Tellisford is a village four miles north-east of Frome that inspired the author Arthur Mee to write “We do not remember a more charming place in all our journeyings”; what held good when those words were written in the 1930s remains good today. Two hundred years ago Tellisford consisted of 23 houses and had a population of 120 people – today this has risen to 26 houses and 140 people. The village is located on the River Frome and the medieval Pack Horse Bridge is most certainly worth a visit. The Environment Agency maintain a monitoring station here close to the old Weir and Tellisford Mill is in the process of being upgraded to produce electrical power using a German made water turbine capable of producing enough electricity to power the whole village.

The Parish Church of All Saints dates back to the 12th Century and is built of stone quarried in Doulting – the same source as that used for Wells Cathedral. Three Tellisford Parishioners went to the Great War of 1914-1918 and all three returned to this, one of the smallest of Somerset’s ‘Thankful Villages’.

All Saints, Tellisford, Photo - Terry Brown


Inside the church there is a wall plaque commemorating the death in the Great War of two of the grandsons of the then Rector, the Revd Charles Francis Baker. The plaque records that they were the sons of his daughter Louisa Mary Brodie and her husband George Gordon Brodie of Woodlands, Cheltenham. The older grandson named on the plaque, Theodore Stuart Brodie, and his twin brother C.G. Brodie both served in the Submarine Service of the Royal Navy. In 1915  Lieutenant-Commander T.S. Brodie was the commanding officer of the submarine E15 operating in the Dardanelles; Lieutenant-Commander C.G. Brodie had moved from commanding the submarine B6 to the staff of Commodore Roger Keyes who was in overall command of submarine operations in the Dardanelles.

On the 17th of April 1915 Lt-Cdr Brodie attempted to take the E15 through the minefields of the Narrows into the Sea of Marmora. Three RNAS seaplanes flew over to watch; in one of them as observer was Lt-Cdr C.G. Brodie. There are strong currents in the Narrows, and layers of water of varying density so that depth-keeping is difficult. The E15 was swept aground off Kephez Point. Her engines could not pull her off the mud, and she was the stationary target of Turkish guns. Lt-Cdr T.S. Brodie opened the hatch and as he climbed out he was killed by a shell. His twin, flying just above, saw this happen. T.S. Brodie was 31; he is buried in Chanak Consular Cemetery, with many of his crew. C.G. Brodie survived the war.

The third son of Louisa and George was Captain Philip Wyndham Brodie who served in the 1st Seaforth Highlanders, and later was attached to the R.A.F. He was the husband of Mrs T.H. Brodie of Wellington Court, Cheltenham. He died just after the end of the war, on the 18th of November, 1918, at Taranto, Italy. He is buried there. He was 31, so was 3 years younger than the twins.

Both of these officers are commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial. The plaque in All Saints Church, Tellisford, does not have any bearing on its status as a Thankful Village.

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