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News August-September 2012

06 October - Ride to the Wall (RTTW)

We took part in the 5th annual “Ride to the Wall” motorcycle ride - the following is taken from the BBC News report:

Thousands of motorcyclists have arrived at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to pay their respects to fallen members of the armed forces.  Organisers estimated about 15,000 people attended the fifth annual Ride to the Wall (RTTW).

The Last Post was played and a wreath laid by Martin Dickinson, an RTTW founder, and Major General Kirkland, a patron.

Funds raised at the ride will go to the upkeep of the Arboretum.  Organisers said they had raised £150,000 since the first ride in 2008.

Motorcyclists from across Europe made the trip to the National Memorial Arboretum in convoys from eight locations across the UK.

This was the tail end of our ride in from the Leicester Forest East start point, exiting from the A38 at Alrewas.  There were eight start points across the UK.

Major General Lamont Kirkland, a patron of Ride to the Wall, was one of the first people to lay a wreath.

03 October - Tutbury in Bloom 2013

We attended the first meeting for Tutbury in Bloom, 2013, chaired by Liz Staples.  While it is early days in the planning we hope that we will have another “Tutbury Book of Remembrance” display, as by that time we will have published the first book and be well on our way towards the second.

23 September - Tutbury War Memorial Committee

On 31st July we suggested the following to the Parish Council:

Would there be any mileage in setting up a Tutbury War Memorial Committee (like the one that erected it) consisting of people from the Parish Council, Civic Society, Parochial Church Council and other interested bodies that could focus on what was needed, rather than trying to involve everyone about everything.  Might be able to move things forward more rapidly and draw on expertise from multiple areas more quickly?

We have received a reply from the Clerk to the Parish Council as follows:

The council have asked me to advise you that if you wish to set up a committee to research the restoration of the war memorial, then the parish council would consider its findings.  It is felt that the committee's terms of reference would need to be clearly defined together with the parameters for any ensuing project.

As the Parish Council does not to wish to be involved in a War Memorial Committee, we will consider a new way forward in the New Year.

14 September - Tutbury in Bloom 2012 - Initial Results

On 16th July we took part in the Tutbury in Bloom event, putting on our display at St. Mary’s.  We have just been told that Tutbury was awarded a Silver Gilt and our display was mentioned in the Judges’ Comments viz:

Jane & Rick Nuth are doing truly inspiring work at Tutbury War Memorial  ensuring that the Town's heritage is both recorded and cherished.

It is always nice to get someone else’s opinion of what you are doing.

4 September - Harry Walker

Harry Walker, son of a Tutbury policeman, is not on the Tutbury War Memorial but he is on the plaque inside St. Mary’s Church, identified as serving with the 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion, having emigrated to Canada prior to the war.  From his Canadian Service Record we found that he had died in 1923 and his inclusion on the plaque, we assume, is because he died from war related injuries; but we have for a long time been unable to find where he died.  

At last, Ancestry has provided the answer and we know that he died in Winnipeg, Manitoba - over a thousand miles away from Vancouver where he was demobilised in 1919; now we need to find out what he died of and where he is buried.

It is also clear from various dates that we have uncovered from the Records Office that Harry Walker was added (very skilfully) to the plaque after it was originally inscribed, in the space left between the different regiments.

19 August - Revised publication targets

Our original plan had been to complete our research and publish (on line and on paper) everything (WWI and WWII) by Remembrance Day 2012.  

Inevitably the task has grown.  In addition to the 47 names on the War Memorial for WWI we have now come across probably another 30 or more that have a Tutbury connection, either by birth, residency or family; add to this that the research has been more time consuming (albeit very enjoyable) than expected and it becomes obvious that the publishing schedule has had to change.

Our plan now it to publish this year the 47 from WWI plus 3 more who are closely connected to the village; the remaining 30+ from WWI and the (so far) 13 from WWII will now be researched and published by Remembrance Day 2013.

18 August - Druids in 1920s Tutbury

Researching the War Memorial at the Magic Attic recently, we came across an article in the Burton Chronicle from 5th February 1920 detailing the unveiling and dedication of a War Memorial we had not heard about previously.  It was in the Castle Inn on Bridge Street, mounted on the wall with gold lettering on a black background.  

It was dedicated to the 6 fallen and a further 36 who served in the Great War who belonged to the group who met at the Inn.  The Chairman of the group was Major HL Newton, the Vice Chairman was Dr. HR Wolfenden and the Vicar unveiled the memorial.

The group were the “Who’d Have Thought It?” Lodge 1498 of the Birmingham Equalised Order of Druids.  It would appear that the Druids of the 19th and early 20th century were non-religious, non-political societies often in the vein of Friendly Societies typical of the day.  If anyone knows anything about the Druids of this period or the whereabouts of the memorial that was once on the wall of the Castle Inn please get in touch via the contact page.

13 August - Nestlé - Lest We Forget

 Jane recently came across the Nestlé book “Lest We Forget” while on a volunteer session at the Tutbury Museum.  It details all the fallen in WWI who were working at Nestle (world wide) when they joined up, plus details of those who were decorated and it also provides a complete list of all who served.  

This is of particular interest because a number of the fallen who we are interested in worked at the Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss Tutbury Condensery, as it was known then.  We have scanned the book to provide an electronic copy and shared it with Ros Darlington of the Hilton and Marston History Group who is doing similar research for the Hilton, Hatton, Hoon and Marston fallen.

09 August - Stoke on Trent Railway Station War Memorial

Tom Merrey, a porter at Tutbury Station, was the youngest from Tutbury to die in the Great War, being only 17.

As well as being remembered on the Tutbury War Memorial, he is also remembered on the War Memorial on the station at Stoke on Trent.  This Memorial was erected by the “North Staffordshire Railway” after the First World War and as can be seen from the picture below it is not in the cleanest of states.

We have contacted Virgin Trains, who operate this station, and suggested that the memorial was not in its best state.  They have responded quite quickly and the Station Manager at Stoke is to get a quote to have it professionally cleaned - we have passed on the information from the War Memorials Trust about the appropriate way to have a Memorial renovated.

03 August - Parish and Church Records from 1920 - and the Trophy Guns

We have been looking through Parish Council and Parochial Church Council minutes at the Staffordshire Records Office in Stafford, searching for information about the War Memorial – the research was as interesting for what it did not find as what it found.

We know from the Magic Attic that a Parish War Memorial Committee (PWMC) was set up in December 1918; however, the Parish Council (PC) Minutes from that date until the Memorial was handed over to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in March 1921 make no mention at all about the War Memorial or its Committee!

What the PC minutes do cover are the Peace Celebrations which appear to take place sometime between June and September 1919 and the acquisition of Trophy German Guns, particularly a Machine Gun and a Field Gun.  This was apparently very common in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  In June 1920 it was stated that the German Machine Gun would be placed at the Boys School and the German Field Gun was to be placed at the “Little Bridge” in Bridge Street, on land lent by Mr. Newton, owner of the Plaster Works.

It looks as though there may have been a split in the village between the PC and its Trophies and the PWMC/PCC and its desire to erect a Memorial.

Does anyone know anything at all about the Tutbury Guns?  Any thought would be welcomed (as would thoughts on the War Memorial).

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