Out of the Vortex – A Special Showcase [Tickets on Sale Now]

The University of Winchester invites you to Out of the Vortex, a special showcase of verse, story, music and song. After more than a decade of publishing the highest quality work from Creative Writing students in the Vortex journal, a selection of the very best is brought to life on stage Monday 8 April 7.30pm.

Filling the theatre with writers, readers and spectators that all share a love of the written word will be a unique opportunity for all, and will allow these talented young writers to share their work with the community. Most of the pieces were originally not intended for stage, but they have been adapted for this specific event. For many of the writers, it will be thefirst time their work is presented in front of a live audience.

The 2019 edition of the journal will be launched at the event. After its humble beginnings in 2005, Vortex has evolved into a respected, high quality publication, and is now edited, designed and marketed by 3rd year Creative and Professional Writing students. It is a great introduction to some of the processes and conventions of the wider world of publishing.

Owing to its success, the journal now also accepts submissions from students at any UK university.

Come support the next generation of writers at Theatre Royal Winchester Monday 8 April 7.30pm.

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk/out-of-the-vortex/

HWS December Report – Special Guest Joan McGavin

Poetry can be found everywhere. Something Joan McGavin made quite clear in her presentation at this month’s Hampshire Writers’ Society meeting.

An assignment for the Creative Writing PHD, centring on the study of Phrenology, had her trawling through a rather large collection of death masks! The masks are the property of the Hampshire Cultural Trust and it is believed were owned by the surgeon at HM Winchester Prison whose father was Giles King Lyford; Jane Austen’s doctor during her final illness.

Pre-dating photography, some of these masks are the only remaining evidence of what the person looked like. They led Joan to question our everyday issues and, when borrowing one, to witness and note the effects it had on passers-by. The death masks often look so strange because the subjects have had their heads shaved so as to show the shape of the skull more clearly.

“With no hair, they tend to look even odder!” Joan says.

Still, when discussing poetry, we like to pigeonhole it.

Two of the masks inspired particular poems – the subjects both executed for murder. The first was used in an exhibition of the subject in Edinburgh’s Anatomical Museum. The Second featured on a ‘poster presentation’ at an archaeology and anatomical sciences-run conference at the University of Southampton this year, called “Skeletons, Stories and Social Bodies”.

Enjoy and just before you go; a note from Joan: “Don’t have nightmares!”

Baby Face Death Masks
Even his name’s too cute,
too childish –
John Amy Bird Bell –
to suggest a murderer.
And here’s his death mask:
complete with eyelashes
and almost dimples,
especially on his right cheek;
the skull shaven
for the phrenologist’s hands.
I read somewhere
about “flaxen curls”.
He was fourteen years old.

It’s said he was brass-necked
throughout the trial,
admitted he’d stabbed
the boy a year younger
in woods near Rochester,
for the three half-crowns,
a shilling and sixpence
he was carrying home to his father.
John’s brother was look-out,
got the shilling and sixpence
as his share of the loot.

Even his name’s too
Looking hard at this
cherubic face,
the lips not quite beyond
a baby’s pouting,
the eyelids closed as if
in needed sleep,
I’m convinced that all
I would have wanted to do,
were he alive,
is give him a hug,
some bread and scrape
or a toy diabolo.

To see it you must cradle it up
and out of its bubble-wrap swaddling
into the room’s light

where you’ll compare the marks left
by damp or age to plaster become skin
broken out in a rash,
to lichen flowering over rocks

and wonder at the detail in the moulding:
eyelashes, facial hair,  evidence of how death
was met – the rope-mark that collars the neck.

Posed on its smooth, round plinth
where a name once was but now
a lighter-coloured patch marks the place,
the face remains anonymous.

You catch yourself glancing past,
see the person in the background
doing perfectly ordinary things

or you’ll start talking to it,
carry it round in your arms,
gash crimson onto its lips and line with kohl
its closed, blank eyes,

smear some life into it.

Report by Lisa Nightingale

Vortex Magazine Market Research

Vortex magazine was first published in 2005 by the University of Winchester staff to showcase the work of their student writers.

After over a decade of success, the publication has been handed over to third year Creative Writing students to revitalise it for a new and extended readership.

In this endeavour, Vortex are seeking the opinions of the readers we would like to reach in order to create the most exciting edition yet.

As local writers, many of you students yourselves, we hope that as many of you as possible can spare a moment to give us feedback about what you would like to read from the other creative voices in your area.

Although originally only accepting submissions from University of Winchester students, Vortex opened the door to poetry and prose from students of all institutions as of last year.

It is not too late to submit and the details of our submissions team can be found here, on our market research survey: https://goo.gl/forms/ywYgBoS9LQ1ZIEyj2

We would be very grateful if you could take the time to help us and we look forward showing you a new and improved Vortex in 2019.

The Men from Hyde – Herbert Frederick Collins

Herbert Frederick Collins was born in Winkfield (a village between Bracknell and Windsor in Berkshire), at the end of 1897, the son of Edwin James Collins and his wife Sarah.  His father Edwin was born in Newmarket, Cambs, and worked as a domestic gardener throughout East Anglia. The family were living in Winchester by 1907, since their youngest son Ernest died that year in Winchester aged 6.

In the 1911 census, the family is living at The Nursery, Park Road, Winchester where Edwin is now a nurseryman, employing others to run the nursery, including his son Bernard William, aged 18.

In November 1914, at the age of 17, Herbert enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment as a Trooper, with the army number 33443.  He served with the Pioneers, the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment.  The 11th Battalion was formed in Winchester in September 1914, and their main function was the repair of trenches, maintenance of roadways and tracks, bringing up coils of barbed wire and picket posts.  When the need arose, they would convert to full fighting troops.

The Battalion moved to Ireland and Aldershot to train, before being mobilised for war on 18th December 1915.  They landed at Le Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.

By mid-February 1918, the Germans had moved many divisions from the now collapsed Eastern front to the West.  The Allies had been expecting an attack in March, and it came as a massive onslaught of the Kaiserschlacht (Emperor’s Battle), a series of assaults on the Allied lines that was supposed to bring the Germans victory in the West after the defeat of Russia in the East in 1917.  Thus began the First Battles of the Somme which took place from 21st March – 5th April 1918. The first phase was the Battle of St Quentin (21st -23rd March) and Herbert was Killed in Action on 22nd March 1918.  He was 20 years old.

The Battle diary of the 11th Battalion begins the entry for 21st March 1918 with “German barrage put down on the Front Line and back area very heavily shelled –  gas and High Explosive shells”.  The Battalion had to retreat though “stampede was avoided and transport removed without casualties”.  On the

morning of 22nd March, “Enemy commenced his attack at 10:30am in a heavy mist … The right flank of the ST EMILIE position being now completely turned, the withdrawal continued to VILLERS FAUCON, Battalion suffering several casualties during the withdrawal.  Successive positions were taken up on the railway embankment and on the high ground.”

Herbert was buried at Pozieres Cemetery which is some way to the west of the site of the action on 22nd March.  Some idea of the scale of the fighting on the Western Front at this stage of the war is given by the sheer number of burials in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Pozieres: the total number of Commonwealth troops buried here is 14,708 – and this is just one cemetery. By May 1918, the Battalion had lost so many men that it had been reduced to becoming a training cadre.

Herbert’s older brother, Bernard William, enlisted in the army much earlier, in 1912, aged 18 or 19, as a Private in the Hampshire Regiment.  He served in India, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia.  He survived the war and married May Louisa Munt in 1922 in Winchester.

The Men from Hyde – Thomas Bernard Loader

Thomas Bernard Loader was born in 1887 in the Winchester registration district.

His parents, Edward Loader and Emily (nee Roberts), had married in Shoreditch at the end of 1873 when Emily was only 21.  In the 1881 census they can be found at 9, Clement Street. Edward is aged 33, a grocer’s porter, born in Colden Common; Emily is 29.  They have 4 children: Kate (9), Edward (6), Mary (3), and Teresa (1). Emily and her children were all born in Winchester.

In the 1891 census, the family is living at 17, Hyde Close.  Edward, 44, is a porter. There are now four more children: Albert (8), James (7), Thomas (4) and Margaret (2).

In the 1901 census, the family is living at 16, Hyde Close (is the address of 17, Hyde Close in 1891 a mistake? Or did they move next door?).  Edward is still a grocer’s porter and two of his sons have followed him in the trade: James, 16, is a draper’s porter, and Thomas, 14, a grocer’s porter.  The older five siblings have left home (Albert had enlisted in the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday).  Since the last census, two more daughters have been born: Emily (8), and Florence (6).

In the 1911 census, Edward, 63, is now a porter for a wine and spirit merchant. Emily states that she has been married for 39 years and has had 11 children, two of which have died.  Only Florence, aged 16, is now living with them at 16, Hyde Close.

Where was Thomas?  He was by then aged 23 and working as a stable lad for racing horses in Chilcomb (just outside Winchester).

Thomas’ father Edward died in 1914, aged 69.

Thomas’ brother Albert was lost at sea when his ship Alcantara sank in February 1916.  The following month Thomas enlisted in the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment and was given the regimental number 22302, but later attached to the 14th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment in the Machine Gun Corps.  The Winchester War Register states that he was wounded three times: in August 1916, and in July and December 1917 in Flanders.  He did not recover from his wounds and died on 2nd February 1918, aged 31, almost exactly two years after his brother Albert was lost at sea.

Thomas is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.  During the First World War, the village of Lijssenthoek (20 miles south-west of Dunkirk) was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields.  Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations.  The cemetery contains 9,901 First World War Commonwealth burials.

Albert’s widowed mother Emily died in the September quarter of 1918 aged 66, only months after Thomas’ death.

It is not known if Edward and James, brothers of Thomas and Albert, served in WW1.

The Men from Hyde – ‘Harry’ Haviland White

Harry White was born Haviland White in 1880 in Holdenhurst, Bournemouth, the son of William and Eliza White.  He appears to have used both names, calling himself Harry Haviland White.

In the 1881 census, the year after Harry was born, he is living at the ‘Three Elms Inn’ at Holdenhurst where his father is the landlord.  William and Eliza (both 32 years old) have three children: Catherine (9), Henry (6, registered in 1875 as Harry White), and Haviland (1). The whole family was born in Holdenhurst.

By 1891, the family had moved to Winchester where they are living at 64, Canon Street.  William (42) is now working as a builder.  As well as Henry (15), Catherine (13), and Haviland (10), there are 3 further children: Eva (9), Lot (7), and Sydney (5).

In the 1901 census, the family is living at 3, King Alfred Place.  Only two of the siblings are now living at home: Lot (17) is working as a carpenter’s apprentice, and Sidney (14) is a bricklayer’s assistant.  Haviland cannot be traced in the census.

However, by the 1911 census, Haviland had returned to his parents at 3, King Alfred Place.  He is now 30 and working as a carter. His sister Eva (29) is at home, also his brother Sidney (24) who is a carpenter.  His mother Eliza states that she has had 6 children, one of whom has died: Lot had died in 1907 aged 23.

In 1912, Haviland married Ellen May Dumper in Winchester.  Ellen had been born in Winchester in 1887 and went on to have two children with Haviland: Doris (born 1913) and Harry (born 1916).

Haviland enlisted in the Royal Navy in August 1914 as a stoker, with service number 283351.  He served with HMS Venus, a light cruiser with a crew of 450.

HMS Venus

Venus had left Portsmouth in July 1914 to patrol the Irish waters, and a year later sailed for Gibraltar and then Aden.  It is not known at what point Haviland joined the ship.  In February 1916, Venus sailed on to Sri Lanka, in May to Singapore, then the Philippines, and in August 1916 to Hong Kong.  After several months in the area, Venus left for Singapore in March 1917 and then on to Sri Lanka in June 1917.

The log book for HMS Venus gives the numbers of sick men: in early August 1918 in Aden there were up to 45 each day, and Haviland may well have been one of these.  Haviland, by this time a Leading Stoker, was sent to Portsmouth to HMS Victory.  This ship was based in Portsmouth as a training school, though by 1906 the school had been moved to the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth, retaining the name of Victory as another name for the Barracks.

Haviland died at the Royal Navy Barracks on Thursday 19th September 1918 from illness, though this is not specified.  He was buried at Winchester (West Hill) Old Cemetery.

Haviland’s children were aged 5 and 2. His widow Ellen remained in Winchester until her death in 1957, aged 69.

The Men from Hyde – Frederick George Woods

Frederick George Woods was born on 17th November, 1899 at the Shorncliffe Army Base near Folkestone, Kent.  His parents were William Henry and Annie Elizabeth (nee Martin) Woods, who had married on 10th December 1891 on Portsea Island, Portsmouth.

Frederick and his siblings were born and brought up in different parts of the world as their father served in the army for many years as a musician. Fortunately, the army records of Frederick’s father are available and give much information on the family.

In 1881, William Henry Woods enlisted in the army in Roorkee, a town in the far north of India, at the age of “14 years and 2 months”!  As he was already in India, it can be assumed that his father was also in the army. He served in the Dorset Regiment, then the Hampshire Regiment, in India, Aden, Malta and Britain.  He became a Bandsman at the age of 16, rising to becoming a Bandmaster.

William’s army records give detailed information on his children:

Beatrice Annie  born August 1893 in Belfast

William Charles  born April 1895 in Belfast

John Thomas Martin  born October 1897 in Malta

Frederick George  born November 1899 at Shorncliffe

Godfrey James  born July 1906 in Dorchester

By the time William left the army in 1908 he had served for almost 27 years. He then enlisted in the Territorial Force of the Hampshire Regiment in 1909 for a further 4 years as a musician, serving ‘at home’ in Britain.  When WW1 began, William was sent to India in October 1914, not being demobilized until February 1919.  He left the army with long service and good conduct medals.

However, William returned to the army in 1920 and was accepted as a Bandmaster in the Territorials at the age of 53. He finally left the army in 1923.

1914 Wife Annie living at 6 Wilson Rd, Portsmouth

Home address 26 Nuns Rd 21.3.19

Died 11 June 1944 at 26 Nuns Rd aged 77

Informant: B G Marcham, 26 Nuns Rd

His parents were living in 26, Nuns Road when the war broke out.  He was enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment.  By this stage in the war, there was not much link between where a man enlisted and the territory linked to the name of his new regiment.  Serving soldiers were frequently attached to different regiments as the war progressed.  He was allocated to the 2nd Garrison Battalion of the Bedfordshires.  They were based in India, and that is where Frederick spent the war, with no record of his unit being in combat.  He died of Malaria on 6th December 1918.

The Men from Hyde – William Frank Leach

William Frank Leach, known to all as Billy, was the son of William and Alice Mary Leach (nee Sawkins).  He was born in 1888 in Alderbury, near Salisbury. His parents had married in London in 1883 and went on to have seven children, only one of which was a son; William.

In the 1891 census, the family is living over a grocer’s shop at 41 Castle Street, Salisbury.  William Snr is a grocer and wine merchant.  He and Alice are both 35 years old. With them are their children Maud Sarah (7), Alice Winifred (6), Dorothy (4), William Frank (2), and Margery (under 1 month).  William Snr’s sister Sarah Leach is visiting.  The whole of the family was born in Salisbury.  William’s business appears to be thriving as he has two live-in nurses and a general servant.

In the 1901 census, the family is leaving in Bemerton, Wiltshire.  William Snr is described as a grocer’s traveller.  Maud is now 17 and a Pupil Teacher at an elementary school.  Another daughter has arrived since the last census: Mary, aged 3.  William is 12 years old.

According to the Winchester War Register, William enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment in 1906 at the age of 17.  This was probably a part-time role as in the 1911 census William Frank is 22 years old and a schoolmaster at an elementary school.  He is boarding with George Wheeler and his wife at 2, Alswitha Terrace, Winchester.  George Wheeler is probably a friend of William Leach as they were both born in Salisbury and George is described as a ‘Traveller grocer and provisions, wine and spirits’ like William Leach Snr.

William joined the Hampshire Regiment as a private, but rose to the post of Colour Sergeant Major, the highest rank open to a non-commissioned officer. He was sent to India with the 1/4th Hampshire Regiment, embarking at Southampton on 9th October 1914 and in March 1915 moved to Mesopotamia (Iraq), landing at Basra.  He was taken prisoner by the Turks, captured after the surrender of Kut al Amara on 29th April 1916.  By then William had been Mentioned in Despatches and had earned rapid promotion to the rank of Regimental Serjeant Major.

The capture of the British and Indian forces at Kut in central Iraq led to great hardship and many deaths; in particular the other ranks.  Ottoman central control was weak and haphazard, and as the Allies resumed their advance in the Middle East under, among others, General Allenby, the Ottomans marched prisoners away from their retreating front line to camps in the interior of their Empire.

William died on 2nd May 1918 of typhoid at the age of 30, caught, it was claimed, by those who were there, as he looked after British and Indian prisoners in the PoW camp at Nuseybin to the north west of Mosul.

There are several items belonging to William in the Royal Hampshire Museum.  One is a letter from a British officer who had been with him at his death.  The address from where it written is Afyon KaraHisar; William died at Nuseybin; he is commemorated in a very sensitive part of modern Baghdad, near the University.  The three places are separated by 850 miles.

Another letter from a British PoW who knew Billy says that he was “one of the few unfortunates who have died in this country who have received a decent burial”.  The inscription on his headstone says: “He did his duty”.

William Snr died in either 1919 or 1929 in Salisbury.  Alice Mary died in Romford, Essex in 1938 aged 83.

The Men from Hyde – Henry Charles Hall

Henry Charles Hall’s grandparents, George and Charlotte Hall, lived at 2, Jewry Street in 1861 while his father, Henry George Hall, aged 13, was at boarding school nearby at Trafalgar House in Trafalgar Street.  By 1871 the family was living at 69, Hyde Street where they remained for many years.  George Hall was a farmer, born and bred in Winchester, as were his wife and children.  His son Henry George Hall, the father of Henry Charles, married Annie Cook from Alresford in 1875.

In the 1881 census, Henry George, now 33, has taken over from his father at 69, Hyde Street; he is a farmer of 200 acres and employs 7 men.  At this time he has 3 children: George (3), Annie (2), and Ethel Mary (1).  There is also a domestic servant.

Henry Charles was born in 1884, the sixth child of Henry George and Annie.

A few years later, in the 1891 census, Henry Charles has 6 siblings, all born in Winchester and looked after by a governess, Florence Castle, aged 25. There is also a domestic servant.

In the 1901 census, there are two more children: Thomas Pain (7) and Norah K (2 months). Of the siblings, only the eldest are present: Annie (23), Ethel Mary (22), Walter (20), and Henry Charles (17); the others are possibly at boarding school. There are two domestic servants.

Henry Charles’s mother Annie died in 1911 aged 56, around the time of the census.  Her husband Henry George is 63 and states that he has been married for 35 years and had 10 children, 4 of whom have died.  The family is still living at 69 Hyde Street and running the farm with the help of Walter (29), Henry Charles (26) and Thomas Pain (16).  There is a general servant, but daughter Annie (33) is running the household (“maid of all works”) with Margaret (24, washerwoman).

Henry George Hall died three years later in 1914, aged 66.

It is not known when Henry Charles enlisted in the army.  He enlisted first in the Wiltshire Regiment and was then moved to the 1/1st Hampshire Yeomanry.  The Hampshire Yeomanry was also known as the Hampshire Carabiniers – as a Yeomanry cavalry regiment formed during the French Revolutionary Wars – and known as the Carabiniers.

The 1st Line regiment was mobilized at Winchester in August 1914 and moved to the Portsmouth defences.  In March 1916, the regiment was split up as divisional cavalry squadrons.  The Regimental Headquarters and ‘B’ Squadron of the Hampshire Yeomanry were based at Hyde Close.  Both joined the 60th (2/2nd London) Division and landed at Le Havre on 25th June 1916.  A few days later, RHQ joined IX Corps Cavalry and ‘B’ Squadron joined XVII Corps Cavalry.  Both rejoined as one regiment on 25 January 1917, serving as IX Corps Cavalry Regiment up to 25 July 1917.  On 25 August 1917, the regiment dismounted and went to be trained as infantry.  On 27 September 1917, the regiment joined 15th Battalion the Hampshire Regiment and was renamed the 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion.

The Battalion was in 122nd Brigade41st Division.  On 12 November 1917, it moved to the Italian Front with the division, but returned to the Western Front at the beginning of May 1918 and remained there until the end of the war.

The ‘Advance in Flanders’ in Belgium took place between 18 August – 6 September 1918 when the Second and Fifth Armies began operations in the Lys valley, recapturing the ground lost in April 1918.  Henry Charles Hall was by then a 2nd Lieutenant in the Second Army. He was Killed in Action on 4th September 1918 aged 34.

Henry is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in West Flanders, one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient, formed during the First Battle of Ypres in 1914.  The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites.

The Menin Gate Memorial commemorates those who died in the Salient before 16 August 1917, and those who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war.  Tyne Cot bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known.

Henry has three service records:

Service record 1: No 100240, Corporal in the 1/1st Hampshire Regiment

Service record 2: No 204660, Corporal in the 15th Hampshire Regiment

Service record 3: 2nd Lieutenant in the Wiltshire Regiment

Henry Charles’s brother, Thomas Pain Hall, served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Hussars and survived.  The Winchester War Service Register gives the address of Henry Charles and Thomas Pain Hall as 32, Hyde Street, Winchester.

In 1925, at the age of 30, Thomas Pain Hall married Kathleen M Gray in Winchester.