Corse Church in Gloucestershire is surrounded by orchards. St Margaret’s calls itself “The Church of the Orchards.” Apple trees dance in orderly lines camouflaging the single track lane which leads to the church. It is a church that belongs to a life before the first European war, a rural life of hard working, clear skies and farming life.
Set outside in the churchyard is the grave belonging to Albert Niblett who died in 1923 and of his wife Alice. But also on the grave stone inscribed is:
Also of Private James Niblett Son of the above Who died of wounds in France December 9th 1916 in his 20th year
Son of the above…
How many fathers or mothers, had that written on their own gravestone? Resting in peace together, enduring in time in memorial.
Private James Niblett, 1st Gloucestershire Regiment was buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen. Born in the village in 1896, baptised, and schooled, some part of his identity still remains in Corse despite being buried so far from home merely 20 years after his birth. There were many camps and hospitals around Rouen in France where he is buried; he would have died and been buried at St Sever like so many others. Wounded in action to die.
Inside the church, the pulpit and tablet tells the story of the cost of the First World War on this small village.
James Niblett is listed along with nine other men. Ten men who never came home but were memorialised.
For this village, like many others, the war did not end in 1918, but 1919. The war a five year campaign, that stretched far beyond the Armistice of November 11th 1918. Flu, injury, sickness and the patient return; for many the war did not have a nice neat end.
The Corse men remembered, “til he come.”