The village of Chaddesley Corbett is an ancient settlement with a prehistoric buriel mound and traces of a Roman road. Originally known as Chaddesley the name is thought to mean "Ceadda's clearing in the wood" and is first mentioned in a Saxon Charter of 816 when the land was given to the Bishop of Worcester in return for hospitality to the King of Mercia and his men. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to a Saxon Noblewoman - and had two priests, several corn mills, a population as large as Kidderminster and two saltpans in Droitwich for it's own use. After the Norman Conquest the Manor of Chaddesley was owned by the Corbett family who added their name to it’s title. Later, church lands passed to the Earldom of Warwick and, eventually, to the Throckmortons of Coughton Court.
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Chaddesley - One Hundred Years Ago - December
December 7th Bert Wilkes and Arthur Wheeler who till recently were prisoners of war in Germany both arrived at their homes last Sunday morning. Bert Wilkes was captured on August 27th 1914 and consequently has had a long and bitter experience among the accursed race. Both the captives bear unmistakeable traces of the hardships they have suffered; and after seeing Bert Wilkes I feel that my loathing of the German is intensified to an unbearable degree. There is, unfortunately, no news of Jack Healey or Eric Hemming up to the time of writing these notes.We were congratulating ourselves a few weeks ago on lightly escaping the Flu scourge, but we now have a rude awakening. The malady has spread through the parish with great rapidity and whole families are affected. I creditably informed that nearly half the schoolchildren from the village schools are absent with “bad colds” etc.Information has reached me that Joe Hunt has been awarded the Military Medal for coolness and bravery while under shell fire. I can well believe he deserved it so can all his old companions at football. What a cool customer he was in a rough game and how easily he could prove that roughness was a game two could play at.A well-attended meeting was held in the school on Wednesday evening, the object being to receive suggestions for raising a memorial to soldiers and sailors from Chaddesley that have given their lives for their country in the Great War. The vicar presided. Mr Duff summarised the various suggestions that appeared to be circulating, viz:- monuments, stained glass, provision for dependants, village lighting etc, all of which had either some fatal objection or were already provided for otherwise. A proposal to endow a Workman’s Club and Institute was most favourably received and a letter from the Rev W Wykes-Finch was read offering to hand over the Institute building at Brockencote to properly constituted Trustees should the suggestion be adopted. A strong committee was elected to examine all the suggestions and report to a future parish meeting. Meanwhile donations towards the memorial can be forwarded to the pro-tem treasurer, Mr R. G.Duff. It should be born in mind by critics that although we have lost at least 25 lads in the war, only four of them were married and only two left children dependants.The influenza epidemic still continues to claim fresh victims among us, but I believe it is not quite so violent here as it was last week. A considerable number of the sufferers are beginning to re-appear at their work or school most of them looking the worse for wear and in need of a Convalescent Home. I should fancy the disease has been a milder type of Chaddesley or else our constitutions are healthier and more robust than the town dwellers: because we have had scarcely any deaths locally that can be attributed to the disease.December 21stThe last few days have brought gladness into several homes where sadness had dwell all too long. The prisoners at war are gradually arriving, and there have already been several joyful reunions. During the week John Dickinson, John Henley’s and Tom Hivens have all arrived. John Dickinson suffered many privations, during his long sojourn with the Turks, and looked very thin and weak when he arrived, but he has recovered wonderfully during his few days’ residence in England again. His varied experiences would fill a book. On Tuesday evening the bell-ringers rang the usual muffled peal in memory of the late John Giles, of Bradford House. This is in accordance with his request to the ringers.Captain Gilbert is anxious for a re-opening of the cricket campaign. He feels it will be a grave mistake to let the boys come home and discover the old club dormant. The raising of funds is a prime necessity, and all lovers of cricket should communicate their wishes to Mr. Gilbert as soon as possible.December 28thChristmas passed of very quietly; in fact, too quietly The impression on my mind was that someone was sitting on the safety valve. There was a good attendance at the Church Services we sang “Peace on Earth” as usual, while incipient rebellion and discontent rumbled in undercurrents around. I heard several people remark, “Thank God the lads have not come back to this sort of a Merry Xmas.” But when they do, what then? The carol singers rather overdid “The Watching Shepherds” and brought them into ill favour. Hence domestic strife! One gentleman raved from his easy chair to the effect that he was completely satiated with that infernal strain, and proceeded to the back door intending to forcibly stop it. His horror almost exceeded his humiliation on discovering that the hymn ascended from his wife and his sister-in-law who sat at the kitchen fire hatching mischief.The Governors of the Poors Land Charity distributed the usual doles on Saturday last. There were about 100 recipients.(A selection copied from Kidderminster Shuttle by CC Local History Society)
Chaddesley Woods in Chaddesley Corbett became a Nature Reserve in 1973 through the generosity of Mr. John Cadbury. The reserve consists of 53 hectares of native oak woodland and 47 hectares of recent plantations of young hardwoods and softwoods - which were added to show how wild life conservation can be intergrated with modern commercial management.A "Jubilee Walk" was introduced in 1977 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. The walk is marked by yellow arrows - which indicate public rights of way - and by white arrows which indicate courtesy paths. There are Voluntary Wardens for the woods and the area is managed by the Nature Conservancy Council. The Woods are a special feature of the area and attract many visitors all through the year.•Car parking by the roadside.•Guard against thefts.