100 years ago, on 30 January 1915, a charity International rugby match was played at the County Ground in Northampton between Scotland and England, arranged to help Olney resident, former Saints captain and England international Edgar Mobbs recruit sportsmen to his own World War One battalion. To commemorate the centenary and honour the 16 Olney players who were killed in the Great War, Olney RFC is hosting a special event and two memorial rugby matches, with Edgar Mobbs’ family in attendance, on Saturday 24 January 2015, where current players from the East Midlands region will line up against The 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and Olney Ladies will face the Army Womens XV.
The event will include a display of rugby memorabilia and wartime photos of Olney sportspeople, and is supported by the Cowper and Newton Museum, the Royal British Legion, and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Chairman of Olney Rugby Club, Jarlath McElroy, said: “Edgar Mobbs was both a sporting and war hero and we are proud to be hosting these matches with the support of his family and the Army. A century on from that famous game, we are set for an enthralling encounter. The day will be a fitting tribute to an exceptional man, a special piece of history, and to the many sportsmen from Olney and across the region who lost their lives in World War One.”
Olney RFC and Cowper and Newton Museum are working in partnership with Great War MK to deliver this event.
Individual stories of the soldiers named on the War Memorial in Simpson village, Milton Keynes are being written up and presented on the anniversary of each death. Having researched the lives and service history of each soldier, Peter Barnes, has collated the information to produce these moving memorials to the men that served in the Great War from this small village.
The image above shows Arthur Eaton’s memorial (anniversary 20th November), which can be viewed here: Arthur Rose
William Eaton has also been commemorated in this way (anniversary 1st September), his document can be viewed here: William Eaton
Collected below are a selection of the reviews and comments we received after Rosemary Hill’s productions of ‘Nellie’ and ‘Your Loving Brother Albert’ in November. Behind-the-scenes photographs courtesy of Karen Kodish.
‘I can’t resist expressing my pleasure and gratitude in what you and your company delivered last night. The pleasure needs no explanation; it comes from seeing those two plays performed so well by mostly young casts, backed up by a superb, professional, creative team.
The gratitude is to you, personally, for treating the two scripts with such great respect. The young women in Nellie were a joy because they captured the spirit of Nellie and her friends and conveyed that mixture of fun, mischief and adventure, which they had in abundance in spite of the austerity of working class life, for women in particular, at the beginning of the 20th century. The irrepressible urge to live life to the full and to pour energy into the life of the community makes a powerful prelude to the war play that follows, where we witness that life force so abused and so grotesquely extinguished…’ Roy Nevitt – https://www.facebook.com/GreatWarMK
‘In the wake of the 2014 Centenary director Rosemary Hill, having been approached to showcase these two plays, brings us two local stories which bring two different viewpoints of life during World War One to life from the stage of Radcliffe School Theatre in Wolverton. I’ll admit this much, I’d been looking forward this since Armistice Day on Tuesday at 11am when I was at work and all the machines were switched off, everyone went quiet and you could quite probably have heard a pin drop for those two minutes…’ Adam Wilby –https://adamwilby.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/nellie-your-loving-brother-albert-15th-november-2014/
‘Any doubts that the effects of the Great War did not filtrate right through to the heart of England are quickly dispelled in Pepper’s Ghost latest production of the celebrated community plays of the Eighties, devised by champions of the genre, Roy Nevitt and Roger Kitchen: ‘Nellie’ and ‘Your Loving Brother Albert’, and directed with her usual panache by Rosemary Hill…’ Neil Beardmore – https://www.facebook.com/GreatWarMK
‘An excellent community event. The two plays contrast with each other beautifully. The life of a young women from Wolverton who survived the war and the story of a young man who didn’t. It is very important to keep telling these stories of one generation to those who come after them.’ Maggie Nevitt