Village war heroes are documented in a new piece of historical research

A pack horse with a gas mask being loaded up with equipment during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, Belgium, 31 July 1917. Courtsey of The Imperial War Museum.
A pack horse with a gas mask being loaded up with equipment during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, Belgium, 31 July 1917. Courtsey of The Imperial War Museum.

East Riding villagers who were killed in The Great War are being remembered in a new electronic magazine put together by three amateur historians.

Albert Bryan

Albert Bryan

Mike Mitchell, Laurence Newton and Stacey Smith came up with the idea during a trip to France, and originally only intended to research soldiers from North Ferriby, where Mike lives.

But such was the interest in the project that they have now researched soldiers who lived and worked in more than 20 villages and hamlets, including Kilham, Allerthorpe, East Cottingwith, Burton Agnes, Ruston Parva, Thornholme,andKilnsea. And now the magazine is being made available for schools.

One of the many soldiers featured is 26-year-old Driver Joseph Carr, one of 17 children whose family lived at Middle Street, Kilham.

He thought he’d been kicked in the face by his horse, but both eyes had in fact been destroyed by a gun shot.

Mike said: “It’s been a lot of hard work and research.

“Ideally we’d like all villages in the East Riding to send us their stories and pictures. We went on a visit to Ypres to tour some of the famous WW1 battlegrounds. It hit our hearts a lot and we thought it would be good to educate schools and the community back home of what sacrifices have been made in World War One.”

The 179-page magazine also contains a wide range of information - from uniforms and equipment, to the different types of amunition used, to techniques for digging tunnels and trenches, to the varying contents of Princess Mary’s 1914 gift tin.

Members of the public are invited to a free exhibition showing some of the research, including photos and memorabilia, at North Ferriby Village Hall on Friday March 20 (11am - 4pm) and Saturday March 21 (10am to 4pm).

There’ll also be items of memorabilia from the Battle of The Somme in which more than a million men were either killed or wounded.

Other soldiers remembered include Albert Bryan, of Middle Street, Kilham, who had already escaped death as a four-year-old child when he went missing in a storm with a friend. National newspapers of 1890 reported how he was found unconscious three miles from his home by a 50-man search party. By the age of 15 he was a horseman at a farm in Thornholme, and at 25 he was a waggoner at Ruston Parva. He died of wounds on October 28, 1916 and was awarded the 15 Star, British and Victory medals.

The three amateur historians have been supported in the project by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull telecomms firm KC.

If you’d like to receive a copy of the e-magazine or to submit any stories or photos, please email Mike at ww1ferriby@yahoo.co.uk