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Mystery of 20 brave Rocester men lost during the Great War

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HISTORIANS from a village near Uttoxeter are set to tell the stories of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for their country in the First World War.

Rocester’s commemoration event for the start of the Great War will take place on August 9 and 10 at St Michael’s Church.

As part of the weekend’s event, members of the village’s historical society are creating a display exploring the individual stories of the 20 men from Rocester who died in the war.

And they are appealing for any descendents of the soldiers to come forward with pictures and memories of, and information about, their fallen relatives.

The historical society’s Kate Yorke said: “Someone in the group commented at one of our meetings how we read out these 20 names every Remembrance Day but know so little about who these people were.

“So we decided to start a project to tell the stories of these brave men who died fighting for our freedom.

“We then found out the church was holding the weekend of commemoration in August and decided to tie the projects in together.”

Two of the soldiers are buried in the graveyard of St Michal’s and their graves have been recently ‘tidied up’.

The names of the fallen soldiers are John Edward Ault, William James Ball, George Eli Basnett, Thomas Archie Bennett, Thomas Bentley, John Henry Botham, George William Brindley, Albert Clarke, Colin Cope, Richard Arthur Gilbert, George Harper, Arthur Edward Harrison, John Henshaw, William Charles Henshaw, John Henry William Hirst, John Wilfred Kemp, John Richardson, Frederick Swanwick, John Thomas Wheelock, Graham Wood

Anyone who has any information about or pictures of the fallen soldiers is being asked to pass them on to Mrs Yorke and can contact her by calling on 01889 590379.

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