The inscription on the war memorial at Chapel Green in Crowborough reads:
In proud and grateful memory of the men of Crowborough and district who died in the defence of their country 1914 – 1919.
Erected by parents and friends.
“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God”
As we approach the time of year when we vow to never forget, a new book now means we know more than just the names of the local people who made the ultimate sacrifice.
If you have ever stopped to read the names etched onto the semi-circular wall in front of All Saints, you may have come across familiar surnames, and momentarily thought to yourself – “I wonder if that might be so-and-so’s grandfather?”
Nigel Allison, Chairman of the Crowborough Branch of the Royal British Legion, has spent the last few years researching members of the armed services and civilians who died during the First and Second World Wars, whose names are listed on the war memorials in Crowborough, Jarvis Brook and Rotherfield, including memorials at Sir Henry Fermor School and at St Michael & All Angels Church.
Nigel’s father flew on Lancaster bombers and Nigel served for six years in the Communications Branch of the Royal Air Force before joining the Merchant Navy.
There is a lady in Jarvis Brook who has got a copy of the book. She rang me up and said it’s fascinating, every day I look at another page and I think I know that family and I know that one too. I know so many of the names and the families. She says its addictive, once you start reading you can’t put it down.
Among those that fell are three brothers, Arthur, Brian and Milo Onslow that died in WWI; the son of Arthur Conan Doyle who died after being seriously wounded in the Battle of the Somme; and a member of the 617 Dambusters Squadron.
Group Captain (retired) Derek North, Sussex County President of Royal British Legion wrote in the foreword to the book:
Each year in November, as part of our Remembrance Services, we recite the names of those commemorated upon the memorials. Hitherto, although annually we vow to remember them, the names are all that we have known about those who fell, who gave their lives in the service of their country in its darkest hours. Nigel has now changed that by providing a history to each name, making them into real people to whom we can relate.
The book is priced £19.99 and is on sale from Guests Shoe Shop on the High Street in Crowborough and The Courtyard café in Rotherfield.
Click for details of local Remembrance Services.