New book on heroes’ stories is inspired by war memorial

thisisoxfordshire: Author Liz Wade with Jim Campbell, whose Uncle Percy is named on the war memorial at St Margaret’s Church. Picture: OX62351 Greg Blatchford Buy this photo Author Liz Wade with Jim Campbell, whose Uncle Percy is named on the war memorial at St Margaret’s Church. Picture: OX62351 Greg Blatchford

A NORTH Oxford resident has been inspired to a write book about the area’s First World War dead by a campaign to refurbish a war memorial.

Polstead Road resident Liz Wade is hoping the book will be published in time for Remembrance Sunday next month.

The 65-year-old said: “We started researching all the men on the memorial and from that I thought I would write a book about them, because even though we had the memorial, we needed something longer done.

“The book is a celebration of their very short lives. I didn’t want it to be too depressing. It was at times a very moving experience. For me it has been extraordinary and it takes over your life.

“I visited one of the battlefields and it feels very real when you are there.”

Ms Wade said she was inspired to write the book while leading a two-year appeal to restore the war memorial at St Margaret’s Church, on the corner of Kingston Road and St Margaret’s Road.

The two-year appeal raised £28,000 and the work was completed in time for Remembrance Sunday in 2011.

Some 47 men from the area died in the 1914-18 conflict, mostly teenagers or in their twenties, including 12 Oxford undergraduates and four sets of brothers.

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Of those, 21 have no known grave and the memorial is the only way they are officially remembered.

Ms Wade said: “At the moment you have got to be extremely well off to buy a home in North Oxford, but in those days the people of Hayfield Road were working class.

“People would wait when the postman came by with a telegram to see where the postman would stop. They lost 12 men in that road.”

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Combat Stress, a charity which supports former members of the Armed Forces who suffer from psychological disorders.

NOT FORGOTTEN

  • George Allen
  • Lawrence Andrews
  • Arthur Bradshaw
  • Charles Bridson
  • John Bridson
  • Ronald Bright
  • Percy Campbell
  • Charles Castle
  • Spencer Chattaway
  • Albert Colmer
  • Raymond Drew
  • Alfred Duke
  • Sidney Dunstan
  • Lionel Edens
  • Herbert Emmet
  • Gilbert Gadney
  • Herbert Gee
  • Harry Gibson
  • Herbert Harris
  • Leslie Hine
  • Cyril Hosking
  • Gordon Jelf
  • Charles Jones
  • Wilfred Jones
  • Cyril Lambert
  • Walter Mitchell
  • Kenneth Morland
  • Arthur Morris
  • George Morris
  • Michael Morris
  • Charles Finch-Noyes
  • William Pacey
  • Charles Payne
  • Stuart Payne
  • Albert Phipps
  • Percival Phipps
  • Percy Phipps
  • Nathaniel Robinson
  • Walter Robinson
  • Ronald Sampson
  • Lewis Seymour
  • Norman Smith
  • Ernest Thomas
  • Alexander Wallace
  • Cyril Wallace
  • Frank White
  • Arthur Wooldridge
  • Edgar Hester (not listed on the memorial but has a memorial inside St Margaret’s Church)

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