Booklet preserves brave men’s tales

Maggi Stowers with the booklet created by the history society

Maggi Stowers with the booklet created by the history society - Credit: supplied

THE stories behind the brave men who went to war from the villages of Pill and Easton-in-Gordano have been finally told thanks to the work of a small group of residents.

Since October 2012, members of the Crockerne Pill and District History Society have been researching the 56 men whose names appear on two war memorials in the parish.

These can be seen at Christ Church in Pill and St George’s Church in Easton-in-Gordano, with all those named having a previous connection to the area.

The men fought in either World War One or Two and now the research into those involved in the Great War has been completed.

On August 4, also the centenary of the start of the conflict, a dedicated booklet entitled World War One: The Memorials of Pill & Easton-in-Gordano, was officially launched in Pill.

Society secretary Maggi Stowers said: “We totally sold out of the books at the launch and are going to have to get more printed.

“That is just less than 100 copies.

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“I think people do appreciate it and there was quite a bit of emotion at the launch.

“We are giving free copies to schools, the library, the two churches, as well as various other places such as the Bristol Records Office and Imperial War Museum for their archives.

“Next we move on to World War Two, which is only 25 men, but it is going to be quite a different process trying to find out about them.

“Whereas we could look at the 1901-1911 Census for World War One, we don’t have that for these.”

Each year, all 56 names on the memorials are read out during the Armistice services held in the villages and the society hoped to also find out their Christian names so these could also be read aloud during the ceremonies.

Maggi added: “The research has been long and complicated.

“Many stories have emerged, often sad and some harrowing but always courage and bravery have emerged.

“Ordinary men who lived ordinary lives in our two villages, going off to war.

“Many with large families who they left behind and the tough conditions those families endured having lost their breadwinner.”