Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Day- 13th November 2016

11th November 2016

I was at the cenotaph on Friday to pay my respects to those who went before. My interest in military history began withe the First World War and so as I stood with my head bowed I silently recounted the names of those men whom I wished to thank and remember. It begins with my family:

Walter Nixon
Jack Nixon
Sid Nixon
Edgar Nixon
Alf Nixon
Bert Elam
Charles Arthur Roberts

I then recalled the men I had interviewed, mostly between 1980 and 1985 when I was a young man at school and later at university, and the men I was interviewing were in their eighties, nineties and, in a couple of cases, hundreds. I remembered pleasant times with:

Frederick Cutts
Reg Crane

These were all men who I met on multiple occasions and, dare I say, became friends with, although to me they were always Mr Bardsley, Mr Brown, Mr Cutts; never Harry, Stan or Fred.  

I am honoured to have had ancestors who fought for Britain in the First World War, honoured too to have met and chatted with men - well over a hundred of them in the end - who shouldered arms for King and Country during those terrible years 1914-1918. Today, on this Remembrance Sunday, I remember them all.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

St Andrew's Church, Colne Engaine

A war memorial at Colne Engaine, Essex; built in 2014 thanks to the generosity of local donors, has seen more names added to the village's roll-call of men who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars. 

Inside the St Andrew's church, a memorial lists the names of 18 men who fell during in the First World War, with two casualties from the Second World War added later.  

The more recent memorial provides more detail on the men, including the year in which they died, and I list the names below, in the order in which they appear on the memorial. Names in bold are those names missing from the church memorial.

First World War 1914-1918

Bertram W Dixey 1917
Percy Edgar Dixey 1917
George A Boreham 1918
Stanley Butcher 1915
Sidney Carter 1916
Charles Catterwell 1917
Stanley M Coppin 1816
Scott Fairbank 1915
George Fordham 1917
Alfred James Gardner 1918
David Basil Hart 1918
Douglas Charles Hibble 1917
George Hicks 1918
Raymond George Lane 1918
George Quartermain 1917
George Charles Reynolds 1916
Bert Ridgwell 1916
Harry George Smith 1917
Tom Smith 1915
Ernest Wakeling 1915
Percy G Wakeling 1915
Frederick Willsher 1918
Frank James Wright 1917

Second World War 1939-1945

John Louis Colclough Watson 1941
Edward Cotterill Scholefield 1941
Rupert Mortimer Legge 1944
Ronald Wilfred Symonds 1944

I am sure that a lot of thought went into the new memorial but I am at a loss to understand why Bertram and Percy Dixey appear at the top of the roll call. Bertram is buried in the churchyard and Percy, presumably related, was from the nearby village of Pebmarsh. I wonder also, why the men's ranks or regiments or regimental numbers were not included on the new roll. Maybe it came down to cost in the end. Nevertheless, it's good to see that 100 years after the outbreak of the Great War, there was still sufficient drive and determination to get this project off the ground and realise it in such a well-crafted manner.  I took a number of photographs on a late autumn afternoon and will be happy to send these on to anyone with an interest in this community. Drop me a line via the research tab.

Naval & Military Press