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Photos and text kindly supplied by Winifred Pender (Nee Dale)
The Salvation Army opened in 1887. At that time the population was between 2 and 3 thousand people. It was reported in 'The War Cry' that someone commented to the first Salvationists "I'm glad you are coming- we want some life here" The first meeting was held in a barn, cleaned out and fitted with a platform and held about 200 people. The response was so large it was not big enough.
During the next 100 years, worship halls in Pipers Lane and then Silver Street become the place to see uniformed Salvationists who would readily witness to a faith in God and it became a meeting place of many Christians who wished to worship God in an informal setting with music and preaching, activities for young people and many social occasions. During the war, German Prisoners of War would be brought from a house in West Street where they were detained, and they had the chance to share meetings with those who gathered in the Salvation Army hall on a Sunday afternoon. These meetings were led by trained Salvation Army Officers who were appointed by the Headquarters in London. It became a regular sight to see the band marching through the streets of Godmanchester and open air meetings were held in Huntingdon also.
Records show that those who went to be trained as Salvation Army Officers from Godmanchester through those years are named as follows:
- Emily Bondfield (nee Pettit) 1891 Became a Captain.
- Florence Groves (nee Reeve) 1894 Major.
- Alan Victor Binge 1922 Major.
- Valerie Pearl George 1953 Major.
- Winifred Violet Dale 1953 Commissioner
- David Wing Captain.
Godmanchester Salvation Army corps ceased operating in the early years of 2000 but there are still those who are members and attend other places of worship.
Click image to enlarge and read discription. For further Salvation Photographs please click here.