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“We Will See It Through….”war-vehicle

….…so said Tatton Park’s Lord Egerton shortly after the outbreak of the First World War when delivering a rousing recruitment speech to a packed Knutsford Town Hall.

Lord Egerton’s speech is one of many discoveries exploring Tatton’s First World War connections and provides the title to a new exhibition taking place in Tatton Park’s mansion; “We Will See It Through”: Tatton Reflects, 1914-1918.

The exhibition reflects on the conflict’s impact on the people who lived and worked at Tatton Park, including the family and the estate workers who answered the call to arms.

The research has revealed surprising and poignant stories, including;

  • How Lord and Lady Egerton found themselves trapped in Germany when war was declared confined to a hotel with armed sentries.
  • Tatton’s Estate Clerk, William Clayton was on active service in France for only 14 days when he was killed aged 20.
  • Tatton’s former land agent, John Ambrose-Smith received a French gallantry award shortly before being captured by the enemy and held captive until the end of the war.
  • The mystery of how Tatton’s last Lord, Maurice Egerton returned from a remote Chinese province at the outbreak of war, before overseeing the Royal Navy’s flying boat programme in the USA.
  • Lady Egerton became a sales assistant at Harrods for a special Red Cross fund-raising day.
  • Footman Percy Jones was decorated for his extensive military service and wrote to Lord Egerton requesting his Tatton job back after surviving the war.
  • Walter Hope, the son of a Tatton farm worker became a military chauffer and, amongst others, frequently saw T.E Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia.
  • Gardener Tom Gathercole one of Tatton’s first recruits, served in the Gallipoli campaign where he died aged 25.
  • Charles Clinch left his position as a footman at Tatton to enlist in the Dragoon Guards aged 22. He was wounded outside Ypres and invalided to a Lancashire hospital where he recovered, receiving four medals for his military service.

Mansion supervisor Karan Knowles said “This has been an important project to explore the impact the conflict had on those connected with Tatton”.

She added “Learning about real people’s war experiences provides a deeper understanding and respect of how the community responded and we hope this exhibition and Tatton’s surroundings will provide the opportunity for visitors to reflect on the sacrifices made.”

The exhibition includes details of the stories uncovered together with objects from Tatton’s collection including Lady Egerton’s Red Cross certificate, First World War magazines and poetry books. Tatton Park also has the honour of displaying the war medals and memorabilia of Tatton’s footman, Percy Jones, kindly leant from his family.

Tatton’s research team are continuing to gather stories and visitors will be encouraged to leave their own comments and related Tatton First World War memories to further develop the exhibition and its supporting memorial and discovery packs.

The exhibition opens in Tatton’s Mansion during a special mayoral event on 4th August 2014, (the 100th anniversary of the war’s outbreak which was also Maurice Egerton’s 40th birthday), before opening to the public from 5th August 2104, running for the remainder of this season.

Further First World War events will be held in the mansion during the season including;

WW1 Cooking Demonstration: 9th August 2014 (1 to 5pm); an interpretive talk and demonstration about the war’s impact on Tatton’s food production and the contrast between a soldier’s rations and what was available ‘at home’. Recipes taken from the Great War cookery book will include mattress pudding, parsnip marmalade and cabbage fricassee. Visitors will also be able to see a tableau of military food including Bully Beef and biscuits.

WW1 Readings of First World War Poetry: 6th September 2014. Readings of First World War poetry and literature will take place in the mansion’s library throughout the afternoon.  

The Tatton Reflects events are just a few of a 4 year programme of projects and events Cheshire East Council have planned to commemorate WW1 through a 4 year programme, Cheshire East Reflects.

Mansion opening times and prices

The mansion is open to visitors in high season (until Nov 2nd) from Tuesday to Sunday. Open 1pm – 5pm, last entry 4pm (except 30 Sept to 2 Nov when open 12pm – 4pm, last entry 3pm).

Prices for single attraction entry: adult £6, child £4 (aged four to 15 years of age), family £16 (two adults and up to three children).

Totally Tatton Ticket (entry to three attractions: mansion, gardens and farm): Adult £11, child (aged four to 15) £5.50, family (two adults and up to three children) £27.50. National Trust members pay 50% entry to the farm.  Park entry charge of £5 per car applies to all.

For further information about this release contact: 

Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department Tel: 01625 374417 / Email: Vicky.wilby@cheshireeast.gov.uk    

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian mansion, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, new Gardener’s Cottage tea room and a year-round events programme.

The Tatton Park Vision

The `Tatton Park Vision’ is the park’s 5 year vision for its visitor activities and aims to substantially develop its visitor experience by increasing the attractions and activities on offer. In delivering the vision the aim is to fully realise Tatton Park’s potential and present the best possible experience for its current and new visitors in order to provide new and sustainable income to help manage and conserve the historic estate into the future. By 2016/17 it is expected that over 1 million visitors a year will enjoy this experience. This will be done through a programme of investment by Cheshire East Council and the attraction of new business. More information about the vision.

Cheshire East Reflects

Cheshire East Council are embarking on a four year programme of activities, events and development programmes to commemorate the First World War for the residents of, and visitors to Cheshire East.

This collaborative programme, entitled Cheshire East Reflects, is bringing together all aspects of the Local Authority with local community groups, organisations and partners such as the Imperial War Museum North.

There will be opportunities to participate in a wide variety events and activities across the Borough and for community groups to promote their own commemorative events. www.cheshireeastreflects.com

www.cheshireeastreflects.com