Hagley in World War I

January 1st, 2014 by JCope

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, many towns and villages are reviewing the state of their monuments and the existence of documents which record the efforts and sacrifices made by their forbears during this conflict. The Society wishes to record the attitudes, activities and contributions of the people of Hagley during this war as recorded in the pages of the ‘Hagley Parish Magazines’ published throughout the period.

For interest, here is an extract from the diary of the Hagley Parish Magazine for September 1914:

…… “A meeting was held on Sunday afternoon, August 9th at the Hall Barn to consider how best Hagley could help in ‘the current crisis’. The Rector opened with a prayer, Lord Cobham  who presided, described the situation and explained the movement that was going forward in Stourbridge to provide hospital arrangements should they prove necessary. He proposed that a collection should be made called ‘The Hagley War Fund’. This was unanimously agreed by all present and £63 (£6,155 today) was collected. Mr. Downing consented to be Treasurer. Some of the money was going to the Red Cross and a Ladies Committee had been formed to deal with the money and the arrangement of the work, most of which had already been done. A guarantee fund had also been raised to meet the cost of maintaining the hospital if required.

Lady Cobham had set up the Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild and said she would be very glad to accept any garments for distribution to the destitute. The Queen wished there to be collecting centres and had asked Lady Cobham to undertake the centre for Worcestershire. Distribution was to be made either by a committee or through the Needlework Guild to ‘the impoverished parishes of Worcestershire and Staffordshire’.

Hagley Scouts had been founded two years earlier and on August 14th a meeting of the District Committee for the Hagley Scouts Association was held at the Hall where Lord Cobham presided. Matters were discussed and arrangements made ‘as to the employment and use of the Scouts at the present time, in guarding important places needing protection and for carrying messages’. Other matters were still under consideration.”………

Due to painstaking research by Don Freeth on the Hagley War Memorial, we have a good knowledge of the villagers who died in the conflict but we have incomplete records of those who served and survived. To supplement this research we would be interested to hear of any names, stories, diaries, letters or pictures which your family might have of Hagley relatives or friends who served or were involved on the ‘home front’. This will help add to the story of Hagley’s involvement. We can be contacted via our website hhfs.org.uk or the Secretary on 01562 884820.

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