Worcester Moments - "Woodbine Willie" Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy

Worcester Moments - "Woodbine Willie" Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy

In the mud and blood of the Western Front, military chaplains fought to bring solace and hope, amongst the most famous of them was Worcester vicar the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy - known as Woodbine Willie. 

Volunteering in 1914 as a zealous fighting man, he told his congregation 'there can be no shirking'. But he soon saw the futility of the conflict writing: ' Waste of blood, waste of tears: waste on youths most precious years".

As the conflict progressed, he focussed all his energy on bringing help and comfort and his trademark became his 'box of fags', as he distributed cigarettes with reckless bravery which won him a military cross.

Surviving the war, Woodbine Willy returned to Worcester to become a popular vicar crusading for social justice.

Historian and author of 'Worcester Moments', Andrew Reekes tell his story.

Worcester Moments: River, Religion and Royalty

For 1400 years Worcester in the English Midlands has played a unique part in the history of our Island and the world beyond. At a vital bridging point over the River Severn and watched over by its beautiful cathedral, Worcester has witnessed the comings and goings of monarchs and regicides:...



Andrew Reekes

History WM iTunes Podcast