A Farewell to Arms

Coughton has been home to the Throckmorton family for 600 years and a wealth of stories and characters continue to fill this family home where clues to its turbulent history can be found amongst the fresh flowers and portraits. 2016 marks 100 years since Courtenay Throckmorton was killed fighting in the First World War, and 70 years since Coughton Court came into the care of the National Trust

To commemorate both events we have commissioned a piece of work from artist, Jennifer Collier, to grace the dining room table, and a farewell dinner party will be thrown for Courtenay and other soldiers from the estate. Our team started to gather research from local libraries and regimental museums, and in some instances family members brought in photographs and letters they had written to loved ones during the war. The world in which these soldiers lived started to materialise and details of their lives gave colour to the names and a sense of reality.

A "Farewell to Arms"
Coughton Court Dining room display 2016

Rebecca Farr, Conservation and Engagement Manager tells us, ‘The biggest revelation came when we discovered that four out of the five men played together on the Coughton cricket team. Suddenly the world we had furnished for our diners shrank significantly - they all knew each other, and what’s more, they played cricket together! The lives of these men started in very different ways, from rich to poor, but they were all linked together, part of life in Coughton, and we will remember them.’

Farewell dinner party set on dining table

Panels in the dining room tell the stories of these men, and the floral display from artist Jennifer Collier will serve as the centrepiece for the dining table. The paper flowers are made from different documents relating to the soldiers, including medal cards and maps of the battles in which they saw active service.