Our village at War

Posted On November 7, 2016
November 07, 2016

Have you ever wondered about the First World War casualties named on our War Memorials ?

group_cw_magMembers of Chorleywood U3A did, so they decided to investigate the background of the fifty men named on the board in the War Memorial Hall.

It turned out that these young men were involved in every major theatre of war, though inevitably the majority perished in France, Belgium or Gallipoli. Most were killed in action, a few succumbed to disease or sickness and a small number died of war-related illnesses after hostilities had ceased.

The impact on what was then a small rural community is hard to imagine. We found families who had lost more than one son, cousins and brothers-in-law who had perished, and roads where several young men and their families were near-neighbours.

There are no outstanding heroes on the Chorleywood memorial – although you could say that everyone who took part in the Great War was a hero. They were just ordinary folk –gardeners, labourers, shop workers, stable boys and clerks – who were sucked into the most unimaginable horrors and carried out what they saw as their duty.

Our research is now complete, so to ensure that these men are not forgotten U3A is publishing a book containing a history of the village in 1914 – 1918 and our men’s stories – who they were, where they worked and lived and where, when and how they died.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       David Hiddleston

Copies are available from Chorleywood bookshop or through U3A by contacting u3aww1project@gmail.com

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