Posted by: travelrat | January 18, 2018

2018: The Centenary Year

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Re-enactment of the 1918 auction of Stonehenge 

2018 looks like it’s going to be the Year of Centennials. The first, probably the most important, is the 100th Anniversary of the ending of WWI. That’s not really a cause for celebration; more one for reflection and thanksgiving. But, earlier that year, there was an event that, no doubt, will really be celebrated. In that year, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force.

The new Service came into being on April 1st, and it will probably be on this date that most celebration will take place … which is a pity, for I shall be out of the country on that date. Having served from 1959 until 1996, I do feel I should take some part … maybe they’ll also have something to mark the occasion on other days?

Another anniversary concerns something even closer to home. Stonehenge. Up until the First World War, the Stonehenge Estate belonged to the Antrobus family, of nearby Amesbury, When Sir Edmund Antrobus died in 1915 … his only son, Lieutenant Edmund Antrobus having been killed in battle the previous year … the site was put up for auction. It was sold for £6600 to one Cecil Chubb, who bought it on impulse.

Local legend has it that his purpose for visiting the auction was to buy some chairs, but thought that the stones would make a nice present for his wife. I can just imagine her reaction:

‘What do I want with a lot of grotty old stones?’ (or words to that effect)

So, in 1918, Chubb gave the Stones to the nation … for which act, he was knighted. Maybe Mrs. Chubb was mollified to some extent by becoming Lady Chubb?

I’m sure this act will be marked in some way at Stonehenge … we already had a re-enactment of the auction a little while back. I don’t know what form the celebrations will take yet, but if I find out, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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