Memo­ri­als a re­minder of our lost gen­er­a­tion

A new me­mo­rial will list, for the first time, the names of all 14,000 from Notts who per­ished in the Great War. It will join more than 640 memo­ri­als in towns and vil­lages across the county.


AC­CORD­ING to the United King­dom Na­tional In­ven­tory of War Memo­ri­als web­site, there are more than 640 en­tries for First World War memo­ri­als in Not­ting­hamshire.

They range from the mighty me­mo­rial arch on Vic­to­ria Em­bank­ment which hon­ours all the fallen, to small, in­di­vid­ual plaques dot­ted around churches and pub­lic places across the county.

Na­tion­wide, more than 100,000 memo­ri­als were erected in the years after the end of the First World War, re­flect­ing the pub­lic’s mood as they counted the cost of “the war to end all wars” – 887,000 UK mil­i­tary deaths. A gen­er­a­tion lost.

It was a re­mark­able pub­lic re­sponse to the griev­ous losses the county suf­fered dur­ing the First World War.

Now, a new me­mo­rial is to be added to the cat­a­logue. The Great War Me­mo­rial, to be cre­ated by Not­ting­hamshire County Coun­cil and sited at Vic­to­ria Em­bank­ment, will be the first to in­cor­po­rate a roll of hon­our for armed ser­vices fa­tal­i­ties for the whole of the county to­gether, rather than a city, town, vil­lage or work­place.

All 14,000 names of the fallen will be etched into a cir­cu­lar stone sur­round­ing the mon­u­ment, which will be lit to at­tract vis­i­tors and to al­low quiet re­flec­tion at any time.

The coun­cil is cur­rently fi­nal­is­ing fund­ing for the me­mo­rial, and work is ex­pected to start in the near fu­ture.

The vast ma­jor­ity of those names be­longed to young in­fantry­men serv­ing on the Western Front. Not­ting­ham alone suf­fered more than 6,500 mil­i­tary ca­su­al­ties and through­out the county only four vil­lages wel­comed back ev­ery man who en­listed.

To­day, Cromwell, Maple­beck, Wigs­ley and Wysall are known as Thank­ful Vil­lages, a term coined by Sta­ple­ford-born writer and jour­nal­ist Arthur Mee in his King’s Eng­land, a guide to the coun­ties of Eng­land in the 1930s.

Among the 16,000 vil­lages in Eng­land, Mee es­ti­mated that there were at most 32 Thank­ful Vil­lages, al­though he could only pos­i­tively iden­tify 24.

They were, in­deed, the lucky ones. Con­trast their fate with Tithby near Bing­ham. At the time of the Great War it con­sisted of just 20 houses … but still had to bear the grief of 17 vil­lage sons go­ing to their deaths.

Six Not­ting­hamshire-born he­roes re­ceived the ul­ti­mate award for val­our, the Vic­to­ria Cross. They were Snein­ton-born Sap­per Wil­liam Hack­ett, who served in the 254th Tun­nelling Com­pany Royal Engi­neers; Sergeant Wil­liam Henry John­son, from Work­sop, 1/5th Bat­tal­ion Sher­wood Foresters; Colonel Sir Charles Ge­of­frey Vick­ers, 1/7th Robin Hood Bat­tal­ion, Sher­wood Foresters; Cap­tain Al­bert Ball, from Len­ton, 7th Robin Hood Bat­tal­ion, Sher­wood Foresters, and Royal Fly­ing Corps; Pri­vate Sa­muel Har­vey, Bas­ford, 1st Bat­tal­ion York and Lan­caster Reg­i­ment; and Wil­frid Dolby Fuller, East Kirby, Greasley, 1st Bat­tal­ion Gre­nadier Guards.

They were the hon­oured few, but the tens of thou­sands of re­cruits from the county who served, and who died in com­bat, from their wounds, or from dis­ease, de­serve their mem­ory to be hon­oured.

And when heads are bowed to­mor­row at war memo­ri­als around the county, it should also be re­mem­bered that the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion bore a heavy bur­den.

Na­tion­wide more than 16,000 men, women and chil­dren, in­clud­ing sev­eral vic­tims of the 1916 Zep­pelin raid on Not­ting­ham, were killed as a re­sult of en­emy ac­tion.

The de­sign for Not­ting­ham’s new war me­mo­rial for Vic­to­ria Em­bank­ment

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