Wendover Remembers, July 1915

Val Moir and Mike Senior  |  Published: Jul 1st 2015
Heron Path Today
Heron Path today

Events during July 1915 showed how the war had become a truly world conflict. After taking heavy losses on the Eastern Front, the Russians, allies of the British and French, withdrew their troops from Poland. The Allies gratefully accepted the offer from General Smuts to form a South African volunteer contingent. On the Italian Front, the Second Battle of the Isonzo began on 18 July. 

Fierce fighting continued in Gallipoli against the Turks. Allied casualties in Gallipoli to the end of June (i.e. after two months) amounted to 42,430. In Mesopotamia (now Iraq) British troops advanced to the river Euphrates. War at sea continued and a German submarine UC2 was rammed by the British steamer Cottingham off Yarmouth and the German code book was captured. On the Western Front the first Royal Flying Corps fighter squadron - No 11 - landed in France. Flame throwers were used for the first time by the Germans during an attack on the British line near Hooge in Belgium.In Wendover, Princess Victoria of Schleswig Holstein, the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, officially opened the YMCA hut, erected in the infants’ school playground. The YMCA hut proved a popular recreation centre for the troops based at the Halton Camp. It provided tea, sandwiches and was used for concert parties. Apparently, there was never any shortage of entertainers from both the soldiers and local people.  

The Wendover Magazine was published for the first time in July 1915. It was started by the Rev C. C. Sharp, the Vicar of St Mary’s, and aimed at providing news  and entertaining articles. It was open to all religious denominations and both the Rev W. Williams of the Congregational Church and the Rev J. Cross of the Baptist Chapel contributed to the first edition. The national press printed excellent reviews of the Wendover Magazine – a whole column in the Daily News - and the British Weekly went as far as to say that: “at last there has fallen from the skies the model Parish Magazine”. On 4 July the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, preached at Evensong in St Mary’s Church. The collection, for the Church Army War Work, amounted to £7 3s. Afterwards the Archbishop held an open air service for soldiers at Witchell. 

The Parish Council received tenders for the building of a Public Convenience and also a request for the repair of the parish pump in Back Street. The Council members must have been in high spirits since it was reported: “Curiously enough, the pump was situate between two public houses, and it would be a good thing to have it in working order, if only for the sake of relieving pressure of business on those two houses. (Laughter). There being no seconder, the proposition [for the pump] fell through.” 

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