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The Incomparable 29th Division - A45 London Road, Near Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 52° 21.367 W 001° 23.561
30U E 609461 N 5801863
Quick Description: This Historical Marker stands next to the very busy roundabout at the junction of the A45 with the B4455 Fosse Way.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/10/2009 6:33:43 AM
Waymark Code: WM5HMY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Brentorboxer
Views: 15

Long Description:
The Marker commemorates the The Incomparable 29th Division formed in the First World War. It reads as follows:

'THE INCOMPARABLE 29TH DIVISION

The 29th Division of the British Army assembled here between December 1914 and early March 1915. Many were billeted locally.

The members of the Division came largely from the north of England, Ireland, Scotland and South Wales and only a few came from the Midlands.

On the 12th March 1915, prior to their departure for Gallipoli, in Turkey, H.M. King George V reviewed his troops here at Knightlow Hill.

The Division served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in France and Belgium thoughout the Great War. When the Armistice brought hositilies to an end on 11th November 1918 the Division moved to the Rhine.

The total casualities suffered by this single Division were 94,000. It won 27 Victoria Crosses.

The Division landed at Cape Helles in Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 under heavy fire from the Turkish Army. They fought throughout the campaign until the evacuation of Suvla on the night of 19th/20th December 1915.

Their brave efforts earned them the name 'The Incomparable 29th'.

The Division served in France and Belgium and was involved in the first day's fighting of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.

In 1917 it played its part at Arras and Ypres.

In 1918 it was still in action fighting at Estaires, Messines and Hazebrouck. In the same year it helped to lead the advance to victory, capturing OutterSteene Ridge, Ploegsteert and Hill 63. It was present at the final advance in Flanders, fighting again AT Ypres.

The Division was disbanded on 15th March 1919.

A Memorial Service to commemorate the Anniversary of the landing of the 29th Division on Gallipoli was held on 25th April 1993.

The event was initiated by James F. Pawsley, the Member of Parliament for Rugby and Kenilworth, and F.G. Watson, O.B.E., MM, the Chairman of Warwickshire County Council.

THE MEMORIAL

Money was raised by public subscription following a local wish to commemorate KING GEORGE V's review of the troops and their brave action with the 29th Division.

The Memorial was designed by Bridgman and Sons of Lichfield and erected late in 1920 at the cost of £646.

It has an overall height of 12.3mtrs.

The Memorial was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Lord Craven, and handed over to the Chairman of Warwickshire County Council, Lord Algernon Percy, on Tuesday, 24th May, 1921 before a crowd estimated to be over 7,000.

DUNCHURCH AVENUE

An avenue of elms planted in the early eighteenth century extended for an unbroken length of six miles over Dunsmore Heath on either side of the London road (now the A45).

Many elms were blown down during the severe gales of 1916. In the interests of safety the Duke of Buccleugh wanted to fell the remainder of the trees.

So in 1917 Warwickshire County Council formed the 'Dunchurch Avenue Committee'. Successful negotiations with the Duke resulted in the rights for the verges and trees being conveyed to the County Council, who undertook to replant the avenue.

There was also a strong local wish to commemorate in some way the King's review of the troops and the Division's brave efforts during the war. The committee invited subscriptions for a Memorial Monument to the 29th Division and the replanting of the avenue. The Duke of Buccleugh donated £720 to the fund and the freehold of the land for the Memorial.

During the autumn and winter of 1920/21 two miles of lime trees at the Coventry end of the Avenue and elms and beeches at the London end were planted by Messrs. Dicksons of Chester: 444 trees at a cost of £664 2s 0d.

In 1953 Kew Gardens were consulted about disease in the elms. In October that year the Committee agreed to replace the dying elms with limes (Tilia x euchlora).

A second carriageway was added in the late 1950s and some of the trees felled. The Ministry of Transport's replanting was agreed with the Committee.

The Dunchurch Avenue Committee DAC met for the last time in 1973. The trees were inspected and 70 new limes were planted on the east side of the Memorial.

In 1985 some trees were felled to accommodate a roundabout.

In March 1993 two lime trees 6.5mtrs in height were planted as part of the scheme to enhance the setting of the Memorial.'

The Memorial stands on the roundabout nearby.
Type of Historic Marker: Information Sign

Historical Marker Issuing Authority: Local Authority

Age/Event Date: 3/12/1915

Related Website: [Web Link]

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Jay&R visited The Incomparable 29th Division - A45 London Road, Near Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, UK 3/9/2014 Jay&R visited it
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