A Subdued Christmas in Abingdon 100 years ago

December 24, 2014

During 2014 there have been a number of events in Abingdon commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I.
Subdued Christmas
Abingdon Library are still collecting information about people from Abingdon who served in WWI.

In the Abingdon Free Press and Didcot News, 100 years ago, there is a comment that Christmas celebrations, at home, should be subdued because of the vacant places round the hearths of many families with sons, and older brothers, serving in places of danger – even more so, because of bereavements – “Weep with those who weep.”
Subdued Christmas
The Oxford Picture Journal published pictures of service men killed or injured from Oxford and surroundings towns and villages. Those pictured as killed in action from Abingdon included:
Private King of 22 Ock Street killed on Sep 10 1914 at Mons in Belgium
Private Bowler of 54 Vineyard  killed  Sep 18 1914 in Belgium
Lance Corporal Luker of 24 West St Helen Street killed Oct 1914
Private Alford of Winterbourne Road
Private Stanley of 8 Ock Street killed Oct 28 1914 at Zonnebeke in Belgium
Private Denton of Victoria Road killed Oct 21 1914 in Belgium
Private Blagrove of 202 Ock Street killed Nov 13 1914  at Zonnebeke in Belgium

The Free Press also mentioned that the members of the Royal Naval Air Service, billeted in Abingdon, had arranged a ‘capital’ concert at the YMCA Social Club Rooms in Ock Street.

In the same paper there is another comment – some local traders were asking why fewer service men were billeted in Abingdon compared to other towns. Service men were good for trade.

Filed under: Christmas, war

3 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Old Ghost  |  December 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    That’s already a high toll on a small market town from a few months of a long war. Gives me pause for thought whilst England is (briefly) without an armed conflict.

    I’d like to thank you Backstreeter for another year of your generous and impeccably reported blog of my much mIssed home town. Happy Christmas to you all!

  • 2. ppjs  |  December 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

    A Happy Christmas to one and all – and (as Old Ghost writes) a special thanks to Backstreeter.

  • 3. Janet  |  December 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    On the birthday of Jesus we join with him to wish for peace in the world and goodwill to all men.

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