Hope Squire (1878-1936) was a concert pianist, composer and teacher. She was also a suffragist, pacifist and vegetarian. After her marriage to fellow concert pianist, composer and teacher Frank Merrick, they moved to Manchester where Frank had been appointed as professor of piano at the Royal Manchester College of Music. Their shared artistic life is mirrored by a shared socially and politically radical life in which they were active participants. In 1917 Frank was sent to prison for his conscientious objection, fully supported by Hope. Their extensive correspondence between October 1917 and April 1919 together with other letters, newspapers, archives from RNCM and the Imperial war Museum reveal much about their separate lives. It offers an insight into life in Manchester during the final year of the war and six months of peace.
Katherine has been part of the editing & publishing team of Christleton Local History Group since 1999, using her editing skills to our advantage when working on both Christleton 2000years of History and Christleton Great War Stories books. She was a researcher on the Royal Northern College of Music’s project Making Music in Manchester during World War I, when she uncovered Hope and Frank’s fascinating story. She has given talks to the Halle Concert Society, The Women’s History Network, and at the University of Bristol and Storyhouse at Chester.
Whilst re-searching the stories of 6 Commando Sgt. Joe Bowers Croix de Guerre, Quartermaster Sergeant Arthur Wright and other men from Christleton & the UK, I have visited many memorial sites of special interest, including the poignant National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas near Litchfield, & The Royal Scots Greys Museum in Edinburgh. I’ve also found several Memorials to Capt Noel Chavasse VC & Bar in Liverpool and visited the memorials to many significant men & women, including Commonwealth Graves sites in Belgium, France and Egypt. There are hundreds of beautifully crafted and maintained memorials to be seen, and during this presentation I will use some of them to tell the special stories they represent, including those of Sgt. Joe Bowers Combined Operation Commando (1940-46) former resident of Christleton, who died in February 2018 and is buried in the churchyard at St James’ Christleton age 99yrs.
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