In the magazine of January 1915 (SHC ref WIT/16/36) there is a Roll of Honour listing 98 men with the regiments they have joined, two already noted as wounded, one as a prisoner. In addition the first two deaths are recorded. The writer notes that the list includes 4 or 5 names of those who had moved elsewhere but who still had parents living in the village, a useful reminder to present researchers that some men recorded on war memorials may seem at first not have been connected with that particular town or village.
Click here to see a transcript listing all the names and to download a pdf () copy of the page.
In February 1915, we find mention of three companies of the Army Service Corps being billeted in the village and the vicar now describing Witley as a ‘garrison town’ and asking for magazines to be donated to the Institute which had been offered for use by the servicemen on Sunday afternoons for relaxation and afternoon tea.
In October 1915 there is a request for donations towards the £5 cost of material to make black-out curtains for the church windows under the new lighting order to prevent Zeppelin attacks.
In December, Christmas parcels of socks, letter wallets and cigarettes are being organised for the Witley men at the front and at sea, over 100 in total. The entries in this first full year of the war are practical, involved and energetic, and the vicar’s ‘letters’ are positive and patriotic, God is definitely on their side, and the fight still noble.
Written by Carole Garrard, Surrey History Centre based on information from the Witley Parish magazine.
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