Remembering Ivor Gurney born 28 August 1890

August 28, 2015

I believe in the increasing of life: whatever
Leads to the seeing of small trifles,
Real, beautiful, is good and an act never
Is worthier than in freeing spirit that stifles
Under ingratitude’s weight, nor is anything done
Wiselier than the moving or breaking to sight
Of a thing hidden under by custom – revealed,
Fulfilled, used (sound-fashioned) any way out to delight:
Trefoil – hedge sparrow – the stars on the edge at night.

I like the simple things (the ‘small trifles’) noticed about the natural world in this, my favourite of his poems, published as ‘The Escape‘ in Ivor Gurney’s collected poems.

Source: Chris Goddard / Wikipedia.

Gurney’s gravestone at Twigworth church, Gloucestershire. Source: Chris Goddard / Wikipedia.

28th August 2015 is the 125th anniversary of Ivor Bertie Gurney’s birth in Gloucester in 1890.  He would grow up from a working class background  to become a talented composer, setter of songs to music and, how I discovered him, poet of the countryside and of ordinary soldier in the trenches of World War 1. Mental health problems before and after the war eventually led to him spending his later years in asylums from 1923 until his death in 1937.

It is over 25 years since I visited his archive in Gloucester City Library and  not many people had  heard of him at the time. A changing cast of friends  helped me through Leicester University Theatre deliver many occasional performances (c. 1989 to 1991) of  a ‘one man show’ of Gurney poem readings called “Voices” (a ‘one man show’ about ‘one man’ using three people as different aspects of Gurney and the different characters he met). Not many people had come across him but many people responded well to his life and works.

Voices poster Leicester University Theatre  (design: Mark Norris, image source Jonathan Lightfoot.)

Voices poster Leicester University Theatre
(design: Mark Norris, image source Jonathan Lightfoot.)

Fortuitously  Jonathan Lightfoot blog posted yesterday one of the original posters for “Voices” that I hand drew and lettered before printing (in those computer scarce days).

I have the scripts somewhere: the “Escape” poem was one of the final poems, as to me it’s almost a manifesto, a summoning up of beliefs.

25 years on from Voices, Gurney’s books have now been republished, music recorded and performed and there is a flourishing Ivor Gurney Society on both sides of the Atlantic http://www.ivorgurney.org.uk dedicated to promoting his memory, life and works.

His archive is supported / maintained by the Ivor Gurney Trust http://ivorgurneytrust.com

The photos of his memorial stones come from a very full Wikipedia entry: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Gurney#

Gurney's memorial, Gloucester cathedral . Image: Andrew Rabbot / Wikipedia

Gurney’s memorial, Gloucester cathedral . Image: Andrew Rabbot / Wikipedia

“Do not forget me quite / O Severn Meadows”

Happy Birthday Ivor Gurney, not forgotten!

More wartime garden in bloom pictures and a little Mr. Middleton

August 23, 2015

We have had some great positive responses from people who’d seen our photos from the World War Zoo Gardens Wartime allotment at Newquay Zoo.

Here as promised are some more photos, including more flowers for a bit of wartime colour.

More photos of our poppies in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015 

More photos of our poppies in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

middleton calender cover

Flowers in a wartime garden?

18th September 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the sudden death in 1945 of Mr. Middleton the celebrity wartime garden broadcaster and writer.

One of my favourite quotes from him is extra poignant in that sadly Mr Middleton never lived to fulfil or see this postwar return to flowering gardens:

In happier days we talked of rock gardens, herbaceous borders and verdant lawns; but with the advent of war and its grim demands, these pleasant features rapidly receded into the background to make way for the all important food crop … Presumably most of my old friends still listen when I hold forth on Leeks, Lettuces and Leatherjackets, instead of Lilac, Lilies and Lavender … These are critical times, but we shall get through them, and the harder we dig for victory, the sooner will the roses be with us again …

Quoted on the back of Duff Hart-Davis’ new book Our Land At War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 (William Collins, 2015) – review forthcoming on this blog soon.

More nasturtiums in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015 

More edible nasturtiums in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

“Money spent on flowers, in moderation, is never wasted”

quoted in C. H. Middleton, Your Garden in Wartime, 1941 (p. 26, reprinted Aurum Press, 2010)

“For the moment potatoes, onions, carrots and so on must receive our full attention: but we may look forward to the time when this nightmare will end, as end it must – and the morning will break with all our favourite flowers to greet us once more, and, who knows perhaps my next volume of talks will be of roses, mignonette, daffodils and lilies.” C.H.M, June 1941

C. H. Middleton, Your Garden in Wartime, 1941 (p. 5, reprinted Aurum Press, 2010)

More pictures of colourful and often edible flowers in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015.

Perennial sweet peas - as the edible peas failed to germinate this year -  in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015 

Perennial sweet peas – as the edible peas failed to germinate this year –  in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

The alternate baking and soaking weather this August has really brought out the strong colours in this veg such as this Ruby / Rhubarb Chard.

Rhubarb chard  in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015 

Rhubarb chard  in the World War Zoo Garden, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

Perennial sweet peas overlooking the emptying summer beds, produce harvested.

Proof of good eating! One of the Globe artichokes picked with our Junior Keepers this week at Newquay Zoo and thrown into the rare ‘Yaki’ Sulawesi Macaque Monkeys becomes enrichment – unusual food, plaything, must-have toy …

This is food for our animals so fresh it travels food metres, not miles, and is still almost growing when eaten, foods seconds or minutes from allotment ground to animal gourmets.

Young Sulawesi Macaque Monkey and a Globe Artichoke almost as big as him from our wartime garden allotment, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

Young Sulawesi Macaque Monkey and a Globe Artichoke almost as big as him from our wartime garden allotment, Newquay Zoo, August 2015

We hope Mr Middleton would approve of our edible garden with flowers and vegetables, even though not everything has gone well this year.

The harvest of a Macaque and Capuchin monkey favourite  – broad beans in fresh pods and on the stem / haulm – has been very poor this year. They were saved seed and seemed to show no better progress on the Growmore fertiliser side of the plot than the organic green manure side. These will soon be harvested, the haulms dug in and planting for next spring begun.

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Sulawesi macaque monkeys on our zoo graphics sign for the garden, tucking into broad beans.  Top photo: Jackie Noble. 

Posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo World War Zoo Gardens project August 2015

Remembering George Fallow from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to Gallipoli

August 21, 2015

19th August 2015 is the 100th anniversary of Sergeant George Fallow’s death in Egypt from wounds received at Gallipoli serving with the 5th Royal Scots. This was very much the local regiment for many others on the staff at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Leonie Paterson the RBGE archivist has produced another timely Botanics Story and blogpost about Fallow http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16849 

Sergeant George Cruickshanks Fallow No.1739, died on 19 August 1915 aged 24 from wounds received whilst serving with the 5th Royal Scots at Gallipoli. He is buried at Grave Reference: K. 4. of Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Many other Gallipoli casualties are buried here too.

Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt where George Fallow and many Galliopli casualties are buried. (image: CWGC)

Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt where George Fallow and many Gallipoli casualties are buried. (image: CWGC)Buddleia fallowiana

The CWGC holds the additional family information that he was the son of Margaret Fallow, of Rosebank, Carluke, Lanarkshire, and the late Archibald Fallow.

On his headstone is the inscription chosen by his mother “Till The Day Dawns” (and the shadows flee away) based on a biblical inscription from the Old Testament Song of Solomon.

Botanics Stories 

Leonie Paterson the Archivist and colleagues  at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh uncovered in 2014 a strange aspect of Fallow’s story about why he does not appear on the RBGE staff war memorial:

http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/12442

“As a fan of eminent plant collector George Forrest (1873-1932), I’d long known that two of his plant introductions had been named after former RBGE gardeners killed in the First World War; Roscoea humeana, named for Private David Hume and Buddleia fallowiana for Sergeant George Fallow.

What I found curious was that Hume’s name appears on RBGE’s war memorial, now situated in the foyer of the Science Buildings on Inverleith Row, despite him having given up horticulture in 1906, whereas Fallow’s name doesn’t appear at all. Why? What are their stories?

George Fallow’s story is perhaps less mysterious, but no less tragic. The reason for his name not

Buddleia fallowiana from the RBGE plate negative archive.

Buddleia fallowiana from the RBGE plate negative archive.

being included on the memorial is a simple one – he had left the staff of RBGE during the summer of 1914.

The reason for this was recalled by Henry (Harry) Howden Bryce in the RBGE Guild News Sheet, March 1980: “Some of the ‘lads’ joined the Territorials. The ‘Terriers’ were quite an attraction during this time. Apart from the drills and parades there was the big attraction of the Summer Camp”… “In July 1914 the Prof [Isaac Bayley Balfour] supervised the arranging of a demonstration of exhibits in the Laboratory… The whole layout was like a cross-section through the field of Botany.” All this was for a surprise oral examination for Balfour the following evening – the probationers would have to study the exhibits in order to talk about any subject Balfour asked them to. After the exam, “the Prof then asked if anyone would volunteer to talk on any of the subjects… only one stood up and that was George Fallow.

The following morning George was called up to the Prof’s office.” Balfour had been asked to recommend someone for the post of Subinspector in the Horticulture Branch of the Board of Agriculture, London. Fallow was recommended and selected for the position. “Now, George was a member of the Territorials and he decided to go to camp with his fellow students, then after camp he would proceed to his new appointment. Alas, the ‘best laid schemes’…” Fallow was still at camp on the 4th August when war was declared. The ‘Terriers’ were immediately put on active service training rather than return to their jobs.
As Fallow had left his post just prior to the outbreak of war he does not feature on the RBGE memorial nor the Roll of Honour, but the footnote to the description of Buddleia fallowiana states: “The specific name is given to keep in memory Sergeant George Fallow, 5th Batt. The Royal Scots, a former gardener on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, who died 19th August 1915, in Egypt, of wounds received in action at Gallipoli.”

The shrub collected by George Forrest is shown in the RBGE negative archive.

There is more about the plant at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddleja_fallowiana

Remembering H. Mulroy, Belle Vue Zoo, died Ypres 16 August 1915

August 16, 2015

H. Mulroy's headstone, Ridge Wood Military Cemetery (source: International Wargraves Photographic Project)

H. Mulroy’s headstone, Ridge Wood Military Cemetery (source: International War Graves Photographic Project)

Private H. Mulroy or Mullroy is one of the vanished Belle Vue Zoo (Manchester) staff who died on active service during the First World War.

Current research believes that he died aged 21 serving as a Private 23516 with the 12th  (Service) Battalion, Manchester Regiment near Ypres on 16 August 1915.

Belle Vue zoo's sadly vandalised war memorial, Gorton Cemetery. Manchester lists their First World War dead - a tiny glimpse of the losses of men from zoos on active service in both world wars. Image: manchesterhistory.net

Belle Vue zoo’s sadly vandalised war memorial, Gorton Cemetery. Manchester lists their First World War dead – a tiny glimpse of the losses of men from zoos on active service in both world wars. Image: manchesterhistory.net

Belle Vue Zoo's now vandalised war memorial - luckily the names, although hard to read, are inscribed in stone as the brass statue has been stolen. Image: manchesterhistory.net

Mullroy or Mulroy’s name picked out on the Belle Vue Zoo’s now vandalised war memorial – luckily the names, although hard to read, are inscribed in stone as the brass statue has been stolen. (Image: manchesterhistory.net)

His name appears on the sadly vandalised Belle Vue Zoo staff war memorial in Gorton Cemetery. It appears to have been spelt with a double LL as Mullroy. There is no casualty listed on CWGC with that unusual double L spelling.

Current research believes that H (Henry? Harry?) Mulroy died serving with the 12th Manchester Regiment at Ypres on 16 August 1915. Mulroy is buried in Ridge Wood Military Cemetery near Dickebush and Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. There is no family information or inscription on his headstone or CWGC Cemetery entry.

image

Henry or Harry Mulroy  was born and enlisted in Manchester. He entered active service in France and Flanders with his regiment on 16 July 1915 and was killed a month later after only sixteen days in the trenches near Ypres. He was awarded the 1915 star, British War and Victory Medal.

His Manchester born mother Mary Jane Mulroy seems to have been his sole legatee for his final effects and war bonus / salary. His father Thomas Mulroy (born in Ireland) appears to have died at 31 Harvest Street in 1907, after working in textiles, as a  fustian and “calico dresser”.

Harry was the youngest of his family of 6 brothers and sisters (4 others died young) and was working as a shop assistant in the 1911 Census, the family living at 24 Oak Street, Gorton, Manchester. His older brother ‘Willie’ or James William (a calico dresser like his father) appears in service records later in the war as a partly deaf 31 year old conscripted into the Labour Corps on home service (from 1917 to 1919). An older sister Susan (b. 1891) was involved with Textiles / sewing, his oldest brother Thomas (b. 1879) involved in the fruit market and green grocery.  Brother Richard  b. 1888 was also involved in the local textile trade  (Cloth worker, weaving mill).

Interestingly in the 1911 Census return, his brother John (b. 1890, machine man, iron planer) spells the family name Mulroy but on the census summary return the census enumerator spells it as what appears to be  “Mullroy”.

Harry Mulroy’s War

There is an excellent website that outlines the history of the 12th Manchester  (Service ) Battalion as part of K2, Kitchener’s Army of volunteers.

The  whole battalion only landed in France on 16 July 1915 and their war diary has been transcribed here: http://www.themanchesters.org/12th%20WD.htm

After training in Britain, embarking for France and then marching and further training and troop “trench  instruction” They moved into the Southern Ypres salient for trench familiarisation and then took over the the front lines in that area. Harry’s regiment arrived in the trenches on 1st August 1915.

The War Diary, transcribed by Myles Francis, states:

July 1915

15/7/1915
[Battalion comprised 30 officers and 975 rank and file]
Entrained at Winchester for Service with Expeditionary Force in France.
12 noon  Embarked at FOLKESTONE … [for Boulogne].

30/7/1915
Proceeded by march route to White Chateau 3 miles west of HOOGE and bivouaced 48 hours.

1/8/1915
Relieved 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. Relief completed by 3AM of the 2nd inst without incident.

2/8/1915
Quiet day.

3/8/1915
Quiet day but for a few whiz bangs.

4/8/1915
Rather quiet with a little artillery activity.

5/8/1915
Quiet day.

6/8/1915
Our artillery more active than usual. Enemy shelled us with whiz bangs doing little damage.

7/8/1915
The Battalion began digging a V shaped ditch for barricade in front of our barbed wire and assembly posts near SNIPERS BARN. No attempt made by enemy to intefere. Hear that new troops have taken over enemy trenches.

8/8/1915
Very quiet day.

9/8/1915
2.15am Our artillery opened heavy bombardment on our sectors directed on a frontage of 500 yards. Ordered to cause diversion while 6th Division attacked at HOOGE. Reports from Patrols were that the enemy were seen leaving trenches on our front and making for BOIS QUARANTE.
9am Heard the attack by 6th Division was successful.

10/8/1915
Quiet day.

11/8/1915
Very quiet day.

12/8/1915
Normal. Small amount of shelling on both sides.

13/8/1915
Quiet day.

14/8/1915
Quiet with the exception of a few heavy shells which fell well behind the reserve trenches.

15/8/1915
Quiet day; Some artillery activity in afternoon on both sides. Heavy rifle and machine gun fire during the night.

16/8/1915
Enemy fired rifle grenades on trench No 5.

17/8/1915
Very quiet day. Were relieved by the 9th Bn Duke of Wellington Regt. Relief commenced at 8.0pm but did not complete until 4.30am of the 18th inst owing to furious bombardment by the enemy.

—————

So it seems unfortunate that Harry Mulroy, shop assistant and probable employee at Belle Vue Zoo, was killed on a quiet day in a quietish sector. He is buried next to another Manchester Regiment casualty of the same day, Private Mullen.

Whilst we currently have no perfect fit and definite proof that the Belle Vue Zoo H. Mullroy or Mulroy on the war memorial  is the same man as Harry Mulroy of the 12th Manchesters, by the misspelling of the name on several occasions and the family location, it is certainly highly possible they are the same man.

Latest Research

I first worked on the Belle Vue war memorial names in 2010, building on some earlier work by Stephen Cocks. https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/%e2%80%9clost-in-the-garden-of-the-sons-of-time%e2%80%9d-remembering-the-fallen-zoo-staff-from-wartime-zoos-onremembrance-sunday-and-armistice-day-2010-in-the-wartime-zoo-gardens/

There is now a whole new section on the Manchester & Salford family history forum website at http://gortonphilipsparkcemetrywargrave.weebly.com/belle-vue-war-memorial.html covering current research by local historians on the names on the memorial. Fascinating site and a real labour of love …

Private Harry Mulroy, Remembered.

Posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo – World War Zoo Gardens project.

Remembering VJ Day 2015

August 15, 2015

My grandfather Len Ansell's Burma Star for naval service, with two portraits and his photos of life on board deck of an RN aircraft carrier from kamikaze attacks and seaplane prangs to deck hockey c. 1944/45 Source Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens Collection.

My grandfather Len Ansell’s Burma Star for naval service, with two portraits and his photos of life on board deck of an RN aircraft carrier from kamikaze attacks and seaplane prangs to deck hockey c. 1944/45 Source Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens Collection.

Remembering VJ Day, zoo and botanic gardens staff of many nations, my Burma Star grandfather and the end of the fighting in the Far East 70 years on today:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/remembering-zookeeper-and-gardener-far-east-pows-70-years-on-2015/

My grandfather Len was coming home safely. Sadly I never met him.

Zoo and botanic gardens staff amongst Far East Prisoners of War FEPOWs who  had survived were free and heading home.

Burma Star memorial, Portscatho, Cornwall

Burma Star memorial, Portscatho, Cornwall

Conscripted Japanese zoo staff and vets were heading home to devastated zoos.

Many on both sides  – including men from Ueno Zoo in Japan, London Zoo and Kew Gardens  – were never to return.

See also our VE Day post May 1945 and Victory parades in 1946:

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/remembering-ve-day-may-8-1945-and-2015/

When you go home,
Tell Them of us and say,
For your tomorrow,
We gave our today 

(the Kohima prayer)

Remembered with thanks.

Colonel Neville Manders FES FZS zoologist killed Gallipoli August 1915

August 7, 2015

One of the Gallipoli casualties was Colonel Neville Manders DPMS, FZS, FES killed in the Dardanelles on 9 August 1915.

Neville Manders (image source from the RAMC WW1 website)

Neville Manders (image source from the RAMC WW1 website)

An entomologist and expert on butterflies, he was on the Headquarters staff of the ANZAC Army Medical Services as Deputy Director of Medical Services DDMS.

Colonel Neville Manders died 9th August 1915, aged 55 serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps D.D.M.S.(Anzac) Army Medical Staff. He is remembered on a Special Memorial  20, New Zealand  No. 2 Outpost Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.

No 2 Outpost Cemetery, Dardanelles - Neville Manders special memorial 20 is just to the front right of the cross (image : CWGC)

No 2 Outpost Cemetery, Dardanelles – Neville Manders special memorial 20 is just to the front right of the cross (image : CWGC)

CWGC lists him as the Son of Maj. T. Manders, late 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) and  husband of Mrs. M. B. Knapp (formerly Manders), of 77, Fellows Rd., Hampstead, London.

On his death he left a widow and daughter.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/606131/MANDERS,%20NEVILLE

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/35845#page/217/mode/1up article: Entomologists Record XXVII, 1915: A Day in The –

and his obituary p239.  http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/35845#page/323/mode/1up

 

IN MEMORIAM – THE DEATH OF A BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR IN THE TRENCHES OF GALLIPOLI – Obituary of Colonel Neville Manders from Entomology Monthly, Nov 1915
Colonel Neville Manders, A. M.S., F.Z.S., F.E.S. Born 1859. Died gloriously, 1915.

The death roll of British officers who have fallen in the Gallipoli Peninsula is long, and it contains the names of many friends who have given up their lives for King and country in a cause which we believe, and they believed, to be good and noble. Among them no name is better known to, or has been more highly esteemed by entomologists than that of Neville Manders, long time a Fellow of the Entomological Society of London, and recognised also as an expert in our Science as well as the best of good comrades.

He fell at the beginning of August, and although the official notification of his death, and the telegram from the General Officer commanding the Division with which he was serving at the time, does not inform us of the way in which he met his death, we have no difficulty in supposing that it was in the trenches where the wounded Australians and New Zealanders were his first and constant care. It is pleasant at least to reflect that he retained his interest in the wild life of that blood-stained field of many battles to the last, and that in his letters to his friends, down to within a few days of the end, he found time to observe the butterflies and birds haunting the limestone hills of the Peninsula, and to send home notes upon them. Undiminished, gay in life, even while the great guns were booming, and the air thick with the smoke of conflict.
Born at Marlborough fifty-six years ago, the youngest son of Major Thomas Manders, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabineers), he was educated at the College which has given us at least another entomologist of the first scientific rank. I do not possess the Transactions of the School Natural History Society, but Colonel Manders often talked with me of his early love for the Lepidoptera of the neighbourhood, and how his first inclinations to entomology were fostered under the beech trees of Savernake. From Marlborough he proceeded to walk the London Hospitals, eventually qualifying as F.E.C.P. and M.E.C.S., preparatory to entering the Army Medical Service, being almost immediately ordered to the Soudan, where he served in the Suakin campaign, and was awarded the Khedive’s Star, with medal and clasp.

Thence he proceeded to Burma where he was severely wounded, and at the close of the war which added Thebaw’s country to the British Empire, received a second medal with two clasps. At the time of — and after — the South African War, he was in Ceylon and Mauritius, whence he began to write the series of interesting papers relative to insect migration and mimicry, published froom time to time in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London, his latest contribution appearing in the ” Proceedings ” of March 3rd, 1915.
His catalogue of the butterflies of Mauritius and Bourbon (1907) considerably enhances his entomological reputation, and our knowledge of the islands’ fauna, and actually added a species, Nacaduba mandersi Druce ; and a new sub-species, Antanartia mauritiana Manders, to the list.

He was also a frequent contributor to the entomological magazines, even finding time for communications despite his multifarious duties in Egypt, where he was stationed when hostilities began, with the rank of Deputy-Director of the Medical Service.

Here he was joined later, and after the declaration of war with Turkey, by Mr. P. P. Graves, and at the beginning of the present year published ” The Butterflies of Lower Egypt” (Ent. Record, XXVII, pp. 60-65).
Colonel Manders was married. He leaves a widow and a daughter, to whom we offer our sincerest sympathy.

Some idea of the reputation he held in his profession, and the respect with which he was held by the entire Command at the Dardanelles front may be gathered from the following telegram receivedby Mrs. Manders from the G. O. C. the New Zealand and Australian Division — units of the immortal Anzac brigade: “On behalf of both myself and the New Zealand and Australian Division, I send our sincerest condolences. Your husband’s work here and devotion to duty make his loss irreparable both to me and to the Division.”
For him, as for the many thousand heroes who have perished in the great enterprise of freedom, may surely be reserved the glorious epitaph of Simonides upon the dead at Plataea :— ” These men, having set a crown of imperishable glory on their own land were folded in the dark cloud of death ; yet being dead
they have not died, since from on high their excellence raises them gloriously out of the house of Hades.” — H. Rowland-Brown.

 

Neville Manders, entomologist, remembered.

The Wartime Garden in Bloom 2015

August 6, 2015

Our first memorial poppy, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, July 2015

Our first memorial poppy, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo, July 2015

August 2015 – our first memorial Poppy finally flowers after two years of seeds!

This is particularly poignant as 2015 is the anniversary of the writing of John MacCrae’s famous WW1 Poppy poem In Flanders Fields.

https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/poppies-poem-anniversary-written-3-may-1915/

The Wartime zookeepers’s garden allotment at Newquay Zoo is coming into ‘Bloom’, thankfully around the time that Britain / SW / Newquay in Bloom judges visited the zoo and Newquay itself recently.

It has been a year for poppies – not all of them real, such as the silk poppies from our Red White  and Blue VE day 70th anniversary  …

VE Day colours in our World War Zoo Gardens at Newquay Zoo  - blue and white edible borage flowers with a splash of red from some silk poppies.

VE Day colours in our World War Zoo Gardens at Newquay Zoo – blue and white edible borage flowers with a splash of red from some silk poppies.

Tower Poppies

Tower Poppies – the  famous, unexpectedly popular and very moving ceramic poppies at The Tower Of London in Autumn 2014.

to the famous, unexpectedly popular and very moving ceramic poppies at The Tower Of London in Autumn 2014.

Many of the blooms are on edible or scented plants, such as these Thyme herbs for animal scent enrichment at Newquay Zoo, great for enriching carnivore and big cat enclosures.

Thyme coming into flower, a good and edible bit of scent enrichment for the animals.

 

Fantastically  fiery colour and taste of nasturtium flowers and leaves

Edible white borage flowers

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More dark red ‘Empress of India’ Edible Nasturtiums  and some surprising Garlic seed heads, much loved by bees and macaque monkeys –

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Alongside queues to see our lively trio of lions, garlic flowers bloom and attract plenty of butterflies, bees and other insects.

Alongside queues to see our lively trio of lions, garlic flowers bloom and attract plenty of butterflies, bees and other insects.

It is BIAZA Big Bug Bonanza week this week (3 to 9 August 2015) in UK in zoos,  celebrating insectsand invertebrates; these edible flowers and garden plants are usually alive with insects.

A disappointing (too dry?) year for Broad Beans, whose simple flowers and smell I love. Many of these beans were saved seed from previous years.

However it’s been better for  colourful Swiss or rainbow chard, often mistaken by visitors for young Rhubarb:

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Thyme in flower and colourful Rainbow chard

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Finally another fantastic small crop of Globe Artichokes, again much loved by our Sulawesi Macaque monkeys. This is their fifth year growing. I tried these for the first time myself this year and wasn’t overwhelmed by them but the monkeys love them.

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Back to my first real Poppy – a flower of remembrance –  posted today 6th August 2015 on the 70th anniversary of the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

Remembering the many lives lost, changed and saved by this event.

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Remembering John Mackenzie Campbell Kew Gardens died 14 July 1915

July 14, 2015

 

Header panel, Kew Gardens War memorial. Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project

Header panel, Kew Gardens War memorial.
Image: Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project

John Mackenzie Campbell is remembered on the Kew Gardens staff war memorial. Unusually he died of heatstroke whilst in training in Canada and is buried in Toronto.

RBG Kew's war memorial, Temple of Arethusa, Kew  (Image copyright :  Kew website)

RBG Kew’s war memorial, Temple of Arethusa, Kew
(Image copyright : Kew website)

After training at Kew, Scottish-born Campbell had been working in Canada since 1908 and volunteered for the Army, serving as  Private John Mackenzie Campbell, 204th Canadian Beavers Infantry Battalion

Toronto Cemetery where J M Campbell is buried. Image: CWGC website

Toronto St. John’s Cemetery where J M Campbell is buried. Image: CWGC website

 

He died and was buried in Toronto (St. John’s Norway) CemeteryToronto, Canada in 1915. His 1917 Kew Guild Journal obituary lists him as dying aged 36 of sunstroke whilst training in Canada, where he worked for the Toronto Parks Department.

Toronto Cemetery where J M Campbell is buried. Image: CWGC website

Toronto Cemetery where J M Campbell is buried. Image: CWGC website

He was born into a family of ten children of Mr. Roderick Campbell of Ardross, Lanarkshire and the late Isabella Campbell. His private headstone exists amongst other IWGC / CWGC headstones, a photograph exists on the TWGPP website. 

His Kew Guild Journal obituary can be read here: http://www.kewguild.org.uk/media/pdfs/v3s24p333-38.pdf

Old Kewites  returned from working in many parts of the Empire to serve in the armed forces in both world wars. You can read more about Campbell and the other Kew Gardens staff casualties at our previous Kew WW1 blogpost “Such is the Price of Empire.” https://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/such-is-the-price-of-empire-the-lost-gardeners-of-kew-in-the-first-world-war/

Remembered.

j mac campbell Kew

 

Remembering Ernest George Gentry Natural History Museum died Ypres 13 July 1915

July 13, 2015

Ernest George Gentry of the British Museum (Natural  History) was killed in Ypres, Flanders, Belgium on 13 July 1915. As Ernest Gentry has no known grave, he is remembered on Panel 34 of  the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial to the missing.

cwgc menin

He died serving as a Lance Corporal, no. 6896 in the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment on 13 July 1915.

Working for what is now the Natural History Museum, his name is included on the staff war memorial near the entrance.

According to his WW1 medal record cards (including a 1915 Star), after enlisting in Shepherds Bush, Middlesex and undergoing training, he entered the France ‘Theatre of War’ on 25 May 2015. He appears to have been amongst reinforcements to this regular army battalion which arrived in France in January 1915.

The www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk website has digitised the original typed war diaries which record day by day what happened to the 2nd East Surreys. The website records of the 2nd East Surreys  that “of the 1000 who went up the line [in 1915] only 200 survived in just 5 days of action.”

I can’t find a surviving WW1  service record for Ernest Gentry. Other Ranks are not mentioned by name in the unit’s war diary. Gentry may have been amongst the draft of 25 men who arrived on 27th or the 119 who arrived on 28th May 1915.

The 2nd Battalion East Surreys (The Glasgow Grays) were being reinforced for losses sustained in an earlier gas attack and fighting during the Battles of St Julien and Frezenberg as part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915.

On the 13th July the Battalion was in trenches again “casualties to noon killed two, wounded 2” including 2 /Lt. F. L.Carter , a “Quiet day”.

One of those casualties was likely to have been Gentry, who has no known grave.  The other 2nd East Surrey casualty is probably Private H. F. Aldridge killed on 12 July 1915 and reburied at Voormzeele Enclosure No. 3 Cemetery, Ypres.

The Natural History Museum archives website lists Gentry’s museum career as being appointed ‘boy attendant’ in Department of Zoology around 8 May 1899 (corroborated by an entry in the Edinburgh Gazette 9/5/99 p. 463 Civil Service Commission), becoming an attendant 26 August 1903 and transferring to the Department of Botany in 1910.

Ernest was born in 6 May 1884 to Richard Gentry, a Police Sergeant (1891) living in Fulham and later (1907) Travelling Agent. Ernest had 6 surviving sisters and brothers who thankfully survived the war.

In the 1911 census Ernest is listed as a Civil Servant (Attendant) at 32 Delvino Road, Fulham alongside his growing family.  On 28 March 1907  he married Hilda Mary French (1887-1952)  of 25 Onslow Gardens, Kensington, daughter of Joshua French, an Engineer.  By the time he died, they had several young children: Dorothy Hilda Gentry (1908-1987), Ernest Charles Gentry (1909-1996) and George Richard Gentry (1912-1982)

Ernest George Gentry, remembered. 

 

Gilbert Ramsay art gallery curator killed Gallipoli 12 July 1915

July 12, 2015

I have been reading a very interesting book by Gaynor Kavanagh, Museums and the First World War published by Leicester University Press, the product no doubt of Leicester’s excellent Museum Studies Programme.

gaynor kavanagh

Gaynor Kavanagh’s book is an interesting parallel to what I have been researching about how institutions such as zoos and botanic gardens survived the challenges of both world wars. Staffing challenges and casualties, evacuation of collections, closure or requisition of buildings, air raid precautions and damage  – there are many similarities between the wartime stories of museums and zoos, or between galleries and botanic gardens and other ‘places of entertainment’.

Describing them all as places of entertainment seems a little frivolous. However as the zoologists at London Zoo or botanists at Kew, camoufleur artists from galleries and the art world or geologists and scientists from museum collections found, they often had extremely useful skills in wartime ranging from geology to sanitation, cryptic camouflage to food production, pest control to code-breaking and intelligence work.

Early on in my research I read the story of how Britain’s Art Treasures were hidden away underground, whilst more recently I have been reading Gerri Chanel’s remarkable story Saving Mona Lisa about how the treasures of the French museums and galleries (including the Mona Lisa) were saved and hidden in occupied France during WW2. A staff war memorial for the Musee Nationaux casualties exists in Galerie Denon, Louvre for both WW 1 and WW2

Sadly one recurrent theme across many sites, especially in the First World War, was the casualty lists.

One of the Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery staff, its director Gilbert Ramsay, was another 1915 casualty at Gallipoli. The previous director James Paton, who had retired in 1914 aged 71, stepped back into the post until 1919.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/687342/RAMSAY,%20GILBERT%20ANDERSON

Lance Corporal Gilbert Anderson Ramsay, No. 2253 died in Gallipoli on 12 July 1915 aged 35, serving with the 6th Battalion (City of Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry (Territorials) in Gallipoli.

Helles Memorial to the missing of the Gallipoli campaign, Dardanelles, Turkey.  (Image: CWGC website)

Helles Memorial to the missing of the Gallipoli campaign, Dardanelles, Turkey.
(Image: CWGC website)

He has no known grave and  is remebered on Panel 174 of the Helles Memorial to the missing of the Gallipoli campaign. The Additional Information listed by CWGC describes him as the “son of Mr. G. A. Ramsay, of Glenlee, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. A Director of Glasgow Art Galleries.”

Ramsay also features on the Glasgow Art Club war memorial, pictured here: http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ntopic3063.html

and on the Glasgow School of Art War Memorial where he was a student.

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour gives further biographical details: Born on 7 June 1880 in Greenock, educated at Greenock Academy and Glasgow School of Art before becoming an architect. He was director of the Whitechapel  Art Gallery from 1911-14, before being appointed to be Superintendent (Director) of Glasgow Corporation Art Galleries in May 1914. By Oct 1914 he had enlisted and arrived in Gallipoli in May (medal card says July) 1915. He was killed “whilst charging with his regiment” on 12 July 1915.

Lucinda Matthews-Jones’ blog A Historian’s Tears notes of Ramsay’s involvement with the Toynbee Hall university settlement in the East End, during his Whitechapel Gallery years.

http://lucindamatthewsjones.com/2013/07/29/the-historians-tears-toynbee-hall-first-world-war-obituaries/

“Most of these men were unmarried and childless. As the obituary of Gilbert Anderson Ramsay commented on his death in July 1915 ‘he was struck by a shell, and instantly killed. So died, in his thirty-sixth year, childless and unmarried, one of the most gifted, and surely one of the most lovable of Toynbee men’. Ramsay was instrumental in the decorative schemes of Toynbee in the Edwardian period and he worked tirelessly at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. His weekend jaunts with fellow settlers to Essex were remembered with fondness together with his ability to cook chops. For Francis Gordon Shirreff, Ramsay’s death forced him to ‘look upon an empty world’ and ask ‘Can anything, however, high and holy, repay the loss of such a life? So we ask ourselves in our utter desolation? But the measure of our loss, is in reality, the measure of our reply. All we loved is in the dust: all we loved has laid it there’ (December 1915)…

His time at Whitechapel Art Gallery http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/about/history/ was at an interesting and exciting time for British art:

“However, in 1914 proposals for an exhibitian of Twentieth Century Art, organised by Aitken and Gilbert Ramsey, who had become Director when Aitken moved to the Tate, caused Henrietta Barnett to write to plead with them “not to get too many examples of the extreme thought of this century, for we must never forget that the Whitechapel Gallery is intended for Whitechapel people, who have to be delicately led and will not understand the Post impressionist or futuristic methods of seeing or representing things”

Letter to Ramsay by Barnett, 7 Feb 1914 (Whitechapel Art Gallery archives) Quoted from the Passmore Edwards website. http://www.passmoreedwards.org.uk/pages/history/Libraries/Whitechapel%20art%20gallery/history%202.htm

This 20th Century Art: A Review of Modern Movements summer  exhibition did eventually open at Whitechapel Art Gallery from 8 May to 20 June 1914, by which time Ramsay was heading for Glasgow. Just over a year later Ramsay was dead at Gallipoli. The Toynbee Art Club exhibitions ran from 1911 to 1915 and then continued postwar.

The  20th Century Art summer exhibition is widely covered in many books including an article (11)  by Juliet Steyn p. 212. – 230 entitled “Inside Out: Assumptions of ‘English Modernism’ in the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Summer 1914” in  Art Apart: Art Institutions and Ideology Across England and North America  (edited By Marcia R. Pointon) and  also  London, Modernism, and 1914 by Michael J. K. Walsh.

The tiny number of paintings in the exhibition  by the few Futurists and Cubist artists received disproportionate coverage out the 494 works of art featured, but these featured artists such as Bomberg, Nevinson and Wyndham-Lewis are now seen by some as prophetic of and highly influenced by the coming war. Their war art regularly  features in visual representations of the dehumanised battlefield, industrial slaughter and mechanised warfare of the First World War.

Gilbert Ramsay, art gallery curator, remembered amongst the dead of Gallipoli.

Posted by: Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo, World War Zoo Gardens project

In future blog posts I will feature the British Museum staff war memorial names starting  this centenary anniversary  with the death this week in 1915 of  E. George Gentry.


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