Monday, 6 August 2018

Talking to Camborne Youth Band tonight

...about their trip to France and the Menin Gate. Interesting to talk about the history but when they played - so exciting to think this music will travel out to the Western Front in just a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

An unexpected connection at Brea Show

Lovely to see Valerie Grigg presenting the prizes at Brea Show, at Pool in Cornwall, yesterday. Valerie has worked so hard on our World War One project Heart of Conflict, looking at the war years in Cornwall.
She has also worked hard at Brea Show over very many years to make it such a huge success!
This year there was an unexpected WW1 connection - a flower arrangement with an Armistice Theme.  Here's Valerie's entry.

I just looked back through the blog to remember all of Valerie's contributions to Heart of Conflict - these are just the things I wrote about! There were many more.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Des jeunes musiciens du comté de Cornouailles en Angleterre vont suivre les traces d’un groupe de soldats britanniques de la Grande Guerre : ils feront un pèlerinage à la France et à la Belgique du 25 au 26 août, apportant un clairon qui date de 1914.

La Camborne Youth Band (la Fanfare des jeunes de Camborne) se rendra à Sailly-sur-la-Lys (Pas-de-Calais) et Estaires (Nord), où les soldats étaient cantonnés. Ils joueront aussi à la Porte de Menin.

“C’est un voyage que les jeunes de la fanfare n’oublieront jamais, » selon Alan Pope, directeur de musique de la fanfare. « Nous sommes fiers de saluer le courage des hommes de Cornouailles et des milliards d’autres militaires qui ont participé à la Grande Guerre. »

Corey Williams, 13 ans, membre de la fanfare, est l’arrière-arrière-petit-fils du propriétaire original du clairon, Fred Negus.
Fred faisait partie d’un groupe de mineurs d’étain de Cornouailles qui a rejoint la 25e Ambulance de campagne en 1914. Ils sont partis directement en France, dans la ville Estaires, où les écoles et les lycées étaient transformés en hôpitaux. Plusieurs étaient logés chez des familles de la ville, dont les descendants ont gardé le contact.

Le voyage a aussi pour but de commémorer trois matches de rugby joués près d’Estaires en 1915 après l’envoi d’un ballon par le Club de rugby de Camborne.  Le 25e Ambulance a organisé les matches entre les équipes des comtés de Cornouailles et Devon.

« En 1915, ils avaient envoyé un rapport sur les matches au journal local. Ils racontent que, pendant un des matches qui s’est déroulé le lundi de Pentecôte, au lieu de la musique de la fanfare à Camborne qu’ils avaient l’habitude d’entendre, il y avait le son des canons, » selon Alan Pope. « Cent ans après ces événements historiques, une fanfare de Cornouailles jouera à Estaires. »

Samedi 25 août
Cimitière de Sailly-sur-la-Lys
o   11h00 La fanfare dépose une couronne sur la tombe de Thomas Penhorwood, tué en 1915 entre les 1er et 2ème  matches de rugby

o   13h45 La fanfare présente un ballon de rugby à la ville d’Estaires
o   14h00 La fanfare joue au monument aux morts d’Estaires
o   14h30 La fanfare donne un concert au parc municipal Watine

Dimanche 26 août 2018
o   20h La fanfare joue à la porte de Menin

Pour plus d’informations –
Tel: +44 7772 128 014 

Friday, 27 July 2018

Visit to Hayle, books and a poster

Always enjoy a visit to Hayle, in particular Old Foundry Chapel.
Great to see Battle Beneath The Trenches, a book in the Cornish Bookworm by Robert (Ken) Johns about the 251st Tunnelling Company formed in Hayle in World War One. Ken gave a great talk about this at Passmore Edwards Hall last week. 

It was also good to see a poster advertising our poetry workshops in September and October, creating work to be read at Remembrance Day services in Hayle and elsewhere this year.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Spreading the word about Camborne Youth Band's trip to France

A big thank you to the Commonwealth War Graves commission for publicising Camborne Youth Band's visit to Sailly-sur-la-Lys graveyard on Saturday 25 August. Click here to view.
Thomas Penhorwood, a former policeman
from Newquay who died collecting wounded
The visit is part of a two-day trip to France and Belgium, marking the centenary of the end of World War One. On Sunday 26 August, the Band will play at the Menin Gate, Belgium, where tens of thousands of men with no known grave are remembered.
At Sailly-sur-Lys, the Band will lay a wreath on the grave of Thomas Penhorwood, a former policeman from Newquay who was killed collecting wounded from the battle of Aubers Ridge in 1915.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Camborne Youth Band on the march to history ....

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Really proud of Camborne Youth Band Events at Camborne Show today - we're looking forward to travelling to the Western Front and Menin Gate with them in August - marking the centenary of the end of World War One. More here …

Friday, 20 July 2018

251st Tunnelling Company remembered in Hayle

It really was an historic occasion last night in Hayle when Robert (Ken) Johns came to talk at the Passmore Edwards Hall on the 251st Tunnelling Company formed in Hayle. This company, formed in Hayle, was an expert unit that tunnelled under enemy lines during World War One. It was highly skilled and very dangerous work, as Ken explained.  For more about this and his book Battle Beneath the Trenches - click here.
It was great to so many people at this talk, the latest one in our series Heroes of Hayle, marking the centenary of World War One. Next up: poetry workshops in September and October to create work to read at Remembrance Day services this year.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Cornish miners tunnelling under the Western Front

Looking forward to the talk this evening in Hayle by Robert Johns on the 251st Tunnelling Company. More here.  Cornish miners who tunnelled under the Western Front in World War One were enormously brave - and often didn't survive. William Gendall Jenkin from Camborne died on the battlefields of the Somme. Juliet Jenkin of Redruth has done some tremendous research on William, a cousin of her late husband. She generously loaned his belt, still covered with dried mud, to St Agnes museum.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Photos from Explosives Factory tour on Upton Towans, Hayle

Very many thanks to Gwen Pooley of Phillack Church, who took these lovely photos of the walk over the site of the National Explosives Factory, Upton Towans, Hayle. Local expert Peter Channon led this walk at the end of last month. Two young women were blown up at this factory in December 1916. Peter's walk - and talk earlier in the month - threw a spotlight on this forgotten history.  More about this, and our other work marking the centenary of World War One, here.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Free talk on a World War One tunnelling company

A last minute reminder about a talk in Hayle, Cornwall, this Thursday 19 July - Robert Johns will be talking about the Cornish miners who tunnelled under enemy lines in World War One. Very tough and dangerous work. Robert is an expert - should be fascinating. Entry free - at the Passmore Edwards Hall. Poster below - all very welcome! 7pm

Friday, 13 July 2018

Patriotism at the butcher's in Barnard Castle

Tour of the north continues - keeping an eye open for World War One commemorations.
None spotted (yet) in Barnard Castle, but there is an impressively patriotic display in the butcher's shop window - England sausage meat and sausages, inspired by the World Cup team's heroic exploits.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

A wall of poppies, a crooked spire and a wedding in Chesterfield

Chesterfield is famous for its crooked spire...

This wonderful church is marking the centenary of World War One, with a wall - or waterfall of poppies remembering the war dead.

Very much alive on this beautiful summer morning were preparations for a wedding....
which was absolutely spectacular.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Sunshine, poppies and a new icon at Lichfield

Always interesting to see how people are marking the centenary of the end of World War One. At Lickfield Cathedral they are creating a new icon. Artists are actually working in a studio created in the cathedral and you can peer through a window at them.

Next to the studio are more traditional ways of remembering the war dead - a chapel and Remembrance Book. They are very moving in the summer sunshine. This candle will be kept lit until Armistice Day 2018.

It's next to one of the most beautiful illuminated books I've ever seen - filled with the names of local men who died.
These flowers were on the way out - a reminder of summer outside.
And the stunning Cathedral facade in the sunshine.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Tunnelling Company talk - the poster

Thank you, David Cross - the designer who has done such a brilliant job creating these posters for our project Heroes of Hayle.
This work is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and marks the centenary of World War One in Hayle, Cornwall.

Battle Beneath The Trenches

Next up in our project, HEROES OF HAYLE, marking the centenary of World War One ....
The 251st Tunnelling Company
A FREE talk  by Robert K. Johns, author of Battle Beneath the Trenches
All welcome
 Thursday 19 July 7pm
Passmore Edwards Institute, Hayle  TR27 4BU
The 251st Tunnelling Company was formed at Hayle, Cornwall. This Company took over from 170th Tunnelling Company in the Loos area in October 1915, around Cuinchy-Cambrin-Auchy, where it remained for a considerable time. It blew the last mine fired by the British in the Great War, near Givenchy, on 10 August 1917. By April 1918, the 251st Tunnelling Company were in the area between the Lys and La Bassee canal, working on defensive schemes. 251st Tunnelling Company took part in the successful defence of Givenchy when the Allied units there were attacked by German forces in that month.
In addition, specialist tin miners were also recruited from the Cornish mines mainly joining the 251st Tunnelling Company. To attract the tin miners, a per diem of six shillings a day was offered to underground miners, which was around double to that was being paid in the mines.
On Friday, 10 August 1917, the Royal Engineers fired the last British deep mine of the war, at Givenchy-en-Gohelle near Arras. Around 7:05 a.m., the 251st Tunnelling Company on the 5th Infantry Brigade front of the 2nd Division, exploded a mine at the northern end of the brigade sector, near Surrey Crater, which became known as Warlingham Crater.
For more information, please email
or call 07772 128 014B

War graves remembered thanks to local historian

Local historian Chris Berry gave a fascinating talk on the war graves in Phillack Churchyard, Hayle, Cornwall, on Wednesday 4 July. Chris has put heart and soul into this research and has produced a really valuable piece of work for future generations. This talk was part of Heroes of Hayle, our work marking the centenary of World War One. Next up: a talk by historian Robert Johns on the 251st Tunnelling Company.