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.
AN OFFICIAL paving stone commemorating Stratford-upon-Avon’s forgotten war hero for the 100th anniversary of the First World War will be placed in the town, the government has confirmed. Rex Warneford – the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin - was ignored in the government’s initial plans to recognise Victoria Cross winners because he was born abroad in India. The Herald launched a campaign, together with King Edward VI school, where Rex lived and studied for five years, to get the fighter pilot recognised.
THE NIECE of Stratford-upon-Avon’s war hero, Rex Warneford, has unveiled a commemorative plaque in the town’s Garden of Remembrance to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Faye Erskine, 85, travelled from Monmouth, Wales, for the ceremony in Old Town last Friday (10th January).
She unveiled a plaque in memory of the 31 boys and one master from King Edward VI School who lost their lives during the Great War.
Faye’s uncle, Rex Warneford, is one of the names on the list. The ex-KES boy was the first man to single-handedly shoot down a zeppelin, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts.
His funeral in London was attended by thousands of mourners in 1915, but Faye told the Herald the famous fighter-pilot felt most at home in Stratford.
“It was surprising how well he settled here,” she said.
“I think it was the attitude of the school because he did have a certain amount of difficulties leaving his life in India.”
Born in 1891 in India where his father wor-ked on the railway line, Rex came to England to live with his grandfather Tom in Durham. He found his way to Stratford because Tom Warneford was great friends with the KES headmaster at the time, Cornwell Robertson.
Although he was only here between 1901 and 1905 before he became an apprentice on the SS Somali, Stratford is where he grew up and where he called home.
The plaque has three sets of brothers on it.
In June 2015, 100 years on from receiving his VC, an official commemorative stone issued by the government will be placed outside the school’s Guild Hall.
Faye’s mother Jeanne Warneford was one of Rex’s four sisters.
“I learnt an awful lot from my mother, she was devoted to Rex and they were always very close, well as much as you can be with the life he had,” said Mrs Erskine.
“Somebody asked her who was going to bring the first zeppelin down. My mother turned around and said my brother, that’s who.”
She was right. In June 1915 Rex climbed above a German zeppelin making its way to England through Belgium and, using his hands, threw bombs out the side of his plane.
Destroying the zeppelin, the force of the explosion turned Rex’s plane upside down and he was forced to land behind enemy lines. Exhausted, he woke up on the edge of a cliff, yards from a sheer drop with a plane that wouldn’t start.
He managed to fix it with his cigarette holder and fly back to base. However, just ten days later Warneford was killed in a test flight with a journalist.
“The zeppelin was the invincible weapon, he destroyed the myth,” said Faye.
At the ceremony she wore a replica of the Legion D’Honneur medal Rex received from the French military.
It was made by the French factory which built his plane and was given to his mother after his death.
KES pupils observing a minute's silence at the unveiling ceremony.
Joined by her children Katharine, 52, and John, 49, Faye unveiled the plaque in front of pupils who had been learning about the First World War throughout the day.
Headmaster Bennet Carr said: “I think the interesting thing now for remembering World War One is that there aren’t any survivors left so commemoration takes on a whole new meaning. With no first-hand experience left the role of education has so much more importance than it ever has.”