Cam War Memorial - Kathryn's history blog

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Cam War Memorial

In the immediate aftermath of the Armistice, proposals were suggested by Cam Parish Council for a war memorial on the top of Cam Peak. A tower was suggested with flagpoles, to be made of white Portland Stone, the material favoured by the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission in many of the national memorials to the war, including the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. This would certainly have been very impressive, as it could have been seen from across Cam and beyond, but unfortunately it was estimated that the purchase and transportation of the stone by train (not to mention getting it to the top of the hill) would have cost in the region of £1,500. At a modern cost of more than £30,000, this was deemed to be too expensive and another site had to be found instead.



Despite suggestions such as the Jubilee Tree (at the modern junction between Knapp Lane and the High Street), its location on Hopton Road was finally agreed upon after a lot of indecision and bickering between the Parish Council and the specially formed War Memorial Committee. It was built in front of the school where many of the men had been educated and was inclusive of both Upper and Lower Cam. Simultaneously the vicar of Lower Cam was organising a smaller memorial to be placed outside St. Bartholomew's. Both were funded by public subscription. It is also notable that Cam deliberately chose a location and memorial which weren't religious. Unlike many villages' churchyard crosses, the Cam memorial has a lantern top to its obelisk. However, it isn't entirely secular as the epitaph on the middle tier of the base bears a biblical verse from Samuel 25:16:

'They were a wall unto us both by night and day'

 (L-R) Martin Lamb's memorial plaque and one side of the Second World War addition to the memorial.

The memorial was designed by Percy Burnell Tubbs, a London architect who also designed the Wotton-under-Edge memorial, and was completed in early 1921. The top tier of the base, which is covered by the memorial wreaths in the top photo, contains the names of the fallen soldiers, while the Second World War names are added above it, on the square bottom of the obelisk post. A further name has been added to the bottom tier: Martin Lamb who died in Afghanistan in 2011.


'In Ever Grateful Remembrance of the Men of Cam who Fell in the War 1914-1918'
The front side of the memorial's top tier. Unfortunately the string which was holding the wreaths onto the memorial is in each of these photos, but I hope you are still able to read the names. In both Upper and Lower Cam there are rolls of honour dedicated to all who served in the war. Using these, I have colour-coded the names on the memorial. Blue is Upper Cam and red is Lower Cam. Those in black don't appear on either. The full rolls can be found here: Upper / Lower


Victor ALDER
Gregory ALLEN
Pierce ALLEN
Albert T. BALL
Oscar BIDDELL
Stephen J. BILLETT
Cyril BRIDGES
Walter BROWNING
William C BUTCHER
Edgar BUTCHER
Frank COOPEY
Charles COOPEY
Reginald CROSS
Frank CURTIS

Walter Browning is also commemorated on the Slimbridge memorial.  Frank and Charles Coopey are brothers, of The Quarry, Cam. Albert T. Ball is one of two Cam men who are commemorated on the  Basra Memorial in  Iraq, alongside Elijah G. Woodward. The men died a year apart but had both been serving with the 7th battalion Glosters, who had gone to Iraq to support the Indian Army, following their evacuation from Gallipoli. 




Percival J. DAVIS
John DAY
Ivor FRENCH
Frank R. GAPPER
Charles J. GILES
Frederick GREENWAY
Ralph HILL
Leonard HILL
William IRELAND
Edgar KEEP
Gilbert LYDIARD
Frederick MEDCROFT
Cyril S. MILLMAN



Leonard Hill and Edgar Keep are also commemorated on the Stinchcombe war memorial and Frederick Medcroft on Slimbridge. William Ireland's family lived at the Railway Inn, Station Road. There is a plaque dedicated to Frank Gapper in St. George's Church.
Gilbert MORGAN
William PAUL
Herbert POOLE
James REEVES
Frederick REEVES
Francis B. ROBERTS
Alfred SMITH
Frank SMITH
Percival E. SMITH
Leo SPARROW
Alec L. TAYLOR
Reginald TERRY
Archibald THORNHILL
Orris G. WATTS



James and Frederick Reeves were brothers from Cam Green, who both worked in the production of cloth: James with leather and, I think, Frederick at Cam Mills. Archibald Thornhill is one of the three soldiers buried at St. Bartholomew's Church in Cam, along with Charles Coopey and Richard Worthington. There is a memorial plaque for Francis Roberts in St. George's Church.

Rex WISE
William WHITFIELD
Elijah G. WOODWARD
Thomas O. WORKMAN
G. Handel S. WORKMAN
Richard F. WORTHINGTON






The interestingly-named G. Handel S. Workman was a carpenter from Chapel Street whose full name was George Handel Samuel Workman. I'm not sure where 'Handel' comes from, but he used this as his chosen name as his father was also called George.

I have written two further blog posts about the rolls of honour at the two churches and the individual graves and memorials which you can find here: St. George's, Upper Cam and St. Bartholomew's, Lower Cam.

Kathryn
PS. If you would like to know more about any of the Cam soldiers, or have any information to offer about the village during the First World War please do get in touch either by commenting below or by email (found on the about page).


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