CHIPPENHAM WAR MEMORIALS
Although a small market town in North Wiltshire, the men of Chippenham played their
part in the First and Second world wars, as well as subsequent conflicts, by volunteering to serve in the
country's armed forces. Sadly, the town paid a high price for the acts of patriotism in the
number of men who did not return. This is visible today in the quantity of war
memorial and the number of names inscribed on them around the town.
In this site, I have tried to add personal details to each of
the names inscribed on the memorials. Hopefully in this way the men will
become more 'real' rather than just a bare name on the memorial.
Each memorial is listed on it's own page. The page gives details about the
memorial and the list of men inscribed there. The names are linked to the
details of each person.
Unfortunately the details on the memorials can be as little as surname and initial.
With this little information I have managed to trace most of the men but some
details are still sketchy if not blank. If you are able to help complete the
contact me so
that I can update the site and make it a complete record of the men from
Chippenham who gave their lives for this country.
The site has a pages which lists all the men
and the memorials on which they are listed. It quickly became apparent that a
man could appear on more than one memorial. View
the Memorials page to see who is listed on which memorial.
Perhaps the largest and least known memorial in
Chippenham part of the Pewsham estate. This was built in the early 80s on the
east of Chippenham. Rather than using all the usual street names, Chippenham
Council decided to name the streets after men whose names appear on the
memorial. Effectively a large part of the estate has become a war memorial. I
doubt very much if many if any of the residents of those streets or even
Chippenham know who the streets are named after - I know I didn't until I was
told by the former Chippenham Museum Curator who had been asked to draw up a
suitable list of names.
During the my research for the site, I have found details on a number of
men that appear to have been left off the memorials for whatever reason. For
reasons of completeness, I have included them in this site. View these names
that are not on any
memorial. In 2006, the Royal British Legion and Town Council raised funds
to refurbish the Town Memorial and asked for any names which were missing so
they could be recorded. I put forward names, I had but due to the number of
names, it was decided that only the families should put forward the names. I
initially disagreed with this decision but on reflection, it was the right
decision. If a relatives decided at the time not to have the soldier's name on
the memorial and their decision should be respected. Although with the passing
of time, it is almost impossible to say if the name was left off at the
request of the family or because they were forgotten.
Whilst talking about those who have been left
off the memorials, I found a whole group of Chippenham people do not appear on
any memorials in the Town when they were killed because of enemy action. These
are the civilians who were killed in enemy air raids or through accidents due
to the war.
I have included details of the servicemen who
are buried in the Chippenham cemeteries. Most were not from Chippenham but
died in the local area and were not returned to their home towns. The majority
seem to have been from RAF Hullavington and were killed in aircraft crashes
whilst learning to fly. Why they were not buried at Hullavington is a decision
that appears to have been lost over the years.
The site is still very much work in progress
and will be updated with any new material I find. I would very much like to
add photos of the headstones / memorial inscriptions for each person so if you
have a photo of these, please send me a copy. I have higher quality copies of
most of the photos on the site, if you would like a copy, again please contact
me. I have tried to acknowledge those who have let me use the photos I have
used on the site. I apologise if your name is not credited. Again let me know
and I will correct it. Otherwise all photos are ones that I have taken. I am
indebted to Dave Adams who very generously let have his notes for when he was
researching for the Council so they could name the streets in Pewsham. The
notes have formed the basis of many background notes on the names.
If you are interested in a particular person, please
and I will let you know if I have any further details or photos that haven't
been uploaded so far.