Leamington History Group is very grateful to Dick Fisk for allowing us to display this amazing map on our website as we will soon celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War (The Great War, The War to End Wars). You will probably find it quite overwhelming and will need to zoom into areas of special interest to you.
We reproduce Dick’s introduction to the map below:-
There are nearly 550 names on the Leamington Spa War Memorial in Euston Place, of local men who lost their lives in the First World War (1914 -1918/19). Column after column of names in alphabetical order. A to C, C to K, K to S and S to Y. Column after column after column. This is a map of Leamington Spa circa 1923, using an idea taken from the CWGC Michelin maps of France and Belgium, which identify the location of the cemeteries where our fallen soldiers lie. This map attempts to show where our local men lived in Leamington, and the impact their loss would have had on the town and streets where they lived. There will be inaccuracies on the map as such a lot has changed in the town in the last 100 years. Whole rows of houses have been demolished and cleared. Some 45 sets of brothers, killed in the conflict, were found and their names displayed here, including the 4 Russell Brothers from Albion Row (Wise Street).
Arthur Forbes Kilby, VC, MC, Captain, 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. Parents lived at ‘Skelton House,’ Arlington Street (now Arlington Avenue). Killed in action near Le Bassee during the Battle of Loos, Saturday, 25th September 1915, aged 30. He is buried in the Arras Road cemetery, Roclincourt, Pas de Calais, France.
Edward George Sirett, aged 19, UCpl, Gloucestershire Regiment. Youngest son of Mr and Mrs Caleb Sirett, 16 Clarendon Square, killed in action on Monday, 11th November 1918. The last day of the Great War. Before the war he was employed as an apprentice in the book department of Burgis & Colbourne (now House of Fraser) He had only been at the front a few days when he was killed. He is buried in the Landrecies British cemetery, Nord, France.
THE POPPY LEGEND. The Poppy Legend originated in China. A white flower from which a potent drug was distilled was called the “Flower of Forgetfulness”. Genghis Khan brought some of the seed westward, but after a battle the flower became red, in the centre of each was a cross. It was found on many battlefields, when everything else had been laid waste. The landscape was soon ablaze with the blood red blooms. On the Somme battlefield in 1917 (and again after the war was over) the land burst forth in a blaze of scarlet with patches of yellow charlock and white chamomile. Many graves of those buried near the Front Line were soon marked by the charlock due to the seeds being released when the grave was dug. Lord Macaulay drew attention to the strange link of the poppy with battle and put forward the suggestion it should be regarded as the Flower of Sacrifice and Memorial.
Dick Fisk, March 2017
Bibliography and Acknowledgements
1. The County of Warwickshire Roll of Honour, 1914 – 2005, Vol. 1 South Warwickshire, by Keith Fowler.
2. Before Endeavours Fade by Rose Coombs, MBS.
3. Spennells Directory 1914.
4. Kellys Directory 1940.
5. Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).
6. The Leamington History Group.
7. Richard Blenkinsop.
8. Leamington Library.