Etched into history:
a canadian link with corsham
The WW1 hospital established in the Town Hall during 1914 – 1918 will have brought many soldiers to the Town and probably established enduring personal links but one soldier from Canada left a more permanent reminder of his time in Corsham with an inscription on the cornerstone of a stone bridge on the Corsham Court estate.
Councillor Phil Whalley first brought attention to the inscription back in 2005 but with the Centenary commemorations now upon us has raised it to the fore once again. The inscription is dated 27th April 1917 and is attributed to Private W.L. of the 27th Battalion Canadians. Interestingly the N’s in Canadian are carved back to front.
We know that Lord Methuen allowed recuperating patients from the hospital to walk through the grounds of the estate so it is quite possible that this Private was a wounded or ill soldier sent back from service in France to receive treatment. We cannot trace any admission records for soldiers to the hospital but, challenged by Councillor Whalley, students from the Corsham School History Department are aiming to investigate further to find out about Private W.L. who spent some time in Corsham etching his name into history.
The excellent video below was put together by Shannon from Corsham School and shows the progress this project has had so far:
If you have any information about Private W.L or his family please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org