Search for long lost thank you speech to Banbury WWI squadron

Cllr Kieron Mallon lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in People's Park Picture by Lucy Ford
Cllr Kieron Mallon lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in People's Park Picture by Lucy Ford

Banbury Town Council is appealing for information as to the whereabouts of a WWI thank you speech presented to, the then, Banbury Borough Council in 1919.

The speech relates to the actions of the Banbury Squadron of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars on November 11, 1918 when they liberated the Belgian village of Erquelinnes from German soldiers after more than four years of occupation.

The copy of the speech, made by Erquelinne villagers was forwarded to Banbury by the Belgian villagers.

The BG at the time reported that the speech was to be framed and put in a ‘suitable’ position.

Banbury Borough Council was disbanded in 1974 and replaced by Cherwell District Council who took over many of the borough’s possessions.

After the creation of the town council in 2000, most of those possessions were handed back, but the framed speech from 1919 was not part of the package.

Leader of the town council Kieron Mallon said: “We hope to use the framed speech, if it is found, in the celebrations of the 100 th anniversary of the end of WWI.

“I would ask anyone who has the item, knows where it might be, or has seen it recently to contact the town council with information.”

The council would also like to hear from any residents with personal memories of the liberation or whose father or grandfather were involved in the action and have stories to tell or memorabilia to show.

To share your story or artefacts contact the Town Council’s clerk, Mark Recchia at the town hall on 01295 250340 or email mark.recchia@banbury.gov.uk.

WWI began on July 28, 1914 and officially ended on November 11, 1918.