At the very start of the Great War, in August 1914, the city of Birmingham asked for a thousand volunteers to form a battalion for the coming conflict. Within days, enough men stepped forward to form 1st, 2nd and 3rd City of Birmingham Battalions, 14th, 15th and 16th Battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. They were known as the Birmingham Pals, and their handsome memorial is on the north side of the nave. All three battalions took an active part in the war, in France and Flanders. Each took part in all the major battles, including the Third Battle of Ypres, often known as Passchendaele, being fought exactly a hundred years ago. It was during that terrible battle, in the morning of 9th October 1917, that the 16th Battalion suffered its worst losses. In the five days before they were in the front line, mainly a series of water- and mud-filled shell holes, in relentless rain and often under accurate artillery fire. Lieutenant Colonel Grahame Deakin, the Commanding Of
All of us at St Martin’s would like to wish Revd. Canon Stewart Jones all the best in his new role as Priest in Charge at St John the Baptist Church, Barlaston. Thank you Stewart and Julie for all you have done, God Bless you both in your new Adventure . . . Thanks also to everyone who made Stewart’s final Sunday as Rector of St. Martin’s so memorable. To all who participated in and helped with the organising of the festivities, you gave Stewart and Julie a joyous and grace filled send off to pastures new in Barlaston. The “Best Wishes” book will be around at St. Martin’s for a couple of weeks so please write your message for them if you haven’t had the opportunity over the last few weeks.