A Black Country community’s tri
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