Restoring the Bourne College First World War Memorial

"The Birmingham Historian" 2001

Bourne College was a school for the sons of primitive Methodists, however it was later opened to boys of parents of other denominations. The college was named after it's founder, Hugh Bourne and built in 1882 on a 19-acre site at Spies Lane. After World War One, numbers declined due to increasing provision of state secondary schools, and the college closed in 1928.

Bourne College Bourne College (c.1906)

Fifteen of the old boys were killed on active service in the First World War up to the end of 1916 and of the 200 who served in the nation's armed forces 30 names appeared on the very imposing marble war memorial which was erected by public subscription in 1921. It was in July of that year that Alderman H I Sayer unveiled it.

The Memorial Bourne College War Memorial

When the college closed the war memorial was re-erected in the College Road Methodist Chapel. However, due to the construction of the M5 motorway, the College Chapel had to be demolished in 1967 and sadly no place was found in the new Methodist Church for the memorial and it was destroyed with the building. The only memory that remains is a photograph (as above) kept at the Birmingham Reference Library and the inscription on the plate.

After the closure of the college, the building were rebuilt and restyled, and reopened as Quinton Hall in 1931. It was a residential home for elderly men, administered by Birmingham Corporation. It was eventually demolished in 1978, and the six acre site was offered for sale. In 1981, Chantry-Keys Homes Limited bought it for 403,000. They demolished the 105-bed home and built the present Chantry Crescent estate in its place. One of the roads, Hoosen Close, was named after the headmaster of Bourne College, T. J. Hoosen.

Quinton Hall Quinton Hall showing the two trees that still remain in Hoosen Close. Planted for the coronation of George V on 22nd June 1911.

The executive committee of Quinton Local History Society now feel that the memorial should be resurrected as a fitting tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The society has applied to The Birmingham City Council LILA Fund for a contribution toward the fund, which up to now has reached just over 100. The press have also been alerted to the campaign and below is an article that appeared in the Evening Mail on Thursday 18th ]anuary 2001.


Bernard Taylor

A BIRMINGHAM historian is leading a campaign to create a new memorial for 30 young soldiers after their original plaque was destroyed during the building of the M5 motorway nearly 40 years ago. A photograph of the marble plaque in Birmgham Library is all that remains of a tribute to the young men from Bourne College, Quinton, who were killed in World War One.

Now Bernard Taylor, chairman of the Quinton Local History Society, wants to see a new plaque created and placed in the Quinborne Community Centre, to be seen by the people of Quinton.

"Some of the boys killed were from Bourne College, a school for primitive Methodists which closed in 1928" said Bernard. "The marble plaque was then rehoused in the Methodist Chapel in College Road, but then that was demolished to make way for the M5 in 1967," he said.

The plaque was destroyed along with the building and probably ended up in a skip somewhere. Bourne College was restyled into Quinton Hall, a residential home for elderly men, which was eventually demolished in 1978. All that now remains of it are two landmark pine trees on the Chantry Crescent estate, planted to mark the coronation of King GeorgeV in June 1911.

We now feel that the memorial should be resurrected as a fitting tribute to those young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice" added Bernard.

Obviously the cost of a marble replica would be too great, but we are hoping for a wooden one, possibly in oak, which would cost around 500.

We have been in touch with the city council's local ward budget organisers who have been very supportive."

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