THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
A NEW website providing information on the 31 boys and 1 Master from King Edward VI school killed in the First World War went live this week.
Then on Wednesday, 71 boys from Year 9 travelled to the areas of Ypres and the Somme to lay wreaths on their graves.
For the first time, details on the boys from the Stratford-upon-Avon school who gave their life during the Great War have been compiled online in one easily accessible place.
The school commissioned parent Mark Ellis, who currently has two boys at KES, to design the website www.kes1914.net
Biographies on each of the boys were provided by the school’s archivist and historian, Richard Pearson.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response,” said Mr Pearson. “It’s gone all around the world.
“For the first time there are colour photographs so people can see what Stratford was like in 1914 and see where all the cemeteries are. Now, the boys will never be forgotten.”
One hundred and eighty-one KES old boys served in the armed forces during the First World War, a considerable number for such a small school.
Thirty-two were killed, including famous fighter pilot Rex Warneford, who won a Victoria Cross medal for single-handedly shooting down a zeppelin.
This week, the History department has taken 71 boys from Year 9 across the channel to visit the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres and Thiepval memorial to the missing of the Somme.
The boys will be paying respect to the school’s pupils who gave their life for their country a century ago.
Mr Pearson said: “Five of the boys who took part in our recent production of Henry V are going to lay the wreath to commemorate three of the boys who were in the play in 1913.”
In 1913, boys from the school were invited to perform Henry V at the Memorial Theatre. Shortly afterwards, seven of them were killed during the war.
Last year, KES boys performed Henry V at the Swan Theatre, 100 years on.
The new website is just one part of the school’s plans to commemorate the boys of the First World War over the next four and a half years.
Earlier this year, a special plaque was unveiled in Stratford’s Garden of Remembrance by Rex Warneford’s niece.
For more information on KES and the First World War see www.kes1914.net