First World War travelling exhibition - Thornbury
In this rural area boys, women and prisoners of war helped to keep many farms running. Commonly, instead of lessons, children tended school allotments and gathered wild fruits. Tons of blackberries went to make jam for the troops. A Food Control Committee operated in Thornbury. Eventually some foods were rationed and pub opening hours were restricted. With coal in short supply, firewood had to be collected to keep the home fires burning.
Born in Thornbury, war poet William Noel Hodgson MC was killed at the Battle of the Somme. His poems are a lasting testament to the bravery of those who served.
Oldbury farrier MR William Phipps manufactured mule shoes for the War Office. The farmer’s son, William Peters, tended mules on active service.
The Oldown Troop, Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, campaigned in the Middle east, where Algar Howard of Thornbury castle won the Military cross
The Salmons, their servants and four nurses, ran a 20 bed military hospital at Tockington Manor. also 16 local women did the laundry for the hospital.
Gladys Oseland (pictured) became a voluntary aid detachment. Professional nurses Elizabeth and Evelina Exell served in France; two of their soldier brothers perished.
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Thornbury mayor John Bond announced the armistice at a very well attended service of thanksgiving “the bells were rung joyfully”