If Somebody Remembers Me, by Geoff Peel, subtitled 'Men from the village of Shepley who served in the Great War 1914-1919'
Published privately by the author, 76 pages. Paperback (N5334PE)
Brand New Book
This book provides a fascinating record of men fro mthe West Yorkshire village of Shepley who fought in the First World War, and the book is illustrated throughout with lots of small colour photographs.
From the introduction: At 11am on the 11th November 1918, silence descended across the battlefields of Europe as an Armistice came into effect. The Great War of 1914-1918 had ended. Twelve months later, at 11am on the first anniversary of the Armistice, across the UK and beyond, in city, town and village, people spontaneously stopped what they were doing for several minutes as they remembered that momentous day exactly one year before.
Almost every City, Town and Village erected a War Memorial after the Great War, yet what do we know about the men whose names are inscribed upon them. The first public suggestion of a permanent Memorial at Shepley was made in a resolution passed by the Peace Celebration Committee at a meeting on the 8th October 1919. A public meeting was held on the 15th December following and it was agreed to canvas the Township and see what support could be obtained. The area was divided into nine districts and two members of the committee were allocated to each district to call on every household. They met with a generous response, and within a few weeks they were able to announce actual or promised subscriptions of £1000.
The result is for all to see. The site is at the top of the recreation ground behind the school. The position was controversial at the time, when the committee voted, it was unanimous with 11 votes but there were 7 abstentions.
The Bronze figure is of a soldier, slightly over life size, in fighting order, standing easy with his face toward the village. The steps and pedestal are of Cornish granite. The total height is some fifteen feet and weighs above twelve tons. The memorial was made and constructed by a Mr Swift of St Helier, Doncaster, the groundwork and foundations were done by men of the village. The final cost being £1242-7s-11p
The unveiling took place on Saturday, 25th June 1921 by Brigadier-General R.E.Sugden preceded by a procession through the village which included veterans, members and ex-members of His Majesty's Forces, relatives of the fallen, public representatives, village choirs and the general public.
Shepley War Memorial records the names of two hundred and sixty one men from this village who served in the First World War. Two hundred and eleven men survived. Some with missing limbs, some suffering from the effects of gas, all with a scar on their minds that would remain with them for the rest of their lives. Most of them had served on the Western Front in Belgium and France. A place where hundreds of thousands of men died in senseless battles while the survivors lived like rats in mud and filth.
Shepley had fifty three men killed, (three are not mentioned on the memorial). Twenty one have no known grave; their bodies were never found or identified. Their names appear on Memorials in France, Belgium and Gallipoli, the youngest eighteen, the oldest thirty seven. The graves of the soldiers which can be found lie as far away as Iraq and Iran and as near as Shepley Churchyard.
Three Shepley men were killed on First Day of the Somme when there were sixty thousand casualties on that 1st July 1916. Nine men were killed in the Battle for Passchendaele, a battle that was to last two weeks but took three months, cost 300,000 lives and the Germans took it back three months later...
Please note, there is a small price sticker on the rear side cover