World War One Green Men
At the beginning of December The Company of the Green Man was approached by John Hampden Grammar school in High Wycombe to ask for the Company’s support in their request for lottery funding. They are requesting funding to repair and restore a set of lockers which date back to 1919. The lockers are carved out of English Oak and have 19 panels on them; most of the panels have a green man carved into them.
Back in 1919 the school, then known as The Wycombe Technical School, set up a unique scheme to train returning veterans who were disabled in the First World War. The scheme aimed to train each man for the skilled profession of furniture crafting to enable them to work in the local furniture trade. As part of the scheme, the veterans made a set of memorial lockers for students of the school who died in the war. The lockers are in need of repair and as part of the WW1 centenary the school is hoping to get lottery funding to have them restored.
I was honoured to offer the support of The Company of the Green Man. One of the main objectives of the Company is to assist where possible the protection and preservation of architectural images of the green man.
Below is an extract from a local paper published in 1919
Furniture Exhibition at Wycombe
Artistic Productions by Disabled Sailors and Soldiers
“With regard to the Exhibits, all of which are exceedingly meritorious, perhaps the most noteworthy is a very handsome memorial cupboard, to be used as lockers by students in the Carving Room. The cupboard has been effectively designed by Mr T Shaw Wilson, A.R.C.A., and the work carried out by the following disabled men (under the tuition of Mr R W Parker): – Messrs. H. Watson, S. Morton, W. Brackley, W. Hare, C. Couling, H. Barley (makers), R. Wisdom, T. Carter, G. Goodchild, A Kearley, G Perfect (carvers), and Horace Trendall (who was responsible for the lettering). The cupboard forms a Memorial to the Students of The Technical School fallen in the War.
It contains four panels, symbolic of War, Peace, Art, and Literature, and each is distinguished by an appropriate medallion. On the cornice are the names of the great battle areas – France, Belgium, North Sea, Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Italy, and Africa; the frieze bearing the quotation: “They counted not their lives dear unto themselves.”
Date: 16th May, 1919 Publication: Bucks Free Press