October 1st, 2016

Historian seeks information on First World War

Updated: 5:12 pm, May 06, 2015

A VALE historian has appealed for information about various aspects the First World War ahead of the commemorations in Evesham this summer.

Jeff King spoke to the Observer on behalf of Evesham’s Royal British Legion (RBL) to appeal for help as part of preparations to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict in August 1914.

He is currently in the process of collating information for an exhibit in the town which will be opened this summer.

Information is particularly welcome about the Evesham and District War Veteran’s Association Standard.

Despite having the standard in his possession, all Mr King knows about the item is it was carried by the late Don Jelfs, a dedicated RBL member for many years.

“He handed this to me as the then chairman of the Evesham RBL and he was only able to tell me that it was made by the Women of Fairfield in the then Church Hall on the corner of Mayfair and Battleton Road.” he said.

“All I can say about this is that it was made many years ago and I am seeking information of and from any of these artistic ladies who helped make this very elegant standard.

“It has been paraded with great dignity and followed by some very proud gentlemen for many Remembrance Sunday and other parades in the memory of their fallen comrades.”

Jeff is also putting together a list of Worcestershire heroes who were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth Forces.

Any information about recipients who were born or were resident in Worcestershire before, during or after their service to the country will be welcomed.

Another intreguing story for Jeff is the tale of Cecil Knight-Coutts MC who served in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) during the First World War and reached the rank of Captain.

He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in 1917 but little is known about Cecil other than his time as science teacher at

Bengeworth School after he completed his army service.

Cecil’s wife Gertrude was headmistress at the same time and he was also a dedicated member of the Evesham British Legion and also a Special Constable in the Evesham police force

Gertrude died in 1950 and Cecil died in 1971 at the age of 91.

“I think this brief information should stir a few memories from some Evesham citizens and I will be please to visit you to gain whatever information you have.” Jeff added.

Anyone with information can call Jeff King on 01386 443923 or e-mail nosmo2king@aol.com.

Information is being sought on how the Evesham and District War Veteran’s Association standard came to be made. (s)

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