for king and country


Some 200,000 men were court-martialed during the 1st World War, 20,000 were found guilty of offences that carried  the death penalty; of those, 3000 actually received it.  346  of these were  carried out. The others were given lesser sentences, or had death sentences commuted to a lesser punishment, Britain was one of the last countries to withhold pardons for men executed during World War I.






no need to go to France.


Following a visit in 1913 to Lourdes Father Patrick Boyle was determined to build a church and a replica of the grotto at Lourdes. His intention was to create a place of pilgrimage for those who could not afford to travel to Lourdes in France, however he died before his vision could be realised. Reverend Joseph Healey, started a worldwide fundraising campaign and led to the site at Uxbridge Road being purchased in 1923. A foundation stone was laid in 1928 and the Church of Our Lady at Hednesford was opened in 1934.

5000 remembered


Below is taken from the CWGC website

Historical Information

On 16 October 1959, an agreement was concluded by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the future care of the graves of German nationals who lost their lives in the United Kingdom during the two World Wars. The agreement provided for the transfer to a central cemetery in the United Kingdom of all graves which were not situated in cemeteries and plots of Commonwealth war graves maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in situ.

Following this agreement, the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge) made arrangements to transfer the graves of German servicemen and civilian internees of both wars from scattered burial grounds to the new cemetery established at Cannock Chase.

The inauguration and dedication of this cemetery, which contains almost 5,000 German and Austrian graves, took place in the presence of Dr Trepte, the President of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge, on the 10th June 1967.

In the centre of the Hall of Honour, resting on a large block of stone is a bronze sculpture of a fallen warrior, the work of the eminent German sculptor, Professor Hans Wimmer.


A trip North


We have been away for a few days around Birmingham but due to to connection failures I am only able to upload these posts of our trip now back home. 21st century communications near a large city failed we did better near John O Groats !

st Marys1.jpg

I spotted a grand church tower from our campsite so decided to explore. St Mary’s Church Wythall  is near Birmingham. The church was built in 1862 by Fredrick Preedy .The landmark tower was added in 1908 by William Bidlake following a donation from a local family. The church was turned into offices in 2000 which saved it from being lost, while the church is private visitors can walk in the old graveyard.

st Marys

Kenilworth Castle.

kenilworth castle

The first castle at  Kenilworth was built 50 years after the Norman conquest when Henry I gave the Royal Estate of Stoneleigh to Geoffrey de Clinton. Henry II took over the castle 50 years later, to counter an attack from his son’s rebel army. It was then extended by King John, who also transformed the lake into one of the Castle’s most illustrious features and the country’s largest manmade lake.


Kenilworth was almost destroyed  by Parliamentary forces in 1649 to prevent it being used as a military stronghold. Ruined, only two of its buildings remain habitable today.

KWC1.jpgkenilworth castle2



Safety in numbers

Further to my last blog featuring Sandling’s



today there were higher numbers on the shoreline which were just waiting to have their pictures taken. This blog feature many of the shots I took this afternoon.


This bird stood out from the crowd due to it’s leg rings

stand out




Structure’s on the water.

After a short visit to Titchfield Haven this morning we returned to Hamble. The form and structure on the shore  gives away  this buildings one time use. Standing solid on Southampton Water over looking the approaches to the Port and protecting oil storage tanks is this gun emplacement. In 1989 a replacement gun was re-fitted to the building.



The whole area of Hamble Common and Hamble Point has been important in defence for humans for centuries. A bank and ditch cuts across the site which is thought to have been to protect an iron-age settlement on the common.

st Andrews.jpg

Large stone blocks at the site of St Andrew’s Castle

Other defences on the point have been there since Tudor times. In 1543 Henry V111 instructed the building of a fort to protect Southampton Water. One of several forts in the area others, being at Calshot and Netley. The one here was St Andrew’s Castle and only foundation blocks remain on the shore at low tide. During the early 19th century a gun battery was constructed on the same site.

oil storage.jpg

oil store