Lest We Forget, A Story of Corsley and Chapmanslade in World War 1, 1914-1918

Lest We Forget, A Story of Corsley and Chapmanslade in World War 1, 1914-1918

By Phil Jefferson and Fiona Carruthers

Published privately in 2018, 60 pages. Square paperback - c.21cm by 21cm (N7726)

From the introduction: In the following pages we pay tribute to the men of Corsley and Chapmanslade who gave their lives in the service of the country and to our communities supporting the war effort from a distance. First, we paint a picture of life in the two villages as seen by the local newspaper, and then give biographical details of the men who fell. Together, we hope the book serves as a lasting reminder of the terrible events of 1914 to 1918 in the hope we learn from such events and that they are never repeated.

It should be noted at the time of the First World War, the parish of Corsley included the part of Chapmanslade south of the High Street. The area to the north of the High Street, including Short Street, was in Dilton Marsh parish. A small part of the east of the present parish of Chapmanslade was in Upton Scudamore. The civil parish of Chapmanslade was not created until 1934. This explains why the names of some casualties from Chapmanslade appear on the war memorials of more than one parish.

Chapters in the book include: A Diary of the Great War, Roll of Honour, War Memorials, Personal Histories, and Military units. The personal histories detail the records of men from the area who fought and died in the British Army and Royal Navy during the conflict, and one of the personal histories is detailed below to provide an idea of the information each entry includes.

Private Charles Mead, No. 8842 2nd Battalion, Cold stream Guards, 12th March 1917. Charles Mead was the third son of George and Rebecca Mead, and one of seven siblings, including his younger brother George. His father, George, was a police sergeant. Charles joined the Cold stream Guards before the war, his battalion being mobilised for war in August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Early on, it was involved in the Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, the Battles of the Marne and the Aisne, and the First Battle of Ypres.

The battalion served throughout the war on the Western Front, transferring from the 4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Division to the 1st Guards Brigade, Guards Division in August 1915. During 1917, the battalion was involved in the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, a defensive position built from Arras to Laffaux in northern France. Charles died on 12th March 1917 aged 19. It is unclear if he died during active conflict, through illness or from injuries suffered in the major conflicts of 1916, including the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of the Ancre. The Warminster and Westbury Journal reported his death as having occurred during an advance. Charles is buried in Combles Communal Cemetery Extension in the Somme, a cemetery commemorating over 1500 WW1 casualties of which over half are unidentified. It is likely Charles Mead's grave was moved from another cemetery to Combles sometime after May 1918. Charles Mead was also reported in the Warminster and Westbury Journal as having been taken prisoner during June 1915, but this has not been verified.

Condition of the book is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a price sticker on the rear side cover.