Former chemist’s shop, Welshpool

PWMP logoFormer chemist’s shop, 33 Broad Street, Welshpool

Part of this listed building, now the First Stop shop and post office, was once occupied by chemist William Bishop, whose son Charles was killed in the First World War.

The frontage and roof date from the 18th century. It’s thought that much of the interior structure is older still. The ground floor was divided into two until the 1970s, with no.32 being a pub. Around the corner, the building was extended along New Street c.1830.

Chemist William Bishop moved from Grantham to Welshpool in the late 19th century to continue the business previously run by GE Davies. He and his wife Margaret and their children lived above the shop, which stocked, among other things, hair restorer and garden seeds. William sometimes described himself as an “agricultural chemist” and sold products such as fly powder, maggot lotion and horse medicines.

His son Charles Trevor Bishop also became a chemist, studying in Liverpool and London. In 1910 he and his near neighbour Rex Manford were among relatively few people who attended a meeting to establish the Montgomeryshire branch of the Red Cross Society, with the aim of preparing civilians to help tend the sick and wounded if war broke out. When war eventually came, Charles and Rex enlisted in the army and were eventually killed.

Charles initially served with a territorial force of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was a dispensing chemist in a hospital in Malta when the island was a treatment centre for mass casualties from the Allies’ failed attempt to invade Turkey at Gallipoli in 1915. He became an officer in the Wiltshire Regiment in 1915 and was killed in action in Iraq in March 1917, aged 27. Lieut Charles Bishop is commemorated on the Basra Memorial and on his parents’ grave at Christ Church, Welshpool.

With thanks to Natalie Bass

Postcode: SY21 7RR    View Location Map

To continue the Welshpool (Powys) in WW1 tour, turn into New Street and continue almost to where the road bends to the right. The old police station is at the corner
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