‘Tattenhall Remembers’ the Great War

In commemoration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Great War, Tattenhall hosted a multiplicity of events during the 3-4 August 2014 entitled ‘Tattenhall Remembers‘. A selection of those events is archived below.


‘Tattenhall Remembers’ Postcard August 2014


Reconstruction of Hospital Ward – The Barbour Institute was used as an Auxiliary Military Hospital from 1915

Tattenhall, like other communities throughout the country, greeted the start of war with optimism; after all it would be over by Christmas. Voluntary recruitment was brisk and over 200 Tattenhall men are recorded in our Church ledger as having gone to war. The conflict, which lasted until 11 November 1918, was to claim many of our ‘Tattenhall Lads’. Most of those who died are recorded on our village War Memorial and the names of others are to be found on family headstones in the Churchyards of St Alban’s (Tattenhall) and All Saints (Harthill). Many local lads are buried in corners of foreign fields or their names are to be found on war memorials close to where they fell. 

Tattenhall Remembers Banner August 2014

‘Tattenhall Remembers’ Banner August 2014


Joe White, President of Tarporley Royal British Legion Branch, lays a wreath at Tattenhall War Memorial. ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ raised over £1200 in donations for the Royal British Legion

Our centennial event was attended by hundreds of individuals – many local to the village but many from surrounding districts too. This was ‘community-wide engagement’ at its very best. The Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, M.B.E., K.St.J. was charged with unveiling our permanent legacy, a ‘Horse of War’, and Cllr. Herbert Manley, the current Sheriff of Chester, declared our Exhibition to be officially ‘open’ with the obligatory cutting of the red ribbon. Leader of the Council and Tattenhall Ward Councillor, Mike Jones, who was instrumental in supporting and funding this project and resident Forge Master, Andrew Smith, who worked tirelessly in creating our permanent tribute to the plight of horses in this conflict, were also in attendance.

Tattenhall's 'Horse of War', unveiled by Cheshire's Lord-Lieutenant, David Briggs

Tattenhall’s ‘Horse of War’, unveiled by Cheshire’s Lord-Lieutenant, David Briggs

The ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ Exhibition, declared ‘open’ by Cllr Herbert Manley, Sheriff of Chester

The ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ Exhibition, declared ‘open’ by Cllr Herbert Manley, Sheriff of Chester

Blacksmith, Andrew Smith, during the construction of our 'Horse of War'. The installation represents a permanent legacy to the role of horses in the conflict. Local school children voted overwhelmingly on the name 'George' - so 'George' is fully installed adjacent to the War Memorial

‘The vision becomes reality’ – local Forge Master, Andrew Smith, during the construction of our ‘Horse of War’. The installation represents a permanent legacy to the role of horses in this conflict. Local school children voted overwhelmingly to name our horse ‘George’ – ‘George’ is now fully installed, adjacent to the War Memorial

One of the core principles of the Tattenhall Local History Website is to ‘provide a lasting legacy, committed to showcasing the heritage of Tattenhall and its immediate locality’. With this in mind, we include below some of the various flyers/photographic images that were produced in support of the centenary commemorations. By clicking on each link you will be able to view the associated text/images. 

We hope that these documents and images promote interest in local history, raise awareness and foster curiosity in all those that view them. We should like to take this opportunity to thank all residents and others (particularly Lynn Holmes) who supported us in this unique venture.


'Alfie' - in role as a Private with the Durham Light Infantry

‘Alfie’ in role as a Private with the Durham Light Infantry

As a history teacher in the locality, I have led many overseas school visits to the WWI Battlefields of Flanders and the Somme. It was no surprise to my students, therefore, that I asked for their support and, as always, they rose to the challenge with three of them taking on the roles of a VAD Nurse, a Convalescent Blue and a Private with the Durham Light Infantry throughout the entire weekend.

Each researched their particular role in the Great War, were mature beyond their years and acquitted themselves brilliantly when questioned by members of the public.

The students also appeared in the September 2014 edition of ‘Cheshire Life’ p220.

Particular thanks to ‘Paula’ at ‘Chester Costume House‘ for her enthusiasm in creating costumes to serve our every requirement (a fantastic local resource). 

xxx Elliot, Phoebe and Alfie (our Durham Light Infantry Private) in role and being photographed by Cheshire Life xx
Phoebe, our ‘VAD’ Nurse and
Elliot, our ‘Convalescent Blue’
Elliot, Phoebe and Alfie (our Durham Light
Infantry Private) in role and being
photographed by Cheshire Life
Elliot in the obligatory Convalescent Blue
outfit worn in Auxiliary Military Hospitals
such as Tattenhall

The authentic reconstruction of our Auxiliary Military Hospital Ward was based on surviving photographs and paintings of the interior of the Barbour Institute; documents held at the Imperial War Museum relating to Edith Marguerite Wignall (who was ‘Commandant’ of both the Auxiliary Military Hospital based in the Barbour Institute and that based in the Annexe of her own home, ‘The Rookery’); Frederick Cayley Robinson’s iconic painting (below) and the famous VAD poster (also shown below). The painting and poster are included separately and credited as shown – my thanks to both the Wellcome Library and to the British Red Cross Museum and Archive for supporting our centennial event.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Frederick Cayley Robinson painting by kind permission of Wellcome Library, London

by kind permission of British Red Cross Museum

VAD Poster by kind permission of the British Red Cross Museum and Archive


Poster and Artefacts Exhibition, together with Hospital Ward reconstruction


Two Auxiliary Military Hospitals were located in Tattenhall during the Great War – one at the ‘Barbour Institute’ and the other in the Annexe of ‘The Rookery’


Artefacts Exhibition – various nose fuses/caps of different calibre (diameter) recovered from the Western Front. The pointed and curved ‘ogive-shaped’ nose gave the shells improved aerodynamic performance


Selection of Artefacts on display throughout the event – several more images of personal artefacts can be viewed in the slideshow at the end of this Webpage

We have selected some of the very best of the photographic images in a separate slideshow below but we felt it appropriate to conclude this Webpage with images of poppies (the flower associated with this and other conflicts). Not to be outdone by the Tower of London installation, an initiative to include poppies within our own village was embraced by St Alban’s Church, the results of which were truly spectacular. Of significance too is that members of the ‘Brodbelt’ family, commissioned the complete restoration of their family grave within St Alban’s Churchyard, on which are the names of the two Brodbelt brothers who died in the Great War. Their story is to be found under WWI Casualties.

Poppies, St Alban's Churchyard, summer 2014

Poppies, St Alban’s Churchyard, summer 2014

The Brodbelt family grave - restored summer 2014

The Brodbelt family grave – restored summer 2014

Poppy installation - Tower of London - summer 2014

The Tower of London’s evolving installation, entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. This artwork, created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, will ultimately include 888,246 ceramic poppies which will progressively fill the Tower of London’s famous moat

We include below a selection of images taken by our enthusiastic photographers (Keith Titchener, Iain Keeping and Klaus Tekniepe). These appear in a ‘slideshow’ – if you do not wish to view these images as a ‘slideshow’, then simply click on a single image and use the arrows (which will appear beneath each image) to move to the right or left.


and finally … we couldn’t resist … there for the community …

We hope that you have found our ‘Tattenhall Remembers’ Webpage to be of interest. Should you have further information regarding any Tattenhall men who served and/or died in this conflict then please do not hesitate to contact us using the Toolbar facility above.

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