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Our WW1

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Read personal experiences of the First World War from across the Diocese.

Click on each picture for the full story.

Image credits contained within the articles.

George's Bible Proves Its Worth

Researched by the Bible Society, the story concerns the grandfather of the husband of Alex Vinall, CPD and governor training manager in the schools, colleges and universities team of the Diocese of Guildford. In July 1917, 28-year-old George Hever Vinall wrote a letter home that must have horrified his parents...

Triple Sacrifice

Read the story of three brothers from Cranleigh involved in the Battle of the Somme, submitted by St Nicolas' Guildford. At 7.27am on 1 July the Batallion moved forward with the leading company suffering severely in the face of machine gun fire...

Ockham and WW1

Whilst visiting the Surrey History Centre, Diocesan Communications Officer Richard Peters unearthed personal descriptions of the role local Ockham residents played in WW1. We found a little red leather-bound book with gilt-edged pages...it appeared to be a muster roll but then we turned it over...

Who Spoke for God in Aldershot in the Great War - Murray Rowlands

Bishop Ivor Stanley Watkins (Bishop of Guildford - 1956 - 1960)

Like most men who served in the trenches, Bishop Ivor spoke little of his experiences...

Vigil Service at Guildford Cathedral

A vigil at Guildford Cathedral to mark 100 years since the start of WWI drew to a moving close when the Earl of Wessex read the recollections of foreign secretary in 1914 Sir Edward Grey.

As he finished with the words “Midnight came. We were at war” a bugler movingly played Sunset and the Earl extinguished a candle in the already-dimmed cathedral.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Dame Sarah Goad, the chairman of Surrey County Council, David Munro and mayors from throughout Surrey and North-East Hampshire were among a congregation of more than 500 who gathered at Guildford Cathedral for the vigil on Monday 4 August.

The service also included a bidding prayer by the Dean, the Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams, choral singing and readings, including recollections from some who served in the trenches, read by actors, Jeremy Clyde and Tam Williams.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Made Photography

War Horse Ride 2014

The War Horse Ride 2014, under the Royal Patronage of HRH The Princess Royal, recently commemorated the 8,500 men and horses of the British Cavalry Division and the crucial part they played in the early months of the Great War. They were also raising money for The Not Forgotten Association, a charity supporting wounded or sick members of the armed forces and ex-service men and women with disabilities.

35 riders, each representing one of the regiments and corps that comprised the Cavalry Division, rode 100 miles across France over 5 days following a route that took in the sites of some of the most famous cavalry actions of the opening weeks of the war.

Riders, including Revd Mark Chester, Vicar of Camberley, St Paul's and serving TA Chaplain of 40 years military service, wore the same uniform and carrierd the same weapons and accrouements that their predeccors did in 1914. A 13-pdr field gun, drawn by a six-horse gun team and a contemporary horse drawn GS wagon formed an integral part of the Ride.

News video coverage of the Ride

World War One Cavalry Role marked in War Horse Ride

War Horse Ride 2014 Photos

War Horse Ride 2014 Video