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THANKFUL VILLAGES


HERITAGE PLUS
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I am interested in compiling a list of the "Thankful" Villages i.e. those villages where all who went to war returned. I have compiled the following from various sources. The number in () is the number who went to war and returned. Can any one add more?

Stanbridge - Beds (33)

Knapwell - Cambs (23)

Bradbourne - Derbys (18)

Brierley- Glos (14)

Coln Rogers - Glos (25)

Little Sodbury - Glos (6)

Upper Slaughter - Glos (44)

Puttenham - Herts (15)

Knowlton - Kent (12)

Arkholme - Lancs (59)

Saxby - Leics (Not Known)

Willesley - Leics (3)

Bigby - Lincs (10)

High Toynton - Lincs (14)

Cromwell - Notts (Not Known)

Ovington - Norfolk (14)

Woodend - N'Hants (19)

Maplebeck - N'Hants (2)

Wigsley - N'Hants (7)

Wysall - N'Hants (17)

Teigh - Rutland (11)

Aisholt - Somerset (8)

Chantry - Somerset (Not Known)

Chelwood - Somerset (4)

Ilketshall St. John - Somerset (Not Known)

Priddy - Somerset (Not Known)

Rodney Stoke -Somerset (17)

Stanton Prior - Somerset (4)

Stocklinch - Somerest (19)

Tellisford - Somerset (3)

Woolley - Somerset (13)

South Elmham - Suffolk (11)

Littleton Drew - Wilts (22)

Catwick - Yorks (30)

Cayton - Yorks (43)*

Cundall - Yorks (12)

Norton-le-clay - Yorks (16)

* A 'Thankful@ Village for both World Wars

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Dear Mr Plus (or may I call you Heritage)

I assume your main source is a list in a recent Stand To! Your list repeats three errors contained therein, amended in the following issue by Northants. member Neil Eaton, who originally raised the subject i.e

Maplebeck; Wigsley and Wysall are not in Northamptonshire, but Nottinghamshire.

By the bye, this is a common error. I have been stopped by perplexed motorists on several occasions, saying they cannot locate their destination on their map. "OK" I reply, "get back onto the MI and drive about 65 miles north, and you will come to a city called NOTTINGHAM, where that map will come in handy!!"

And I constantly berate myself for being too dim-witted to drive!!

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Thank-you Kate. I didn't get my info from Stand To! so as you say this common error is widespread. Dave (Heritage Plus).

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I was intrigued by the list in ST and then cross referenced it to the Soldiers Died CD Rom - quite a number of names seemed to fall by the wayside when the village names were searched in the "resident" category which I suppose is not too surprising but I would say that those places really blessed with no casualties were perhaps smaller in number. I can imagine some places being naturally loath to give up their thankfull status and conveniently forgetting that "rather nasty son of that bloke who kept himself to himself up on the tops" etc etc

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I seem to remember reading recently that Somerset had a disproportionate number of thankful villages because their local units were out in quiet far-flung postings such as India.

The correspondence in Stand To! nos 62 and 63 recalls that Arthur Mee listed 23 villages in his book The Enchanted Land (1936) which formed the basis of an article in the Spring 1993 issue of This England magazine, which lists 37. I would have hoped for a better grasp of geography from This England magazine, if they are the originators of the county swapping error. Anyway, quite aside from thankful English locations, what about Ireland, Scotland and Wales...?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you'd be lucky to find a Scottish community without a War Memorial listing fatalities. I don't think you'd find many Irish (not including Ulster) communities where they would have built War Memorials. Don't know about the Welsh I'm sorry.

If you studied the war service of local TF units and Service battalions of the thankful villages I'm sure they must have on the whole been on home, 2nd Line or garrison service. I don't see how so many men from front line units could have survived if they weren't. They must also have had a cut-off of 11.11.18 since I'm sure they must have suffered some fatalities from the Spanish Flu bug. Men still in uniform after the armistice or recently discharged and having died of influenza have frequently turned up on memorials I have researched.

How many of the communities would have large numbers of volunteers in pre-conscription days? Perhaps the men were needed at home and they missed the slaughter of 1915 and 1916. Were there local TF units pre-1914? Perhaps there was no history of Rifle Volunteers in the area?

I'll also add how many are fishing communities where men may have preferred service in the RNR, well away from the trenches? Having almost no idea of English county geography I'm sure the answer is probably none.

Whatever the reasons they certainly had every right to be thankful.

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