Bridgwater Heritage Group

War Memorials
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Images of Bridgwater during and after the First World War

Stephen Pope, Principal Researcher of the First Tank Crews Project, has kindly informed us that this is a Mark IV female tank, meaning it was a tank which would have been fitted with Lewis machine guns. Its number 211 indicates it was used as a training vehicle either at Bovington or in France and was unlikely to have seen action.

A postcard showing the Cornhill and the Blake Statue covered in boards for a drive to sell war bonds. This event, 'Business Men's Boom Week' was held 4th to 9th March 1918. Another board from the event seems to have survived here. At £2,500 each, the target of £42500 would have bought seventeen aeroplanes.

In July 1919 Bridgwater raised £162,327 for 'Victory Loan Week', far in excess of the £100,000 expected. In reward the town was presented with a tank the following October, which was placed at the top of St John Street near the Railway Station, as can be seen here, on a concrete plinth. The number 211 can be seen on the side. It is not exactly clear how long the town kept this tank, some suggestion being that it remained there until being taken for scrap during the second war. Bridgwater was also presented with a gun, although where that was kept is also unclear.

The War Memorial in King Square being unveiled on 25 September 1924. No publication details. Postmark Bridgwater 28 September 1924. Sent to Mrs D Bastin, 52 Longbrook Street, Exeter, Devon. Message: 'Dear Dollie, Just to let you know I have had a lovely time here though it has been wet. Whilst they were unveiling the memorial it poured with rain and I could not go to see P. Sorry I haven't had time to write before, love from Ma. XXXX'. Note the people standing on platforms over the wall in the former timber yard (this is now occupied by the council offices). Also note the huge mass of the old glasscone in the distance. Part of the Cattermole Collection.

The War Memorial, King Square, Bridgwater. Publisher 'F H Light, the Cornhill Library, Bridgwater, no. 80590'. Unposted and undated, sometime between 1924 and 1939, probably the late 20s given the car in the background. Note the two small children on the grass. Part of the Cattermole Collection.

Webpage M. Kerr-Peterson March 2017. All Content © Bridgwater Heritage Group, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, do not reproduce material without permission.

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