On Thursday 4th December 2014 two tree planting ceremonies took place. These were to pay tribute, one hundred years on, to all those people who suffered as a result of the First World War. Funds were generously raised by attendees via an auction at the Drinks and Canapés Event held at Barton House, Cirencester last May and also through the sale of cakes to friends at Cotswold District Council.
The tree species chosen was Tilia cordata “Greenspire”, a variety of the small-leaved lime which is grown in good numbers in France, where of course, the majority of the war casualties/suffering took place.
To represent the many rural communities which provided so much to the war effort in terms of manpower and food, we chose Calmsden. The Cotswold Tree Warden Group, when becoming independent of Cotswold District Council, received valuable support from Mark Tufnell, then a councillor. At his estate in the village a spot was picked near the ancient cross, where a tree can be seen by villagers and passers-by alike.
Mark Tufnell, Mike Hartnell (Chairman of the Cotswold Tree Warden Group) and Earl Bathurst with the Tilia cordata “Greenspire” being planted at Calmsden.
Calmsden residents and estate staff with CTWG committee members
The second site selected was in Cirencester Park, in the vicinity of the Queen Anne monument. (This can be accessed from the park’s main rides or via the gate through from the Stroud Road car park entrance to Deer Park.) At the ceremony, Earl Bathurst explained that the site was an appropriate one, since there had been a military camp in the immediate vicinity during WW1 where the Warwickshire Yeomanry undertook training. Older residents of the area may even be aware of the WW2 military activity on the same part of the park, as the last of a number of Nissen huts were removed no more than 20 years ago.
The planting site adjacent to the Queen Anne memorial