New book tells the story of war at a local level - The Evesham Observer

New book tells the story of war at a local level

Evesham Editorial 16th Nov, 2018   0

A WEEKEND of Remembrance commemorations saw around 70 people gather at St James’ Church for the launch of The Badsey Society’s new book ‘Peace, War and Remembrance: The Great War in Badsey, Aldington and Wickhamford’.

Author Maureen Spinks told book lovers that just as a century ago when villagers all pulled together in the war effort, the present-day villagers today by contributing photos and stories making it a real community effort. Themes covered in the book include the role of women, the importance of agriculture, Belgian refugees, prisoners of war.

Brief presentations were also given by Tom Locke who spoke about the Drysdale family of Wickhamford and Terry Sparrow who spoke about his great-uncle, Louis Sparrow, who was killed in 1916. Brian Smith recited ‘The Private War of Charlie Savage’, a moving poem about his grandfather who never liked to talk about the war.

Audience member John Haines found his memory particularly poignant as his grandfather Norris Haines also talked very little about his time in the First World War.

John remembered visiting his grandfather in hospital just before he died: “Granddad thought he was in a field hospital on the front, all he kept saying was how wonderful the nurses and doctors were looking after ‘our poor boys’.

“60 years after the conflict at the age of 86 and having rarely spoken of the First World War, he sadly ended his days with it firmly in his mind and unwittingly recalling it.”

The evening concluded with a presentation to Professor Stephen Badsey and his wife, Dr Phylomena Badsey, of a certificate granting life membership of the Badsey Society. Professor Badsey of the University of Wolverhampton is one of the foremost military historians in the country and wrote the Foreword to the book. His ancestors lived in Badsey some 400 years ago, and he felt that Badsey was his spiritual home.

As the culmination to the Remembrance weekend Maureen was invited to the Remembrance Day service in Westminster Abbey at which the Queen and other members of the Royal Family were present, together with Prime Minister Theresa May and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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