Rededication of 6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment First World War Memorial at The Mount Without, Bristol on 25 November 2021

Two years’ work came to fruition when the six wooden panels commemorating 842 men of the 6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment were rededicated in an 11am service led by The Venerable Neil Warwick, Archdeacon of Bristol.

The Venerable Neil Warwick, Archdeacon of Bristol welcomes everyone to the rededication service

Along with regulars from our Western Front Footsteps battlefield tours and many well-known faces from Bristol’s history scene we were joined by Norman Routledge and Michèle Jetzer from The Mount Without, without whom the rehanging of the panels would not have been possible.

Rifleman Daniel Kemp, our bugler from The Rifles

The military were represented by Rifleman Daniel Kemp, a bugler from The Rifles and we were joined by relatives of six men listed on the memorial panels as well as relatives of two more men who served in the 6th Battalion and survived the war.

Clive Burlton describing the history of the memorial and its restoration

After a welcome and introduction from Neil Warwick, Clive offered some thanks to those who made the rededication possible and spoke about the memorial’s history from its inception after the war, through its survival of a 1941 bombing raid on Bristol that destroyed the Battalion Headquarters and its subsequent move to the church in 1949. He also told those gathered about the 2016 fire in the church and our subsequent rescue work to ensure the memorial was removed and conserved by Cliveden Conservation and rehung earlier this month.

Jeremy Banning speaking about the battles in which the 6th Gloucesters fought and giving information on some of the men commemorated on the panels

Next, Jeremy discussed the 1/6th and 2/6th Battalions and their actions at Fromelles, the Somme, Third Ypres and Cambrai, focusing on the losses sustained. He also provided biographical information on a number of the men commemorated on the panels. Some of these stories are displayed on interpretative information boards that we have had installed around the wooden memorial panels.

The Venerable Neil Warwick, Archdeacon of Bristol rededicating the memorial panels

After the rededication by Neil Warwick the Last Post was sounded by Rifleman Daniel Kemp. This was followed by one minute’s silence, Reveille and the laying of a wreath by two pupils of the next-door Willow Park C of E Primary School.

The wreath laying undertaken impeccably by two children from Willlow Park C of E Primary School

Other crosses were left by relatives of men who had been killed or served. Dean Marks gave Laurence Binyon’s Exhortation and the service was brought to an end by a final blessing and prayer from Neil Warwick.

In the crypt we had an eight-minute film running on a loop showing the 4th and 6th Territorial Battalions of the Gloucestershire Regiment returning to Bristol Temple Meads from their summer camp at Minehead on 3 August 1914, the day before Britain declared war on Germany. Poignantly, a sizeable number of the 6th Battalion men on the film are commemorated on the panels.

An 8 minute film was shown on a loop of the 4th and 6th Gloucesters returning to Bristol from their summer camp on 3 August 1914

Following the rededication most attendees had a look around the recently restored church, taking in the 6th Battalion memorial stained glass window.

After the rededication guests looked around the restored church

Our thanks to all who attended and made the event possible. Special thanks to Chris Larke-Phillips and the six schoolchildren from Willow Park C of E Primary School, all of whom behaved impeccably. The information boards were designed by Paul Hewitt at Battlefield Design and the printing undertaken by Bristol Printhouse Limited.

Having received nearly £2,000 of generous donations to cover costs for the initial rescue and recovery of the panels Clive and Jeremy have paid for the second stage of the project themselves. This sum (around £2000) includes the rehanging of the panels by Cliveden Conservation, lighting, design work for the information boards and a hefty £830 to have them printed and laminated. If you would like to make a donation to help covering these costs then our dedicated fundraising page is here:

We would like to thank everyone who has helped with this project and the attendees today who made it so special.


Below is a selection of photos from the day:

After 23 months away from The Mount Without the war memorial panels are rehung!

Each of the six wooden panels arrived on site wrapped in protective plastic

Earlier today we were delighted to welcome a team from Cliveden Conservation who brought the six wooden war memorial panels and accompanying brass plaque back to the crypt after their cleaning and restoration. These had been removed in December 2019 and were now ready to be fixed to two specially made frames on opposing walls of the crypt.

The rehanging process was filmed by BBC Points West

A cameraman from BBC Points West was on site to film the work as they propose cutting in some of the footage with a piece to be filmed on 25 November, the planned rededication day of the panels.

One of the 1/6th panels is rehung

What we had envisaged being an hour’s work took until 3pm, a sure sign that this kind of work is best left to professionals. However, at the day’s end the six panels were safely and securely fitted. Also, directly under the window was the brass plaque, the central focus of the crypt and where we plan wreaths and crosses will be laid at the rededication service. We were delighted with the work and, at last, can see the name of 842 officers and men displayed in their rightful place.

Further photos of the day’s work can be found below.

Final adjustments on the 2/6th and 3/6th Battalion panels
The team from Cliveden Conservation – many thanks gents!

Coverage of the appeal in the Bristol Times of 26 May 2020

We were delighted to read an excellent double-page spread on our efforts to save and restore the memorial to the 6th Gloucesters in today’s Bristol Times (the local history supplement in the Bristol Post newspaper).

In the age of the internet we tend to assume that is how to reach the greatest number of people but there are many that buy a daily local newspaper. We hope that this generates some interest amongst the people of Bristol and, hopefully, may unearth some more stories of 6th Battalion men.

If you’d like to help us save and preserve the memorial to 842 men then do follow this link:

Launching our fundraising appeal!

Jeremy just spoke with Jonathan Ray on BBC Radio Bristol today to speak about the restoration of the 6th Gloucesters Memorial Panels. It was the first time that we had plugged our fundraising effort.

Yesterday we released images of the panels undergoing restoration – see HERE.

Thus far these costs have been borne from our own pockets but we have now calculated that the total cost for restoration work, transport and interpretive information panels is £5,000. Cliveden Conservation’s work has already cost £1,770, a sum which is set to rise to £2,300 when the panels are returned and fitted in the crypt. Other costs are for interpretive information panels and an AV screen with moving images. We also plan to research individual soldier’s lives and share their stories, both in the church and online. A full database of these men will eventually be made available. A small selection are available under the SOLDIERS’ BIOS page.

In order to help fund this conservation work and help preserve this vitally important part of Bristol’s First World War heritage we have set up a GoFundMe fundraising page. Donating is quick and easy.

Alternatively cheques can be made out to BRAVO BRISTOL and sent to Clive Burlton. Contact details here:

Please do help if you can – we need to preserve and showcase this unique part of Bristol’s social and military history. Any donation would be welcome. Thank you.


Images of the memorial panels undergoing cleaning and restoration by Cliveden Conservation

Since our last update we have received a detailed Condition Assessment from Cliveden Conservation which includes a quote for all work to be undertaken.

Some images can be found below. All six panels have been given a letter and damage carefully noted.

Each panel has been carefully cleaned, some of the varnish and paint consolidated and the water staining removed/toned down. It has been interesting to note there was still some gilding remaining on some of the lettering (since painted over with gold paint).

All images reproduced above courtesy of Cliveden Conservation.

The brass plaque was also cleaned as it was very dull and Cliveden’s experts wanted more of a contrast of the lettering. They struggled a little as the lettering itself is very fugitive and there as the risk of cleaning the lettering off so had to tread carefully. Finally, the brass plaque has been repatinated and protected with a coating of lacquer.

Tomorrow we will give some more news about our fundraising effort to pay for this work so stay tuned!


The story so far…

We had been aware of the 6th Gloucesters memorial at its post-second World War location in St Michael on the Mount Without for some time and had been keen to assess its state during the period in which the church was occupied by squatters.  Our concerns rose after the October 2016 fire at the church which destroyed the roof and damaged so much of the interior.

The burnt-out roof at St Michael on the Mount Church on St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, following the fire in October 2016. Photo taken from Bristol Post website

Clive liaised regularly with the Diocese of Bristol who provided assurances that the memorial remained undamaged and had been boxed up and placed in the crypt. After the building was acquired by Norman Routledge, a local developer who plans to turn it into an arts venue and community space, Clive got in touch to enquire about the memorial and was told we were welcome to go and have a look! So, it was with trepidation that we visited on 29 November and eventually found the panels packed up in a crate up near the altar. Our sense of relief at seeing these was immense!

With building work ongoing we quickly sought permission from Norman to have the memorial removed by experts at Cliveden Conservation for assessment and cleaning. This was quickly granted along with an agreement that the memorial could be installed in the church crypt once the building restoration is completed. Norman also kindly agreed that we could provide interpretive information panels to tell the story of the memorial and the Bristolian men it commemorates.  

We had a busy fortnight with regular visit to the church, during which we recorded an interview with BBC Radio Bristol. The story was also covered on the BBC website: World War One memorial survives second fire.

On 16 December we helped the team from Cliveden Conservation remove the memorial from the church crypt.  We are delighted to say that it looks in great condition and cannot wait to see it cleaned.

So far the costs have been borne from our own pockets but, once we have a better idea of total restoration costs plus quotes for the information panels we will be asking for help to fund the conservation work. We hope you will be able to help in preserving this important part of Bristol’s First World War heritage!

Please keep checking this page for updates. Further news can be found via the Twitter feed of Jeremy Banning @jbanningww1 and Cliveden Conservation @ClivedenConserv.