Lest We Forget - The First World War Memorials of Uttlesford District
Published by Recoreders of Uttlesford History, 134 pages. Paperback (N5337)
From the rear side cover: This book has been compiled to commemorate the Centenary of World War One, which broke out on 4 August 1914. Here can be found accounts of how, after the war, memorials were erected by communities in almost 60 towns and villages of North West Essex, to commemorate more than 1,000 of their lost sons. Sad and stirring stories about the fallen, and 200 fine photographs, complement this unique tribute to those who never came home.
Over 50 villages are covered in the book, including Arkesden, Barnston, Birchanger, Great and Little Canfield, Clavering, Debden, Great and Little Dunmow, Great and Little Easton, Elsenham, Felsted, Great and Little Hallingbury, Hatfield Heath, Hempstead, Henham, High Roding, Langley, Manuden, Newport, Radwinter, Saffron Walden, Great and Little Sampford, Stansted, Strethall, Takely, Tilty, Ugley, Wendens Ambo, Widdington, and many more!
From the introduction: The book is not intended to be a comprehensive guide since many history groups and others have produced their excellent booklets with considerable detail. It seeks to gather together a selection of these stories and rolls of honour, together with colour photographs of the memorials, to provide a picture of how the dead of World War One were remembered among their own local communities.
The memorials come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and materials. They can be found inside and outside of churches and other buildings, in town centres, on village greens and at road junctions. Some are not conventional memorials at all, but take the form of a commemorative structure in constant use by the community: in one instance, a church organ and in another a stained glass window. Some parishes have no memorials at all - in these cases any fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and women killed in the line of duty, are usually remembered on memorials in villages or towns nearby. Only one village in our district officially has no fallen, although there is a distant link to one soldier.
There are also numerous graves of individual soldiers to be found in many local churchyards and where known these have been included in this book. Some gravestones have been erected in this country by the families, in memory of their sons who died of illness or wounds after the war. Some soldiers who fell in a foreign field and are buried or commemorated abroad are also remembered on family graves in local churchyards. Other soldiers have the simple, elegant, white marble head stones either in village burial grounds, or in one of the mass graveyards abroad. All of these head stones are erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), established by Royal Charter in 1917. The CWGC marks and maintains the graves of members of the forces of Commonwealth countries who died in both the Great War and later wars. It maintains memorials to the war dead who have no known grave and provides records and registers of these burials and commemorations.
At the beginning of the war the Government repatriated bodies home, but early in 1915 it became clear that the high numbers of casualties made this impractical and it was stopped. Instead, a single soldier was repatriated and buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. He represents all those whose bodies have not been found. Some were buried where they fell, by their comrades, but most of these graves have been lost. These soldiers are commemorated on one of the many memorials maintained by the CWGC. Other soldiers, whose bodies have been found, are buried in CWGC cemeteries in the countries where they fell.
After the war ended, committees were formed in the towns and villages to discuss what form the memorial should take and how to raise the money for building the monument....
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover