First World War heroes' sacrifice is kept alive by Poulton villagers
Researching Poulton during the First World War are the Arkwright family Rosie and Dom with children Izzy, 18, Marcus, 11, Becca, 14 and Hannah, 16
VILLAGERS in Poulton are putting pen to paper in a bid to learn more about the local men killed in battle during the First World War.
14 different households have each been given a name of a Poulton man killed in The First World War to produce a chapter detailing his life for a much-anticipated book written solely by members of the community.
"The idea of restoring the War Memorial and the book is to keep the memory of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom alive for future generations," said David Fowles, who initially had the idea.
The book and the restoration of the memorial will commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War on August 4 2014.
Each chapter will represent a different war soldier and will include photos of him, his family and any living relatives who might come forward. Many members of the community have already said how much they have enjoyed researching the young men, with one woman saying she felt like the man she was assigned to research had felt like a part of her family towards the end.
The Arkwright family got involved in researching for their chapter and took on the challenge with much energy and enthusiasm.
Siblings Izzy, Hannah, Becca and Marcus took charge of researching Charles James Turner leaving parents Rosie and Dominic little much to do.
“It’s really interesting that Charles Turner lived in the same village as us, just so long ago. You don’t appreciate it,” said Becca, 14.
“He grew up as an only child in Poulton and went to war when he was only 21. He died when he was 23 and has no living descendants. He's buried in Thiepval, near Normandy,” said Izzy, 18.
As well as the family enjoying their in-depth research, some of the children are also finding it is benefitting their school work.
“I’m studying the First World War next term,” said Marcus, 11. “I go to a school in Stroud and none of my classmates are doing this project. I’ll be the only one with lots of First World War knowledge.”
“We've read all about this man on the internet and in books too. It’s nice that we’re remembering him when he doesn’t have any relatives left to,” said Hannah, 14.
Revealing a sneak preview of the book, youngest child Marcus read out the final passage of the chapter he wrote with his sisters: “We hope Charles knows, somehow, that we know where he is and who he is and that we are very grateful to him. In the far away village of Poulton, which was his childhood home, he is remembered.”
The book, titled Lest We Forget, will cost £7.99 and is due to be released by November 15 in time for villagers to buy it for Christmas, with all proceeds going to the Poulton War Memorial Restoration Fund, which is thought to be around £1,500. 12 business owners who either live or run a business in Poulton have funded the design and printing of the publication meaning every pound made from selling the book will be able to go straight to the memorial fund.
A themed book launch will be taking place on Thursday, November 22 from 6.30pm in Poulton Village Hall to evoke the feeling and spirit of 1914 which everyone is welcome to.
If anybody recognises any of the names of the men below and has any information or photos they would like to see included in the book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Arthur William Miller
- William James Palmer
- William George Wheeler
- Frederick George Wheeler
- Sidney Stratford
- James Anderson Thomson
- Charles James Turner
- Sidney James Strange
- Alexander George Russell
- Thomas William Hobbes
- Raymond Porter Waine
- Daniel Skinner
- Cecil Edwin Ash
- Frank Ash
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