Researcher, Ted Sparrow tells us about his online publications about the North Essex coast during WW1, in our next guest blog.
If you shed a tear
In the first decade of this century a number of local churches produced memorial books telling the stories of those lost in the service of our country. To commemorate the centenary of the Great War an e-book has been produced entitled “If you shed a tear”. This is compiled from the memorial books of a dozen coastal parishes on the North Essex coast between the rivers Colne and Blackwater. It contains over 200 profiles of men associated with these villages killed in that war.
Those looking for a smooth narrative will be disappointed. This book is in fact a scrap book compiled by the local community and is dedicated to the Generation that endured the Great War. The odd press cutting, letter home or photograph still nurtured by their family is all that remains and is supplemented with such information that is readily available in the public domain.
The introduction describes the project to tell the stories of our Fallen. Thereafter the book is broken into 3 major sections. Firstly chapters1 to 8 discusses 1914 and how various groups in the community became involved in the war. The second section has profiles of other men lost in the 3 years 1915, 1916, and 1917. The final year of fighting is covered in the last section, which also summarise the cost to our community.
The title incidentally derives from a paragraph which reads: –
AT THE END OF THEIR LIFE, THEY SAY THAT OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE THEY JUST FADE AWAY.
THE ROYAL MARINES ARE SAID TO CROSS THE HARBOUR BAR.
THEY ONLY DIE IF THEY ARE FORGOTTEN.
SO PLEASE READ THEIR STORIES THAT THEY MAY BE REMEMBERED.
AND IF YOU SHED A TEAR, KNOW THAT YOU HAVE NOT WEPT ALONE.
You are invited to download the book “If you shed a tear”.
There is no charge.
It is given free so that as many people as possible may read their sad stories and admire their sheer courage.
The file has some 385 pages and will take several minutes to download.
See link: http://issuu.com/tollesbury
The Valiant Men of Essex
This book is published in the Centenary year of the outbreak of the Great War 1914 – 1918. It is intended as a tribute to all those who endured the horrors of that war and to honour the memory of those awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
The seventeen represented here are associated with Essex as encompassed by the county boundaries of that time. Two were awarded the naval version of the Victoria Cross from the Battle of Jutland and Gallipoli.
Those to the Army included the very first given, which were at Nimy Bridge Mons and the Battle of Le Cateau in 1914. On the Western Front they were earned in the Battle of Saint Eloi, Passchendaele and two in the crucial battles March 1918 during the German “Kaiserschlact” campaign. Another was at Vimy Ridge while the last were in the final weeks of the war at Canal du Nord and at Havrincourt. Their ranks also include a padre and a doctor plus four from the Dominions. Thus this group is fairly representative of all those who earned the award.
One was earned in Palestine and another in Mesopotamia. In this last case he was seriously considered for a bar to the VC but Lt Gen. Sir S Maud, GOC Troops at Kut did not want to set a precedent – a double VC was unknown at the time.
So please read their stories that they may be remembered and so live on in people’s memories.
You can also find The Valiant Men of Hertfordshire and The Valiant Men of Suffolk on the website.