A Black Coun­try com­mu­nity’s tri

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - By JOHN WORKMAN

THE Aldridge Great War Project was ini­ti­ated to re­search all the men and women of Aldridge who served in the Great War, and of­fer help to those who were in the process of re­search­ing mem­bers of their own fam­ily who were caught up in the con­flict.

Over the past four and a half years the aim has been to re­mem­ber all those who fought and died, cared for the sick and wounded, worked in the re­served oc­cu­pa­tions, the land­girls and mu­ni­tion fac­tory work­ers, all those who gave up their lives for the du­ra­tion of the war so that we come en­joy our free­dom and lib­erty to­day, and the sol­diers, sailors and air­men who came home men­tally and phys­i­cally scarred from the trau­mas of war.

It was there­fore with a fair amount of pride that Sue Sattherth­waite, Chair of the AGWP, ad­vised us about the Aldridge “Poppy Road” project which be­gan on Novem­ber 1st and will cul­mi­nate on the 100th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the Armistice on Novem­ber 11, 1918. Sue told us: “Our Poppy Road project is a trib­ute from one gen­er­a­tion to an­other. Sil­hou­ettes, dis­plays and thou­sands of pop­pies, cre­ated by lo­cal peo­ple and oth­ers as far away as Aus­tralia, will adorn Sta­tion Road to hon­our Aldridge peo­ple who en­dured the Great War of 1914-18. More than sev­enty homes and busi­nesses have dec­o­rated their premises, which is al­most the en­tire street, and the in­spir­ing sto­ries of fifty-seven in­di­vid­u­als are be­ing told. They in­clude a young man who was shot at dawn, boy sol­diers, pris­on­ers of war, and Wil­liam Henry Brown who was struck by light­ning on the bat­tle­field.


“Sta­tion Road was cho­sen to rep­re­sent not just the ser­vice and sac­ri­fice of those who once lived there but also that of the whole vil­lage. It was from Sta­tion Road that Aldridge peo­ple boarded the train to take them to war, or to their vi­tal work in the mu­ni­tions fac­to­ries. It is where the sick or wounded men ar­rived to be treated in the two mil­i­tary hos­pi­tals in the vil­lage, and where rel­a­tives waited to wel­come their loved ones home. Par­tic­u­larly poignant is the dis­play of more than 430 pop­pies cre­ated by lo­cal peo­ple and made en­tirely from re­cy­cled plas­tic, each poppy rep­re­sent­ing an in­di­vid­ual who served. One hun­dred and one of the pop­pies will be black to rep­re­sent those who lost their lives, forty-one of whom are not recorded on the Aldridge War Me­mo­rial. This will be the first time that all of the vil­lage’s war dead have been re­mem­bered to­gether.


“The Poppy Road Project has be­ing man­aged and funded by two lo­cal vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions, the Aldridge Great War Project and the Aldridge Lo­cal His­tory So­ci­ety work­ing closely with the cur­rent res­i­dents of Sta­tion Road.

Lest We For­get

The peo­ple of Aldridge pay­ing their trib­ute

A car­pet of pop­pies

Aldridge sta­tion framed with pop­pies

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