Monday, 6 November 2017

Passchendaele: Pvt Cecil Meadows and The Church Extension Association

Today marks the centenary of the death of Cecil Meadows of the 24th Battalion of the CEF who perished in the final assault on Passchendaele and is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres. Cecil Meadows came to Canada in 1911 and found employment in Kars.

Orphaned as an infant Private Meadows was raised by the Church Extension Association (CEA) which operated schools and orphanages across England in the late 19th century and well into the 20th century.

Extracts from CEA newsletters and annual reports are in a file at the Rideau Township Archives.  According to a 1910 annual report for one of the orphanages, St Michael's House, 24 of their old boys had moved to Canada and had kept in touch.

An annual report for 1898 lists the orphanages for girls as Randolph Gardens, Kilburn; Shirland Road, Paddington; Glendower Place, Paddington; and Eastcombe, Gloucestershire. For boys there was the Lady Adelaide Home, Brondesbury (Meadows was there in the 1901 census, age 6); Hallam Hall, Clevedon; and at Oxford. The was also a mixed orphanage for young children at Margate.

Research on Meadows and others from Ottawa's Rideau Township who died in the Great War is being conducted in preparation for a book scheduled to be published by the end of 2018.

No comments: