A WW1 war memorial plaque at the Salisbury Club which was thought to be destroyed in a fire in 2004 has been found and is now being renovated.
The Salisbury Club was originally formed in 1886 in a premises in Hart Street before moving to the current site in Queen Street in 1894. The war memorial lists 13 members of the Salisbury Conservative & Union Club who fell in the ‘Great War’ (1914-1918), along with 4 members who died in WWII.
Mike Willoughby from the Henley Lest We Forget (LWF) project who are organising the renovation said, “In 2012 when I started my research for what was to become the LWF project I was made aware that at one time there was a war memorial in the Salisbury Club. Despite numerous enquiries by myself and Hilary Fisher we were told that although they thought it might be up in the attic it wasn’t and it was presumed it had been destroyed in a fire that there had been in the club. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Christopher Collier the Great Great Nephew of Sergeant Major Arthur Collier, Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars asking me if I knew anything about the Salisbury Club memorial which he believed contained the name of his Great Great Uncle from Henley who died in WW1. This gave me a nudge and I decided to visit the Salisbury Club again. This time I was fortunate enough to meet Ray Hayes at the club, who incidentally had a Great Uncle from Henley who died during the conflict. To my amazement he took me into a back room at the club and showed me the memorial. We obviously hadn’t asked the right person!”
With the club’s permission Mike has removed the memorial and it is going to Chissock Woodcraft, the company who are making the framing for Lest We Forget Great War Memorial which will be unveiled at Townlands Memorial Hospital in November. Mike added, “Chissock have kindly offered to carry out the minor repairs that the memorial needs. The Salisbury Club are now deciding on an appropriate position for it in the club and it will be reinstalled before November in time for the WW1 Centenary.”