Village’s First World War story in print

Cheryl Steele with author Margaret Dickinson.
Cheryl Steele with author Margaret Dickinson.

The impact on a Boston village of the First World War is explored in a new book, funded by a four-figure Lottery grant.

From the Fen to the Front Line, Stickford and the Great War, details the history of the war memorials in Stickford and the men from the village who fought in the First World War – those who died and those who survived.

It has been produced by the Stickford Local History Group, aided by a grant of more than £4,000, which helped fund activities including researching the village’s First World War connections and covering publishing costs.

Chairman of Stickford Local History Group Cheryl Steele said the group was motivated by the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict in 2014 and a desire to keep alive the memory of those who fought in the conflict.

Of the finished book, she said: “We are absolutely thrilled with it.”

Of what she discovered through the project, she said: “What shocked me was how many from such a small village went to fight in the First World War. I think, from memory, it was 64 out of a village population of just over 400.”

Through the research, the group has been able to give a glimpse into the lives of those who fought in the conflict.

“We tried to look at where they were born, who their parents were, maybe what their job was before they went to war,” Mrs Steele said. “For some of those who came back, we have been able to look at the 1939 Register (a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War) and find out what they were doing then.”

The book was launched at a cheese and wine evening at Stickford Community Centre by local author Margaret Dickinson.

Copies of the book can be purchased from Jill Catchpole on 01205 480249.

They are priced at £6.50.