– Introduction to the New WWI Memorial Book that is Currently with The Printers
This book is designed to record information about those of our community who died in the First World War. Also included are local men commemorated elsewhere and others from far away who are buried in our churchyards. As far as the compilers can ascertain there are sixty-nine men and one woman with a local connection, who did not return to their loved ones after the war.
To the families of these 70 casualties, they were sons, brothers, fathers or grandsons and, in one case, a daughter, whose death would have caused much misery and grief. They would have been well known by those who loved them, but with the movement of people over the years, many of their memories are lost. Identified now only as names carved in stone, their individual personalities have disappeared. This book is an attempt to re-discover something of their lives and record it, a small group of local volunteers, began by transcribing the names which appear on the war memorials in Chitterne, Shrewton and Tilshead. To these were added others from local monuments in churches in Maddington, Orcheston and Rollestone.
Our quest was hindered by the paucity of individual service records from 1914-1918; the result of air raids in World War Two. We began by consulting the cemetery and memorial registers of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), all now available online – www.cwgc.org. Further information came from the HMSO publication “Soldiers Died in the Great War:. From these sources, we were able to discover the locations of graves or memorials, dates of death together with places of birth and enlistment. The family background of local people was discovered by some exhaustive research including the relevant census, notably 1901 and 1911. For those who served with Commonwealth units, full service records were available.
Medal index cards record the awards made to servicemen and were helpful in identifying those who qualified for the 1914 and 1915 Stars, with the date of their deployment. Other invaluable sources were the War Diaries, maintained by individual units and describing their daily moves and activities, sometimes in detail. From these diaries it was usually possible to establish where a man died and why he was there.
Not all were killed in action. Some died of illness, notably in the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918, in accidents or while prisoners of war. At least one took his own life. There are two cases of servicemen who died after the war; the result of wounds they received.
Despite our best efforts, some of the stories are sketchy, with an element of informed guesswork. Whilst we have done the best we can, some errors may exist. Certainly, anyone planning to visit a grave or memorial should check with the CWGC that it is still as described here.
2018-11-01 Plain Sacrifice Example Page
Winter Reminder from the Parish Council
Very soon people will be noticing that our winter visitors from Wales will be on Salisbury Plain very close to our village, that is our woolly friends the sheep. Dog walkers are reminded therefore to keep their dogs well under control within the vicinity of sheep, and if very close to sheep on a lead. Once a dog has chased sheep and tasted blood it is likely to do so again. If a farmer or landowner witnesses a dog chasing and harming his sheep he has the legal right to shoot it.
Not long until Bonfire Night which we will enjoy and look forward to. If anyone is planning a firework party in their garden please inform their neighbours especially if they have animals. We are a village surrounded by farm land with sheep, cattle and horses as well as domestic animals, so please bear this in mind before preparing to let off loud bangs.
Bonfires and hedgehogs. Before lighting a bonfire please search the base for any hibernating hedgehogs. Many hedgehogs are cremated at this time of the year unintentionally in bonfires. We are losing them fast and every effort is being made to build up numbers. Keep a patch of your garden ‘wild’ so that they can hibernate in the undergrowth.
Tilshead Parish Council