St Michael’s Remembrance Sunday service

Today's Remembrance Service at St Michael's Church, Elmwood Road W4 was well attended. 

Amongst those present were David Phillips (great nephew of Rodney Bowdidge who was killed at the Battle of Arras in April 1917) and Sallie Vallins and Hugh Bailey (niece and first cousin once removed of brothers Leslie and Frank Coombs who lost their lives in the battle of the Somme in July 1916.

Neither Sallie nor Hugh were knowingly aware of each other until recently. Hugh found out about Sallie on the Heroes of Chiswick website when browsing the web and wrote to both her and Vicar, Martine Oborne about some photographs of the Coombs family that were amongst some family records.

They met for the first time at today's remembrance service and to read more about this story and see some photographs click here.

Heroes of Chiswick video feature on new Chiswick Calendar website

The Chiswick Calendar is a new website which celebrates Chiswick, its inhabitants, institutions and enterprises, in photography and video. As part of their November 2014 events calendar, they produced a video of the Heroes of Chiswick project. The video includes interviews with Revd Martine Oborne, vicar of St Michael's and Steve Newbold, a project team member. Click here to see the eight minute video.

'My Darling Boy' video now available to view on this site.

Following the initial screening of 'My Darling Boy' on 9th October at St Michael's Church, the 25 minute video is now available to view here: View the video

Video showing of My Darling Boy, 8pm on Thursday 9th October

On Thursday, October 9th at 8pm there will be the first public screening of The St Michael’s Players performance of ‘My Darling Boy’ at the church. The video lasts approximately 30 minutes and was recorded during the Players’ performance on 14th June when the Exhibition opened.   

The play is a fictionalised account, written by Rev Martine Oborne, based on the lives of some of the men who appear on the memorial at St Michael’s Church. Refreshments will be available afterwards when you will be able to speak with those involved in the play and with members of the Heroes of Chiswick project team.

Heroes of Chiswick on display at Chiswick Library

On Monday 22nd September, the 'mobile' Heroes of Chiswick exhibition moved from a successful first showing on Sunday 21st at the Orangery 'Open House' in Gunnersbury Park to Chiswick Library, Duke's Avenue, Chiswick, W4 2AB.

The table top displays are situation in the upper lending library and present most of the information that is still showing at St Michael's Church, Elmwood Road, W4 3DY.  A great opportunity for you to see the stories of the 33 men who are listed on the memorial inside the church - either come to the church which is open daily between 9.30am and 5.30pm, sometimes later or visit Chiswick Library.

We much appreciate the help from the Local Studies Section in setting up the exhibition at Chiswick Library. The Local Studies resources proved invaluable to much of the research into the 33 men. The Local Studies Section at Chiswick Library is open Monday, Thursday, Friday 10-1 and 2-5; Thursday 5-8 by appointment; Alternate Saturdays 10-1 and 2-5.

Taking the Heroes of Chiswick Project forward - more volunteers welcome

The project team is now extending its activity to include a research into the women and other families who were particularly active in the parish and community during WW1. ‘Heroes of Chiswick’ project team meetings at St. Michael’s Church will continue to be on the second Sunday of each month from 11.30am – 12.30pm for anyone keen to volunteer or find out more about the new project.  Forthcoming meetings will be on 14th September, 12th October, 9th November and 14th December 2014 - everyone is welcome. To ask for more details, please email or go to the 'Contact Us' page on the website.

A date for your diary

The first showing of the video of  St Michael's Players' 14th June performance of 'My Darling Boy' will be at St Michael's Church at 8pm on Thursday 9th October 2014. More Information to follow.

We were recently delighted and privileged to welcome Sallie Vallins to our Church.  Sallie has some very special connections to St Michael's and we have established contact with her through our  project that is tracing the stories of the thirty three men, whose names are on our First world war Roll of Honour. 

Sallie is the granddaughter of the first vicar of St Michael's - Revd L. McNeill Shelford - and of our first Churchwarden - Charles Coombs.  This is because Sallie is the daughter of Revd Shelford's daughter, Flora, who married Mr Coombs' son, Ralph.  Her parents' wedding was in 1922 - shortly after the war.  There is a wonderful report of the occasion in the Parish Magazine which describes the wedding as 'the social event of the season' and tells us that the wedding cake was cut by the best man's bayonet!  The Bishop of Kensington officiated and the Choir sang an anthem - Blessed Be the God and Father by S.S. Wesley. 

Sadly two of  Sallie's father's brothers, Frank and Leslie Coombs, died in the war and they are listed on the Roll of Honour.
'My Darling Boy’ 

Was performed as part of St. Michael’s Church’s ‘Heroes of Chiswick’ opening event. Many people joined us between 2pm – 5pm on June 14th 2014. The exhibition opened at 2pm, and the play was performed from 4pm at St. Michael’s Church, Elmwood Rd, W4 3DY

Heroes of Chiswick – Exhibition Day Video

The Heroes of Chiswick exhibition is currently at St. Michael’s Church, Chiswick, W4 3DY

Here’s a video about the exhibition. Thanks to all who have taken part in the project to date, and enabled us to better remember the 33 named on the memorial, and the effect of WW1 on the local area.

Heroes of Chiswick Exhibition to remain open

The Heroes of Chiswick Exhibition will remain at St Michael’s Church, Elmwood Road until Sunday 9th November 2014. The Church will be open daily from 9.00 am until 5.30 pm.