Fairford Schools Logbooks May to December 1917


May 2

Canon Carbonell visited school on Monday morning and Miss Keble on Tuesday afternoon and tested registers. The District Nurse visited on May 1 and examined heads.

May 10

Received notice of Diocesan Inspection which is to be held on May 22 at 2pm.

May 17

District Nurse and a stranger visited this morning. They ordered H T to exclude Annie Bishop and Ethel Butler, said they were both unclean. Canon Carbonell visited on Wed afternoon, to say that a week’s holiday is to be given this Whitsuntide.

May 22

The Diocesan Inspector examined school on Religious Knowledge this afternoon from 2 to 3.30pm. Registers were not marked.

May 25

District Nurse visited again on Wed morning, the same two children were excluded.

Closed this afternoon for a week’s holiday.

June 8

Canon Carbonell visited on Monday morning. He tested registers. District Nurse visited on Tuesday June 5.

June 15

Attendance still poor. Some are hay making with their mothers, some are absent as the baby at home has whooping cough.District Nurse visited on Thursday June 15 but the 3 children she wanted to examine were absent (and always will be) therefore it was a waste of time.

June 22

District Nurse visited again today, but the children were still absent. Attendance very bad. Many children have bad coughs and colds, some call it whooping cough.

June 26

Canon Carbonell came in school this morning to enquire into numbers. Only 40 present out of 74 on books.

June 27

Canon Carbonell came in at 4pm with a message from Gloucester that the Infants School must be closed at once on account of the spreading of whooping cough.

July 16

Reopened school today 37 present this morning, 74 on books.

July 21

Canon Carbonell visited on Wednesday afternoon. F. Harvey Esq H M I came in at 1.40 on Friday and asked that a list of children of different ages be sent to him. The said list has been sent.

July 28

Miss E Hayes had leave on Tuesday last to visit Kempsford School at Mr Harvey’s command.

August 2

Canon Carbonell visited on Tuesday. Closed on Thursday noon for the usual Harvest Holiday.

September 10

Opened School this morning with a poor attendance. First class boys and girls have gone to the Endowed Schools.

September 17

Nine of the biggest children are still absent from school, now the excuse is ‘leasing’. It is simply

impossible for any teacher to teach them any thing those particular children are always absent with some paltry excuse or other.

September 28

Canon Carbonell visited on Wed morning.

Miss Hayes S T spent the day in Cirencester Endowed School on Thursday by order of Mr Harvey. Attendance a little better this week amongst the babies, but several of the bigger ones are still absent leasing or potato picking. Dr Green Medical Officer visited also at 12 noon on Thursday.

October 12

A holiday today to enable teachers to hear Mr Fisher speak at Gloucester. Canon Carbonell spent an hour in school on Thursday afternoon and tested Registers. Had 1/- wrong in bank corrected.

November 1

A half holiday on Wednesday owing to the room being wanted for two concerts in aid of the Red Cross funds.

November 16

Canon Carbonell visited on Wednesday and brought some papers from the L.E.A. Re the waste of coal, gas and water none of which apply here. Attendance poor still, any excuse does to keep children away from school. Three London air raid children have attended for a fortnight. Two have returned today.

November 20

Miss Hayes Student Teacher absent ill, ordered to bed by Doctor.

December 4

Miss Hayes still absent. Canon Carbonell visited on Friday afternoon. Mrs Arkell from the Laurels

brought in her little grandson on Friday morning to be “amused”. Attendance better for one week percentage reached 90 +.


Canon Carbonell visited on Tuesday and Wednesday and said “close on Thursday at 4pm for the usual two weeks Christmas Holidays. Miss Hayes still absent.


May 10

Miss Graves came to talk to the children on behalf of the great Food Campaign of the country and Mrs. Archer introduced the speaker and listened to the address.

June 12

Girls who asked permission were allowed to knit for soldiers instead of painting.

June 28

Number present this morning 57

Number “ “ afternoon 56

A few elder girls are away for their mothers to go out to work. 15 of the younger ones are ill with colds or whooping cough.

September 14

Only 51 girls present this afternoon. Many of them have gone to the cornfields to glean.

November 5

Admitted, this morning, five little girls from London.

December 13

The five little Londoners have now returned to London.


May 4

Attendance percentage 87.9, some boys away potato planting. We had a game of ‘yarkrik’ yesterday.

May 11

Hicks away ill. Garden 3 times this week as also last week to make up for lost time during the bad weather and also because no teacher for classroom. I have this year allowed any boy who wished to plant a double quantity of potatoes. Several took advantage of the offer.

May 31

School year ends average for year 68.1. We have been troubled with measles, scarlet fever, influenza and other diseases but only isolated cases just enough to occasion family exclusion for a time. This easily accounts for a drop in average.

June 4

Exactly 50% of the 1st class boys have left for work during the past year.

June 8-22

150 attendances lost through whooping cough

The drop in attendance because of whooping cough lasted until the middle of July.

July 27

Special lessons on potato spraying to upper standards, also the disease was explained

August 2

Vicar attended this morning, gave the prizes after which we dismissed for harvest vacation.

September 10

Miss Tozer left us when we broke up and enters Fishponds College this month. I wish to record here that she was a capital worker, liked by her pupils, a good disciplinarian and we were sorry to lose her. Miss Isherwood from the Girls School has taken her place.

September 14

Several boys away helping to get in the harvest crops, so percentage is low.

September 19

A few days ago Hoskins brought a potato weighing 2lb 5 oz and two others of 1lb 12 oz each

November 2

Admitted two East London boys yesterday. Here or a time ‘rais resting’. I am to admit 4 more on Monday next.

November 6

Nurse Taylor visited the school and examined the boys’ heads. Not one case found. She said it was the cleanest school she had visited.

November 16

On November 5 I admitted 6 boys from Poplar(London). They were were sent here to be away from raids etc. On the 13 last Tuesday 4 of these returned to London having been on my books 7 days only.

December 14

Attendance down this week. Davis and Laurence still away. Bartlett away ill. Last two raid scare boys returned to London on Tuesday last.

December 20

Dismissed this afternoon for Xmas vacation until January 8.


April to December 1917

In April we remember…

Wall, Richard, Sergeant (2931)

7th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment

Died 1 April 1917, age 38

Sergeant Wall was born in Fairford, the eldest son of Richard and Elizabeth Wall, and the husband of Rosetta E Wall of 3 Hastings Road, Corsham, Wiltshire. Richard Wall was a career soldier and had served in India and South Africa and was present at the siege of Ladysmith in 1899/1900 during the Boer War when serving with the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. Having left the Army some time before the outbreak of the First World War, Richard Wall was one of the gardeners at Fairford Park but immediately re-enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment at Cirencester and became an Instructor of Signalling with the 7th Battalion which eventually found itself in Mesopotamia. During the last week of March 1917, the 7th Battalion was involved in actions against the Turkish Army near Duqma on the banks of the River Tigris, about 35 miles north of Baghdad. It is likely that Richard Wall died of wounds received during this action. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.

Major, Sidney Robert, Private (PO/1709(S)

2nd Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry

Died 25 April 1917, age 27

Private Major was the youngest son of Sarah Major and the late Robert Major of High Street, Fairford. Before the war Sidney Major learnt his trade as a baker at Mr Frederick Plank’s bakery in the Fairford High Street but had then moved to Aynho near Banbury. Although a member of the Royal Marines, during the First World War he served as an infantry soldier in France. The Royal Marines formed two infantry battalions and the 2nd Battalion was formed from men formerly based at Portsmouth and Plymouth. In April 1917 the Royal Naval Division took part in an offensive on the Arras front and occupied trenches known as the Oppy Line close to the village of Gavrelle, which was the Division’s objective. The village was captured on the morning of the 23rd and held despite seven counter-attacks by German troops. The 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, held in reserve on the 23rd, occupied trenches close to Gavrelle on the night of the 24th but then came under heavy and persistent artillery fire for several days afterwards. It was during this period that Private Major was killed after serving two months on the Western Front. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.

In May we remember…

Seacole, Charles, Private (23318)

1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment

Died 18 May 1917, age 30

Charles Seacole was born at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire and was residing at Wincanton when he enlisted at Winchester, although his parents, James and Jane, lived in Mill Lane in Fairford for a few years where James was a shepherd. Private Seacole was wounded and died in a British military hospital. During April and May 1917 the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment was fighting in the Fresnoy/Arleux area, between Lens and Arras, as part of the 5th Infantry Division. It is possible that Charles Seacole was wounded during this fighting and evacuated back to a hospital at Barlin near Bruay, as he is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension.

Giles, Edward George, Private (31393)

3rd Reserve Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment

Died 20 May 1917, age 18

‘Teddy’ Giles was born in Fairford in 1898 and was the son of William and Rachel Giles of 1 Vines Row, Fairford. He enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment at Bristol as soon as he turned 18 and appears to have been posted to Bromley in Kent, probably for home defence duties. However, according to a report in the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard “…he soon contracted pneumonia and other kindred complaints”. His parents received a telegram on 19 May and immediately travelled to Bromley to be at Teddy’s bedside. He passed away peacefully the following day. Private Giles was brought home and was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard and among the many floral tributes was a wreath inscribed “With deep sympathy from neighbours and friends in Dynevor Terrace”.

In June we remember…

Shurmer, Cyril Walter, Private (32248)

8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment

Died 7 June 1917

Cyril Shurmer was born in Fairford but was living in Bristol when he enlisted at Cirencester. Cyril was the son of baker and confectioner Harry Shurmer and his wife Sarah of London Street, Fairford. Cyril was killed on the first day of the Battle of Messines, a major attack by British forces to capture the Messines Ridge which overlooks Ypres from the south east. The attack was commenced by the detonation of 19 huge mines that had been dug under the German trenches by the Royal Engineers over the past several months. The 8th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment set off from Crescent Trench on the 7th and attacked the German’s Black Line of trenches but lost several men when taking a German strong po
int at Lumm Farm. The Battalion achieved its objectives and the casualties were relatively light but Cyril Shurmer was among the 40 men of the 8th Battalion who fell during the taking of the Messines Ridge. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

In July we remember…

Syphas, William, Acting Bombardier (21519)

56th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Died 24 July 1917, age 32

Acting Bombardier Syphas was the son of Daniel and Edith Jane Syphas of East End, Fairford. William Syphas was born in Aldsworth, Glos and was living in Stratton when he enlisted in at Devizes. In July 1917 his battery was supporting II Corps in the Dickebusch area a few miles south of Ypres. On the 16th British artillery consisting of 752 heavy and medium howitzers commenced a preparatory bombardment of German positions prior to the Third Battle of Ypres that was due to start at the end of the month. It is probable that William Syphas was killed during one of the frequent artillery duels that took place between British and German artillery in this sector during this period. He is buried in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension which lies about two miles to the south west of Ypres, Belgium. In the 1911 Census William is recorded as a police constable at Pontardawe, Glamorganshire.

In August we remember…

Scriven, Frank, Private (202048)

2nd/4th (City of Bristol) Battalion (Territorial), Gloucestershire Regiment

Died 27 August 1917, age 27

Frank Scriven, the son of Percy and Ruth Scriven of Milton End, was born in Fairford in 1891. Frank was listed as a builder’s labourer in the 1911 Census and was living with his family at 1 Dynevor Terrace but enlisted in Bristol and was probably living there at the time. The 2nd/4th Battalion was one of three so-called ‘Pals’ Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment that served with the 61st Division in France and Flanders from May 1916 to the end of the war. Private Scriven has no known grave but is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. His name is also recorded on his mother’s headstone in the New Ground of St Mary’s Church, Fairford. In some records the name is written as Scrivens.

In November we remember…

Wade, Frederick William, Lieutenant

Royal Engineers

Died 28 November 1917, age 30

Lieutenant Wade was born in Cheltenham and was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Wade, whose address in 1917 is given as 26 Ashcroft Road, Cirencester. John Wade had moved to Fairford when serving with the Gloucester Constabulary and later became a registrar of births, marriages and deaths and was also Fairford’s relieving officer. The family lived in Hughenden House in London Street. In March 1901 Frederick joined the Great Western Railway and worked at first in the telegraphic department in Oxford. Later appointments with the GWR include positions at Rogerstone, Monmouth, Stourbridge, Reading and Paddington. In 1909 he was appointed traffic superintendent of the Nigerian Railway under the Colonial Office. In September 1914 he received an appointment as Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and accompanied an Anglo-French force to the German territory of Cameroon as railway traffic superintendent. Lieutenant Wade commanded a troop of men from the Nigerian Railway and took over railway stations at Doula and Bonaberi. The few railway lines in existence In Cameroon were vital for the movement of troops and supplies during the campaign and needed constant repair and maintenance. For his good work Frederick Wade received a mention in dispatches by Lieutenant General Sir Charles Dobell, the commander of the Cameroon Expeditionary Force. In August 1915, during one of his periodic visits to Britain, Wade married Miss Frances Adelaide Rachel Wargent whose father was a member of the Royal Household at Windsor Castle. Following the end of the campaign in Cameroon in early 1916 Frederick Wade returned to his railway work in Nigeria. In November 1917 he embarked on the SS Apapa, a 7,832-ton Elder Dempster passenger liner, to return home to Britain for a spell of leave. The vessel was sailing for Liverpool and had almost reached port safely when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat, the U-96, and sank just three miles off Lynas Point, Anglesey. Wade’s actions during the event are recorded by a fellow passenger, Mr C Carnegie Brown, who survived to write a long, detailed letter to Wade’s mother, telling her of her son’s gallant actions. When the torpedo struck Mr Brown went along to the cabin of a missionary, a Mr Babcock, and his family as the missionary had been unwell and was unable to assist his wife and children. There Mr Brown found Frederick Wade assisting Mrs Babcock and two small children and a baby. Frederick led the family to their lifeboat and made sure they were safely on board before heading for his own assigned lifeboat on the other side of the ship. Soon afterwards a second torpedo struck the Apapa, which began to list badly and Wade’s lifeboat could not be launched. Happily, the entire Babcock family survived the ordeal and Mr Brown credits their survival to the selfless actions of Frederick Wade. A total of 38 passengers and 39 crewmen died in the incident.
A memorial plaque was set up in the vestry of St Mary’s Church, Fairford to commemorate the life of Frederick William Wade. Curiously, Wade is not recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission nor is he listed in the book ‘Officers Died in the Great War’. This might indicate that Wade’s commission in the Royal Engineers was an honorary commission that existed only during the period of service with the Cameroon Expeditionary Force.

June to September 1916

In September we remember …

Lance Corporal Victor Charles May(18128)

11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, died 8 September 1916

Lance Corporal May was born in Fairford and enlisted in Cirencester. He was the only soldier from Fairford to be killed in the Salonika theatre. Although regarded almost as a sideshow to the events in France and Flanders, the campaign in Salonika during the First World War was just as bitter and as costly to the combatants. In 1915 British and French forces joined the Serbian Army in attempting to repulse an invasion of Macedonia by Bulgarian, German and Austrian armies. Much of the fighting was concentrated in the area around Lake Doiran, some 30 miles north of Salonika. The 11th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment arrived at Salonika on 24 November 1915 and it soon became apparent that in addition to the opposing armies, the climate, terrain and endemic disease were just as much the enemy. Early in September 1916 the 11th Battalion was holding a recently captured feature known as “Horseshoe Hill” which overlooked the village of Doldzeli, about two miles south west of Doiran. According to the regimental history of the Worcestershire Regiment, the Bulgarians caused several casualties in the first week of September when they bombarded the hill in an effort to retake their lost ground. It is likely that Victor May was killed during this bombardment. Lance Corporal May has no known grave but is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece.

In August we remember two soldiers who died at the Battle of the Somme.

Dean, Edgar Frederick, Private (30600)

1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, died 1 August 1916, age 19

Private Dean was the second son of Edward and Henrietta Dean of Milton Street, Fairford. The 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment had suffered severe casualties during the opening phase of the Somme offensive and was withdrawn from the line in mid-July to rest and rebuild its strength. It then moved to the Bethune sector and on 30 July took over trenches at Cuinchy near La Bassee. Private Dean was wounded, probably by artillery fire, the day after the Battalion took up its new position and died on 1 August. Edgar Dean was buried in what was then a front line soldier’s cemetery and is now the Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France. Edgar had been a grocer’s assistant in Fairford before enlisting in May 1916 and had only been in France for a fortnight before was killed.

Bennett, William, Private (26535)

10th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, died 19 August 1916, age 30

Private Bennett was born in Fairford and was living in Coronation Street when he enlisted in Cirencester. He was killed during the Battle of the Somme and has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

In July we remember ….

Gardner, George, Lance Corporal (24648)

8th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, died 10 July 1916

George Gardner was born in Fairford the son of Samuel ‘Shep’ Gardner, a well known shepherd. The family name is usually written as Gardiner in most records including the baptism register which records George’s baptism in Fairford on 6 August 1886. George is listed, at age 14 as a teamsteron a farm in Fairford in the 1901 Census but by 1911 he had moved to Pontypridd, Glamorgan and was working as a coal miner. He enlisted in the Welsh Regiment at Pontypridd. The 8th Battalion arrived in Mesopotamia from Egypt in March 1916 after having been through the horrors of the Gallipoli campaign. As part of the 13th Infantry Division, the Battalion took part in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. Lance Corporal Gardner died of fever and is buried in the Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.

In June we remember ….

Chandler, Frederick William, Lance Sergeant (73877)

A” Company, 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan) Regiment, died 6 June 1916, age 24

Lance Sergeant Chandler was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Chandler of 7 Park Street, Fairford. On the night of 5/6 June 1916 the 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry moved into trenches at Hooge, just to the east of Ypres, in preparation for an attack on Mount Sorrel. At 12 noon on the 6th German artillery began firing at the British and Canadian positions and the 28th Battalion’s front-line trenches were particularly badly hit. Three hours later the Germans set off four huge mines under the Canadian’s position and then charged and took the trenches of the 28th Battalion. It was reported that Lance Sergeant Chandler was “blown up in a trench” which implies that he was the victim of one of the mines. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His name is also recorded on the headstone of his parents in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, Fairford. He had emigrated to Canada before the war, which explains why he was serving with a Canadian infantry battalion.

Varney, George John, Private (23589)

1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, died 20 June 1916, aged 32

Private George John Varney, known as ‘Chick’, was born in Fairford in 1885, one of 11 children of John and Ann Varney of 15 Park Street. In the 1911 census George was now working as a builder’s labourer, living with his widowed mother.

For the first half of 1916 the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment held the front line around Loos and Maroc, just north of Lens. During June the Battalion alternated between manning trenches near Calonne and resting in reserve at Bully Grenay. Although there were no major assaults in this area during the period, there was the constant danger of artillery bombardment and the history of the 1st Battalion mentions that several casualties were caused by German trench mortars at this time. Private Varney was one of 41 men of the 1st Battalion who were killed in this sector between 14 February and 4 July. He is buried in Loos British Cemetery, France.

May 1916

In May we remember ….

Morse, Ernest George, Sergeant (3783), DCM

3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards

Died 11 May 1916, age 36

Sergeant Morse was born in Fairford, and was the son of Charles and Mary Morse of Little Faringdon Crossing, Lechlade, and the husband of Edith Ellen Morse (nee Cox) of 1 Melville Terrace, West Street, Farnham, Surrey whom he married in April 1911. His father Charles was a plate layer for the Great Western Railway for many years. Ernest joined the Coldstream Guards and is listed at the Guards’ Depot at Chelsea Barracks in the 1901 Census. By the 1911 Census Ernest he was recorded as a Sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, living with his parents and siblings at 26 Mount Pleasant in Fairford. However, he was living in Farnham when he re-enlisted in Cirencester to join his old regiment. The 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards formed part of the 1st Guards Brigade in the Ypres Salient from 17 March to 20 May 1916 and during that time sustained very light casualties with just 15 men killed. As Sergeant Morse is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery on the French coast near Le Touquet, he was probably wounded and evacuated to one of the large British military hospitals where he then died. Sergeant Morse was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in January 1916 for his service with the Coldstream Guards the citation of which reads “For consistent good work with the battalion transport throughout the campaign, bringing it up to most dangerous places, sometimes night after night. He is untiring in his energy and care of his horses“.

and…Ernest Morse memorial card (2)

Groves, Philip, Private (PO/17844)

HMS Queen Mary, Royal Marine Light Infantry

Died 31 May 1916, age 18

Private Groves was the fifth son of John E A and Ann M Groves of “The Cotswold Arms”, High Street, Burford, a native of Farhill, Fairford although born at Maugersbury, Stow-on-the-Wold.

His father was a shepherd who moved from farm to farm throughout Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. His mother Annie was recorded as living in Mount Pleasant, Fairford at the time of Philip’s death. Philip’s three First World War war medals were recently offered for sale on the internet.

He was killed as a direct result of enemy action at the Battle of Jutland, one of the most important sea battles in British naval history and a battle in which both sides claimed victory, although the German Grand Fleet rarely ventured out in force after this great battle.

HMS Queen Mary was a 27,000-ton battle cruiser that had previously taken part in actions at Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank. During the Battle of Jutland the Queen Mary was hit by shells from the German warships Seydlitz and Derrflinger and blew up with the loss of all but 9 of her 1,275 crewmen. The catastrophic explosions that destroyed the battle cruisers Queen Mary and Indefatigable caused Admiral Beatty to utter his famous remark: “There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!” Each of the larger Royal Navy ships carried a complement of Royal Marines who enforced discipline on board ship and could also be used for shore raiding parties. Like all his shipmates, Private Groves has no known grave but is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

April 1916

In April we remember…

Benfield, John Albert, Private (9395) of the 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who died 18 April 1916, age 21.

Jack Benfield died of disease and is buried at the Kut War Cemetery, Iraq.

The Turkish army besieged Kut in December 1915 and all attempts to relieve the garrison failed. Conditions became steadily worse and a total of 1,025 soldiers died in action and a further 721 from disease or malnutrition. The garrisoned finally surrendered when its supplies ran out on 29 April 1916 and 12,000 British and Indian soldiers were captured, of whom about one third died in captivity.

March 1916

From the Parish Magazine, March 1916

Alteration in the Hour of Evensong

In view of the new Police Regulations about lighting of Houses and Streets, the Vicar and Churchwardens have decided it would be best for the present to have Evensong on Sundays at 3pm instead of 6pm.

The 6 o’clock Evensong on Weekdays has been discontinued. The Intercession Service on Wednesday, March 1st will be at 5pm; and on March 8th the First Day of Lent, and on the following Wednesdays it will be at 6pm.

All this is very confusing, and we may hope that it will not last very long. As the days draw out it will not be necessary to continue these changes.

Meanwhile the congregation is requested to consult the Noticeboard in the Porch; the hours of various services are all given there.

Insurance against Air Raids

Now that the Zeppelins have shown that they are able to fly as far as Liverpool and back again to their base, the Churchwardens have wisely decided that they ought to insure the Church against Air Raids.

The ordinary Fire Insurance does not cover this risk, so an additional Insurance has to be taken out.

Our Archdeacon has also written to all Incumbents and Churchwardens in his archdeaconry advising them to insure. Mr T.J. Penson made the collection of which particulars are given below, and the whole Parish must needs be deeply grateful to him. The rate for this Insurance is 2s per cent, so that £11 10s collected has enabled him to take out a Policy for £11,500.

Private Edward HART died 8 October 1915, age 30

Hart, Edward, Private (1592)

1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment

Died 8 October 1915, age 30

This month we remember Private Edward Hart (1592) of the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment who died 8 October 1915, age 30.

Edward was the son of William and Emily Hart and born in Cirencester in 1885. In 1901 he was an errand boy in Cirencester and in the 1911 census he is a farm labourer living in East End, Fairford with the Newport family. He enlisted in the Regiment in Cirencester.

According to the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment war diaries, the battalion came under heavy bombardment from 11 am – 4pm and the Germans then attacked in dense lines. Private Edward Hart was one of 22 killed that day. His name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Fairford Doctors for the Army

Two of the four Fairford doctors have joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, vis., Dr. H Bloxsome, senior and Dr Harold Scawin. Dr Bloxsome retired from his professional duties some years ago, and transferred his business to his son, Dr Harold R. Bloxsome. He is a very clever surgeon, and occasionally rendered assistance to his son and to other medical gentlemen in the district, and especially at the Fairford Cottage Hospital, in which institution he took a keen interest. Dr Bloxsome’s large circle of friends are delighted that he, in spite of advancing years, is giving such practical proof of his patriotism by joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, where his skill will no doubt prove extremely useful to our soldiers and sailors. Dr King Turner has kindly consented to act for Dr Scawin during his absence.

Gloucestershire Echo May 24 1915

Dr [Charles] Harold Bloxsome was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1857. He came to Fairford in the early 1880s. He married Agnes Iles, the daughter of Dr Albert Iles in 1884. She died in 1911. Dr Bloxsome’s second marriage was to Eveline Rendell in July 1913. In 1915 he was 58 (his advancing years! – see above). He continued practising medicine right up to his death in 1928, age 70

Dr Harold Willis Scawin qualified in 1909 and served with the RAMC in France. He returned to Fairford and in 1919 he was living in Tudor House, Fairford and died in 1957 in Bristol.

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars on Service

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars on Service

…Towards the end of October has been received that the Brigade should be fully equipped and ready to move to the Continent by October 301914 [but for some reason this fell through and they continued their training at home]…

Throughout the process of equipping Major A J Palmer [from Fairford Park], the popular leader of ‘A’ Squadron, continued to show that consideration for his men which always characterised him, and which was highly appreciated by all. Several improvements in clothing, including the warm lining of service tunics, were made, and then men were each provided with a ‘billy-can’ comprising a tin cup and a pot in which to boil water, all enclosed in a woollen case. It was felt that in these things not a little was due to the womanly sympathies of Mrs Palmer, who took deepest interest in the Squadron, and had been with it continuously since mobilisation. Under the impression we were destined for France during the winter months she organised a supply depot of underclothing at Fairford Park from which she intended to maintain a regular supply of bodily comforts to the troops of the Squadron, though subsequent events necessitated a modification of these plans……

(From a Trooper’s Diary. Part 3)

Gloucester Journal Saturday April 15 1915


From Fairford Parish Council minutes

March 24 1915

The Council were requested to arrange some distinctive signal to warn the inhabitants of the approach of hostile Aircraft, should the place be visited by an Aircraft raid. Mr. E. B. Chew proposed & Mr. Baldwin seconded that the signal should be two of the Church bells rung together, provided the consent of the Vicar & Churchwardens were obtained for the purpose.

April 21 1915 Annual Parish Meeting

The Clerk stated that the Vicar & Churchwardens had given their consent for two of the Church bells to be rung together as a signal of the approach of hostile Aircraft.

In September 1915 it was proposed that the bell ringing should be “discontinued during the period of the War; as there is a general feeling that it sounds out of place during these troublous times.”

However, Canon Carbonell was not impressed with this request and said he was not aware of any legislation against bell-ringing. There had been a sharp exchange of letters!