Chaddesley servicemen identified for WWI book

Kidderminster Shuttle: SIGNING UP: Recruitment taking place in front of Tudor House in Chaddesley Corbett in 1914. SIGNING UP: Recruitment taking place in front of Tudor House in Chaddesley Corbett in 1914.

A BOOK detailing the "staggering" impact of the First World War in Chaddesley Corbett has been published on behalf of the village's history society.

Author Sylvia Beardshaw has spent three years researching the volunteers and conscripts with a Chaddesley connection who went away to fight for their county in a bid to record the impact on the society of the parish.

Her book acknowledges 224 men for their service, whose names she found on the Roll of Honour inside St Cassian's Church, on the war memorial outside and in newspaper articles in The Shuttle.

It was the 135 names on the wooden monument inside the church that inspired the book's title, The Boys on the Board.

Mrs Beardshaw, a retired lecturer, said: "We [the Chaddesley Corbett Local History Society] decided to do a display in 2010 on those 28 men who were on the war memorial but I said we can't just do the men on there, we've got to do the boys on the board as well.

"The book details what they did, how old they were, whether they came back, if they died, where they died and how many were in their family.

"Nearly 50 per cent of families had one or more family members serving, it's absolutely staggering.

"It had a terrific impact on the parish and it must have been like that in every village."

Mrs Beardshaw collected old and new photographs, newspaper cuttings, maps and tables to document the lives and deaths of the Chaddesley servicemen.

She used census data to find out information on ages, employment, family structure and places of residence.

Mrs Beardshaw added: "I loved doing the research. I feel a bit of an affinity with them [the boys on the board], some of them were so young."

The book is for sale at the Flower Room, the Post Office, the Village Butcher in Chaddesley Corbett and at Harvington Hall, or by calling 01562 777679 or 01562 777955. A donation will be made to The Royal British Legion for each copy sold.

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