivors who died later, please get in touch with Worcester Writers’ Circle to have their story told. Contact: email@example.com
‘The Living Memory project remembers the “forgotten front” – the 300,000 war graves and commemorations right here in the UK.‘
Worcester Writers’ Circle (WWC) is taking part in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and Big Ideas Company’s Living Memory Project; the first in a series of projects about WWI. The project we’re working on commemorates those lost on return home following the Battle of the Somme which lasted 141 days. Many of the servicemen died as a result of injuries sustained overseas and a proportion of them lost their lives to Spanish Flu later.
There are upwards of 156 war graves in Worcester Cemetery and several WWC members have been there to view them, we found 20 within a 50 metre radius. We learned that all UK war graves are the same shape and have name, regiment, rank and number engraved on them along with date deceased and age at time of death. There is a regimental emblem either over or on an engraved crucifix. Below the crucifix there is sometimes, though not always, a family engraving such as R.I.P. or ‘At Rest For King And Country’ or ‘Thy Will Be Done’. All war graves are looked after by CWGC and are upright, clean and well-maintained despite being 100 years old.
Boys and men ranging from 18 to 63-years-of-age are buried in our local cemetery: some will have been conscripts or Military Servicemen; some would have been in service as officers and men of British and Imperial forces as the war began. 18 to 40-year-olds were deemed available for Military Service in 1916 when the British Government passed the Military Service Act which applied to England, Scotland and Wales, Ireland was exempt due to the political situation. Later, the age limit was raised to 51-years-of-age.
WWC members are writing poetry and prose about the war graves and The Somme and plan to create a pamphlet of the work. Readings will be available and can be booked by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Walks around the cemetery with readings will be organised and publicised on this website.
Here is an illustration of one of the war graves, this one an RAF serviceman, with the inscription faded out as a courtesy to potential family members.
If you would like to join in a walk or book a reading for your organisation, or if you have a relative from WWI in Worcester Cemetery and would like to tell us their story, please contact our secretary: email@example.com.
Prof Rod Griffiths agreed to continue as Chairman of the Worcester Writers’ Circle (WWC), with Janyce Davies remaining as Events Officer and Tony Judge continuing as Programme Compiler. A new Secretary Sylvia Herbert, Treasurer Linda Murray, Vice Chair Polly Stretton who continues as Web Editor, and Archive Officer Brenda Bell-McKenna were voted in by all members present.
Thanks and gifts were given to the outgoing officers with especial thanks to Jillian King and Kevin Brooke for their outstanding contributions over the past years.