Irregular 2 & 3

7th November 2018

The second and  third editions of ‘The Irregular’ were released  together  in November 2018 as joint WW1 Armistice editions and to coincide with our 3 day Armistice Exhibition on 9th, 10th, 11th November. As with Irregular 1, we have not limited our authors to writing just about people and happenings within our local parish boundaries, but have linked our local people and area to experiences they would have been through – such as issues prompted by ‘The Defence of the Realm Act’ – which had a direct impact on their lives.

Bringing Irregular 2 & 3 to you together has been a great feat: 2 editions, 8 new writer/researchers, 11 Authors, 24 Articles, 400 pages, 60,000 words. Plus the Trail leaflet and the Exhibition brought to you by the same core team!

Thanks to the generosity of Nottinghamshire Local History Association, it has been possible to produce larger than normal editions of The Irregular.

As usual these editions are well illustrated, mainly by images from the Society’s Archives.

Irregular 2 opens with Pat Morgan’s and Charlie Stothard’s ‘Collingham and Brough Great War Village Trail’. The article accompanies a fold out leaflet which was separately produced and distributed. Pat has documented and located the shops and their owners, which local soldiers would have known. Charlie has identified the soldiers and many of their homes.

Bridget Castle then looks at Collingham through an initial analysis of the 1901 and 1911 census, emphasising issues such as population and occupation, and picking out some of the people highlighted in the census.

In two articles, John Forman takes a broader perspective and briefly explores some national and local issues concerning farming during the war and of course, Collingham Carrots!

Jeremy Lodge then explores the menacing international undercurrents; issues of which most people were blissfully unaware, as we drifted inexorably towards war at this time.

In contrast to the international machinations introduced by Jeremy, the people of Britain and Collingham were involved in celebrations for the 1911 Coronation of George V and the associated Celebration of Empire, illustrated in Sylvia Woodhurst’s article.

Adrian Sunman’s article describes the great changes leading up to and during the war, which saw horse, steam and petrol engine sharing our roads.

Drawing on national and local perspectives, Pat Smedley then explores key health and welfare issues of the time.

Irregular 2 closes with Keith Morgan’s continuing exploration of Collingham’s public houses, this time concentrating on the Great War period.

Irregular 3 begins with another article by Jeremy Lodge, featuring the local tradition of military volunteers (and the Irregulars from whom the journal title is in part taken) including the Boy Scouts, their role and aspect of their culture at that time.

Britain found itself at war with Germany on 4th August 1914. On 8th August the first of several variations and subsequent amendments of the far reaching ‘Defence of the Realm Act’ (DORA) was introduced. Pat Smedley covers the extent of state control prompted by the act and how it proved to be the precursor to later nationalisation of many aspects of industry and life.

Pat then follows with another article, describing the processes and pressures of volunteering, acceptance into the army and the training experienced by our future warriors experienced on their journey from Collingham civilians to soldiers in France and elsewhere.

Russ Shand then describes the work of the local military tribunals, established to challenge and decide the fate of those who did not wish to be called up, after conscription was introduced in 1916.

Janet Kelly writes of one of the great successes of the war – how we managed to move so many letters, cards and parcels so quickly, accurately and efficiently, between Britain and France during the war.

John Forman then returns with a discussion of the Heavy Draught Horse, which was so important to the farms at home and the Army on and behind the front-line.

Anne Speed looks at school life in the parish of Collingham during the war; the experiences and life of local schoolchildren and their teachers.

Russ Shand follows with an examination of local policing at that time.

Pat Morgan returns to highlight the difficulties of keeping our families fed during the war.

Bridget Castle introduces the phenomenon of embroidered ‘sweethearts’, which soldiers, sailors and airman sent to their loved ones at home.

Another logistical and organisational issue faced by the country at war, was how to care for and return the wounded home to Blighty. This issue is explored in an article by Sue Fleet.

At last the Armistice came. Sylvia Woodhurst then asks ‘did November 11th 1918 bring peace to the country?’

There was obviously much discontent during the war, one aspect of which was highlighted by a contemporary imagination of a 1919 Collingham peace procession, found in our Archives. Unfortunately the author is unknown. Jeremy has written a brief introduction on the relevance of humour in wartime and in times of strife. However the core of the article is the creativity sparked by the 1919 piece, resulting in a poem by David Scott and pictures by three of our talented local artists: Jean Wright, Harry Constantine and Ingrid Wiggins.

Finally, two lists of names commemorate the men associated with Collingham; those who fought and those who did not return. Please let us know if we have inadvertently missed anyone and please forward any biographical details and photographs, which we can copy and return to you, to the Society, care of the Collingham Archives or one of our Trustees listed elsewhere on this website.