THE stories of the seven Stramshall soldiers who never returned from fighting in the First World War have been chronicled in a new book.
The Stramshall War Memorial book has been compiled by the historic Lord William Luncheon Guild to mark the centenary of the Great War.
Members meet once a month to socialise and, at a recent meal they attended, discussions centred on the seven names on the village’s war memorial at All Angels Church.
The guild resolved to research the stories of the heroes, all of whom were from Stramshall, and the book will be launched at a special service at All Angels on Sunday at 5pm.
David Bailey, who has lived in Stramshall for 65 years, told the Advertiser he hopes the Stramshall War Memorial book will become a ‘historical document’.
He said: “There’s nothing glamorous about war but they did their duty for king and country so we could have our freedom.
“We found many of the stories to be extremely interesting and are very happy with the finished product.
“Hopefully, in years to come, it may be used as a historical document for those wanting to know about the village’s heritage.
“I actually knew many of the families involved when I was growing up and it’s been an incredibly nostalgic journey.”
The researchers used a combination of the internet and more traditional archives to find information about all seven soldiers.
Among the sources used were documents from the National Archive, in London, and excerpts from old editions of the Advertiser.
As part of the project, the guild collectively purchased Staff Sergeant Joseph Wardle Buxton’s war medals.
They will be housed in a specially-made display cabinet in All Angels.
Mr Bailey said: “My colleagues found Sgt Buxton’s war medals online and they were with a dealer in the Isle of Wight.
“We made enquiries and eventually decided we would purchase the items and many guild members have been extremely generous. “His story is quite amazing. He was a soldier before the war and fought in some bloody battles to make it through the war.
“He actually fought in the first Battle of Ypres in 1914 and took part in the well-documented Christmas truce.
“But he tragically died in a flu epidemic they day after the end of the war. His grave is still classed as a war grave and his name’s on our memorial.”
After Sunday’s service, the book will be available to read at All Angels and to purchase for a minimum £2 donation to the church from Redfearn’s Cottage.
STRAMSHALL farming couple Joseph and Ellen Buxton suffered more than most during the war in losing two of their 10 children, Private Thomas Buxton and Staff Sergeant Joseph Wardle Buxton.
Pte Buxton died aged 34 in October 17, 1917, after being mortally wounded during fighting in France.
Staff Sgt Buxton lived to the end of the war but the 31-year-old died the day after it ended in a post-war flu epidemic.
Private Arthur Pride died aged 24 during a battle in Messines, Belgium, which lasted from February to December, 1916.
Ordinary Telegraphist William Shepherd was one of few seamen to be chosen for training in wireless telegraphy.
The promising 18-year-old, who was only 5ft 2in tall, was one of 643 killed when the HMS Hampshire sank following an explosion in 1916.
Twenty-one-year-old Gunner Vincent Harold Berrisford died at Passchendaele, or the Third Battle of Ypres, in October 1917.
After being seriously wounded at Passchendaele, Private Charles Spencer Evans managed to re-enlist as a stretcher bearer.
But he was reported missing later in 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai and his body was never found.
Private Albert Edward Francis, who fought in the Cavalry Machine Gun Corps – otherwise known as the ‘suicide club’ due to its high number of casualties, died aged 23 in 1917 during conflict in the Somme area.
Pts Pride, Evans and Francis, as well as Gunner Berrisford, were awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Pte Francis was also awarded the 1914-15 Star.