Programme of Events 2019/20

Following the Annual General Meeting held on Monday 20th May 2019, the Society has released its Programme of Events for 2019/20. The meetings resume on Monday 16th September 2019 with an illustrated talk entitled ‘On the Way to London’ by David Ella on the coaching routes across the North Cotswolds, through Broadway and the Vale of Evesham.

David’s talk will start at 7pm on the 16th September and will be held in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Lower Green, Broadway.

For further information about the 2019/20 programme of events and talks visit www.broadwayhistorysociety.wordpress.com

 

 

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Annual General Meeting and Quiz on Worcestershire – Monday 20th May 2019

The Annual General Meeting of Broadway History Society will take place on Monday 20th May 2019 in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Lower Green, Broadway, starting at 7pm. Copies of the Agenda and Annual Accounts can be obtained from the Society’s Hon. Secretary, Nigel Smith, and will be available on the night.

County Flag of Worcestershire

After the AGM, starting around 7.30pm, there will be a light hearted quiz on Worcestershire hosted by Robin Hill. A small prize will be awarded to the winning team. The hall will be set up with tables and chairs and it is suggested that Members (and any quiz loving friends they wish to bring along) make up teams of 4 for the quiz.

A complimentary glass of wine and snacks will be served after the AGM. All are welcome to join us for the AGM and the quiz.

Next Meeting: Monday 18th March “Chedworth Roman Villa” with Dr Nick Humphries

The next meeting of the Broadway History Society takes place on Monday 18th March 2019 starting at 7pm in the Main Hall, Lifford Memorial Hall, with an illustrated talk by Dr Nick Humphries on Chedworth Roman Villa. Chedworth is now managed by the National Trust.

All welcome to attend the meeting. Non-members £3 on the door. Refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting.

Next Meeting: Monday 18th February 2019 “The Broadway Archaeological Dig” with Robin Jackson

The next meeting of the Broadway History Society takes place on Monday 18th February 2019 starting at 7pm in the Main Hall, Lifford Memorial Hall, with an illustrated talk by Robin Jackson, Senior Project Manager of Worcestershire Archaeology on the 2017 archaeological excavations at West End, Broadway.
During the dig, the archaeologists found evidence of some of Broadway’s earliest known residents: Mesolithic hunter-gathers who lived on the site along Bunchers Brook around 10,000 years ago and some intriguing Bronze Age finds dating back over 4000 years and proved to much more important than expected. The main focus of the excavation work was a complex Iron Age and Roman settlement with some fantastic rare Saxon and Roman finds and an ancient burial site. Medieval remains were also found that predate the foundation of a planned town at Broadway in the late 12th or early 13th century, which later shrank in size to become the historic centre of the village we know today.

All welcome to attend the meeting. Non-members £3 on the door. Refreshments will be served at the end of the meeting.

Able Seaman Robert Warner Clarke and the Sinking of Submarine HMS P311 January 1943

Today we remember Able Seaman Robert Warner Clarke of Broadway who died, aged 19, 76 years ago during the Second World War. Robert, known as Bob, was a member of the crew on submarine HMS P311 when she was sunk by a mine on 8th January 19431 off the coast of Tavolara Island, a small island to the north east of Sardinia.

Bob, was born in Broadway, one of nine children of Frank Thomas Clarke and May Clarke (née Meadows). After the outbreak of the Second World War, Bob enlisted with the Royal Navy Submarine Service and was posted to serve on HMS P311.

On_Board_the_Submarine_Depot_Ship_HMS_Forth,_Holy_Loch,_Scotland,_1942_TR526

1942: On board Submarine Depot Ship HMS Forth, Holy Loch, Scotland. The depot ship HMS Forth is transferring a practice torpedo to the HMS P311. HMS Sibyl (P217) is seen alongside and another submarine can be seen in the background.

HMS P311 was a T-class submarine and the only boat of her class never to have been given a name. She was launched on 5th March 1942 and commissioned 5 months later on 7th August. HMS P311 was supposed to have been assigned the name Tutankhamen but was lost before this was formally done. She had joined the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta from Scotland in November 1942 and was attacked and sunk whilst en-route to Maddalena, Sardinia sometime between her final signal on 31st December 1942 and her failure to report on 8th January 19431.

When HMS P311 was lost she was carrying a crew of 71 men, commanded by Richard Douglas Cayley, DSO, RN2. The wreck recently found by divers on 21st May 2016 close to Tavolara Island in the Mediterranean. The vessel is reported to be in good condition with only her bow damaged by the mine explosion and all the bodies of the men are reported to be still on-board having died of suffocation.

Prior to her sinking, whilst in Malta, Able Seaman (no. P/JX 321879) Robert Clarke sent the following letters3 home to his family in Broadway:

4th December 1942

Dear Mum, Dad and all at home,

I hope you received the cable alright & that you are having some good weather & keeping well. I am feeling lovely as where I am the weather is scorching hot. How is everyone down Broadway, tell Dennis Cook4 I will drop him a line very soon but it’s hard to say how long it will take to reach him. When you write to Sid5 tell him I am ok but I don’t expect to see him for a very long time. I wish I could tell you where I am & what this place is like but I can’t.

When you write to me it is best to send it by CW Graphs as they don’t take long to travel.

I am only allowed to send one page so for now I will close with lots of love to all.

From Bob.

20th December 1942

Dear Mum, Dad and all at home,

I hope this short letter finds you in the best of health as it leaves me. I hope you all had a good Xmas as I didn’t do so bad myself accordingly. Last night I had a great surprise I walked into a club with my mate and met Eddie Procter6 the chap from Willersey who married Kathleen Keyte from the bottom of our avenue, he looks well and seems quite happy, him and I are going out together tomorrow if everything is ok.

Has Sid been home on leave lately or has he gone abroad? I would like to see him now. I expect it will be a long while before I am home again but when I do come I hope to have some money saved up. Did you get the £2 I sent to go on my Savings Book that Auntie has got? I will send some more as soon as I can if you will put it on the Book for me.

Give my best to Nibs and all the rest, and tell Kathleen Keyte I saw Eddie.

With all my love Mum,

From Bob.

Bob and the rest of the crew of HMS P311 are commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial (Panel 74, Column 1) in Hampshire and Bob is commemorated on the War Memorial in Broadway.

portsmouth-naval-war-memorial2

Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, Hampshire

Debbie Williamson
Broadway History Society

Notes:

  1. HMS P311 was reported overdue on 8th January 1943 when she failed to return to base and it is now presumed that she was sunk by Italian mines on or around 2nd January 1943.
  2. Richard Douglas Cayley (1907-1943) was one of the most decorated British submariners of the Second World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1941. His prowess earned him the nickname “Deadeye Dick”.
  3. Bob’s letters are published with the permission of Andy Clarke.
  4. Dennis G. Cook (1922-1977).
  5. Sid was Bob’s older brother born in Broadway in 1921. Lance Corporal 11416496 Sydney Richard Clarke served with the 7th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment. during the Second World War. He died, aged 24, on 1st April 1946 and is buried in the churchyard at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, Broadway, and is commemorated on Broadway War Memorial.
  6. Edgar William Proctor served with the 44 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner. He was killed, aged 22, on 22nd January 1944 and is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany, Collective Grave 6. L. 1-7. Son of Thomas and Emily Proctor and husband of Kathleen Elsie Proctor of Broadway, Worcestershire, he is commemorated on Broadway War Memorial.

Next Meeting: Monday 21st January 2019 ‘Sentenced Beyond the Seas, Worcestershire Women Convicts sent to Australia’

Our next meeting and talk by David Clark, entitled ‘Sentenced Beyond the Seas, Worcestershire Women Convicts sent to Australia’, will take place on Monday 21st January 2019, starting at 7pm in the Lifford Memorial Hall.

In 1787, Britain chose Australia as the site of a new penal colony and the first fleet of 11 convict ships set sail for Botany Bay arriving on 20th January 1788 to found Sydney, New South Wales, the first European settlement on the continent. Other penal colonies were later established in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1803 and Queensland in 1824. Western Australia was founded in 1829 as a free colony and received convicts from 1850 onwards. South Australia and Victoria, established in 1836 and 1850 respectively, remained free colonies. Penal transportation to Australia peaked in the 1830s and dropped off significantly the following decade. The last convict ship arrived in Western Australia on 10th January 1868.

The majority of convicts were transported for petty crimes. More serious crimes, such as rape and murder, became transportable offences in the 1830s but since they were also punishable by death, comparatively few convicts were transported for such crimes. Amongst the convicts were women from Worcestershire. David will recount the true and fascinating tale of 8 Worcestershire female convicts sentenced to death or transportation in the 1780s to the ‘Land Beyond the Seas’. One of the women would be the progenitor of the largest living family group in Australia today, another would return to England a rich woman.

David Clark was born and raised in London and has lived and worked in Germany and Australia but returned to the UK in 1970 to live in Worcestershire where he is now retired. His career has included working in a shipping office in London’s dockland, as a rep for foreign newspapers and magazines, at Plumrose Foods, Kalamazoo Business Systems, Mazda cars and Rothmans Cigarettes. David has worked in theatre management, had two shops and ended up working for Age Concern. He was also a City Councillor for 20 years and served as Mayor of Worcester.

All welcome. Non-members £3 on the door.

Refreshment will be served at the end of the meeting.

 

 

 

Next Meeting: Monday 10th December 2018: Farmsteads and Buildings: Recording the past for the future

Next Meeting: Monday 10th December 2018: Farmsteads and Buildings: Recording the past for the future

Dr Alan Wadsworth

Dr Alan Wadsworth

Our next meeting and talk will take place on Monday 10th December in the Lifford Hall, Lower Green, Broadway, starting at 7pm. During the meeting Dr Alan Wadsworth will be giving an illustrated talk on  “Farmsteads and Buildings: Recording the past for the future”.

Farmsteads are very much part of the English landscape and this is particularly true in Worcestershire. However, there are enormous pressures on farming and historic farm buildings are being lost. In many cases they no longer meet the needs of modern agriculture and they are expensive to maintain so many are being converted to other sustainable uses or are simply falling down. Alan grew up on his family’s farm in Yorkshire and moved to Badsey 15 months ago from Wiltshire.  Having taken early retirement from a job in industry, he returned to his farming roots whilst in Wiltshire and was Project Leader of the Wiltshire Farmsteads Project from 2012-2016 recording details of farmsteads across the county.  On moving to Badsey he started a similar project in south-east Worcestershire and the Worcestershire Farmsteads Project officially got under way in April 2017 when funding was received from the British Agricultural History Society.
Refreshments and mince pies will be served at the end of the meeting. All welcome, non-members (£3 on the door).