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Naming the Men Peterborough WWI

Over Rembrance Weekend an emotional tribute was held in Peterborough to those who died in WWI from the city.

1177 men from Peterborough died in WWI from 1914-1918 along with 1 woman which was a significant proportion of the town that existed at the time. Peterborough has massively grown from about 30,000 to 190,000 people many of which will know little or nothing of the history of the town during WWI. 

Most of the people in the city do not know the names of these men who died in WWI or their stories and with the Centenary of The Armistice approaching on the 11th November it is time that their names were once again spoken aloud and their stories told and their deaths in the service of the country is remembered and commemorated.

On the 9th and 10th November all of their names were read aloud in Cathedral Square and some of their stories will be told.

PPS were delighted to be able to print the commemorative postcards that told some of the stories of the men and the city that were handed out to the public as the name is read out of every man who was written on the postcards.

The postcards were created and designed by Peterborough WWI Commemoration Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill.

Charron Pugsley-Hill has been creating a series of art commemorating WWI a hundred years on and her work has included THE SKY OF POPPIES in Queensgate Shopping Centre in 2015, THE BLANKET OF POPPIES which Commemorates nurse Edith Cavell, THE LONELY ANZAC BLANKET remembering the Lonely ANZAC who lies in Broadway Cemetery, and is a ghost at the Museum and many other paintings created on the lands of France and Belgium.

The local paper The Peterborough Advertiser was keeping a weekly count in 1914 of what it called The temperature of Peterboroughs patriotism. It kept a count of the men aged 19-38 who had joined The Northamptonshire Regiments. The first thermometer dated the 21st November stood at 1320, this was only a few months after the war began.

Milton Hall, Peterborough was turned into a hospital for 40 wounded during the early days of the war. It was described by Inspectors as “admirable in every way”. Friends and family provided all that was needed including screens, blankets and the beds.

The long gallery was the main ward. Fine oil paintings stared down at the patients in their plain hard beds with blue patterned quilts. The NCOs with their delightfully figured pink coverlets on their beds were in the Reynolds room that looked out across the deer park.

Other rooms were used for reading, recreation, smoking and bathing with these including the wards in charge of Sister Mary of the London Hospital. Local doctors gave their services for free.

Mrs Fitzwilliam stated “ this accommodation is just for Tommy, We do not ask for officers, for they can invariably get amongst their own circle. “

As we come to close over Remembrance Sunday - "We will never forget"

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