Hospital Evacuation under Fire, Dunkirk, Mar 1918

The following is a narrative account from the diary of Molly Evans, a VAD nurse in the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk. She had returned from leave on 17 Mar and the three days from 20 to 23 March 1918 were the worst experienced so far. She wrote up a special piece in the diary to describe it, starting on the evening of 20 Mar 1918. Continue reading →
Last updated on 7 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

Rachel Eveline Wilson

Rachel Wilson was born on 19 Dec 1894 to a wealthy Quaker family in Kidderminster. After the outbreak of the First World War, she trained as a nurse and eventually joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital run by the Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) in Dunkirk in 1917. She became a close friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 3 December 2018 by JJ Morgan

Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy was born on 5 Jun 1889, the only daughter of Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC  Before 1914 she worked as a schoolmistress, having obtained a degree from London University. After war broke out, she trained with the Red Cross in London and later joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk on 7 Feb 1917. She became a life-long friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 August 2019 by JJ Morgan

Future Officers, 4th Public Schools Battalion

The 4th Public Schools Battalion, 21st Royal Fusiliers, did not land in France until Nov 1915, approximately one year after they first gathered in Ashtead, Surrey as newly enlisted recruits. We have pieced together from the photos in Noel Downing‘s (PS/2581) collection, the names and identities of some of his comrades in arms.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 13 November 2018 by JJ Morgan

Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial

The Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial, a stained-glass window in Lady Chapel of  St Oswald’s Church, Lythe near Whitby, was unveiled on 28 Mar 1920. Noel Downing was among the former pupils of the Mulgrave Castle School who together with the headmaster Lord Normanby contributed in honouring their fallen friends. The surviving correspondence below includes 2 letters – a letter of appeal and a detailed description of the Memorial on its completion. The list would indicate that about 20 per cent of all the school pupils were killed. Continue reading →
Last updated on 27 October 2018 by E Morgan

The Cottage, Upton, Near Andover, Hampshire

Noel and Molly Downing bought The Cottage, Upton in Oct 1945 for their retirement. It had six or seven bedrooms and for the next twenty nine years the house welcomed a number of guests – old friends and family that came to stay or just visit for the day. Noel died in Oct 1965 and Molly in Sep 1974.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 9 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Rev Thomas Henley Flynn

Tom Flynn was born in Falmouth on 11 Jan 1889 the son of Rev Canon John Stephen Flynn. He attended Harrow School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculating in 1908. He was a life long friend of Noel Downing who was a contemporary of him at both Harrow and Oxford.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 7 February 2020 by JJ Morgan

The Pow-Wow: Unofficial Journal of U.P.S. Brigade

The Pow-Wow as defined by its creators was The Unofficial Journal of the Universities and Public Schools  (U.P.S.) Brigade (118th and later 98th). The intention was both to chronicle training in Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Woodcote, Clipstone and Tidworth and to amuse “two or  three thousand members of the Brigade for a few minutes each Friday”. Noel Downing treasured a complete set of 38 numbers issued from 18 Nov 1914 to 3 Sep 1915. Continue reading →
Last updated on 17 January 2019 by E Morgan

Balfour Anthony Trotter

Balfour Anthony Trotter was born on 12 Jan 1888, the son of a solicitor. He went to Harrow School 1902-1907 and matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1907 the same year as Noel Downing. The two were life long friends. Continue reading →
Last updated on 21 August 2019 by JJ Morgan

21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Noel Downing enlisted and joined the 21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers. In early Oct 1914 he arrived in Ashtead, Surrey where he was billeted. Noel kept a series of postcards that illustrate the new recruits’ arrival and early training and the construction of a vast encampment of huts in Woodcote Park, Epsom. Continue reading →
Last updated on 16 March 2019 by E Morgan

John Cartwright of Rowley Regis, died 1661

John Cartwright, the elder, a yeoman of Rowley Regis died and left a will granted probate on 17 May 1661. We can be fairly confident that he is the John Cartwright referred to in the Dudley Archive document DE/4/7/11/14 where a 1585 grant of land by Edward Sutton, Lord Dudley is extended to the next generation of Cartwrights dated 17 May 1612. This makes John Cartwright  the son of William Cartwright and names his two immediate siblings as William Cartwright (will 1668) and Alice Chambers alias Ireland. His grandfather is thus very likely to be John Cartwright of Rowley Regis who leaves a will of 1587.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 13 November 2018 by JJ Morgan

Adam Read, Barber Surgeon of Dudley

Adam Read was a Barber Surgeon in Dudley, who lived from approximately 1658 to 1717. He left a will dated 20 Jan 1716/17, which clarifies a number of points about his life Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 June 2018 by JJ Morgan

Eleanor Harman of Sutton Coldfield

Eleanor Harman who lived from about 1510 to 1579 did not leave a will but we can glean a fair amount about her life from the wills of her two husbands. As a wealthy widow in the Elizabethan era she achieved financial independence after 1565 and we can speculate she was able to espouse and promote certain views on religion and education – mainly to promote the memory of her Uncle Bishop VeseyContinue reading →
Last updated on 17 April 2018 by JJ Morgan