Remembering those we lost – our HomeTown Heroes
Neston Local Historian Ian Norris has spent several years researching the lives, and deaths, of the men of Neston and Burton who died as a consequence of the First World War. As the work approaches completion Ian is hoping that local residents can contribute to the work.
“In just a few months, in early November, we will be commemorating the centenary of the Armistice, the agreement to end hostilities between Germany and the Allied forces which led to the end of the First World War.
Locally, to provide a tribute to the men of Parkgate, Neston and Burton (I have not included Willaston) who gave their lives in this conflict I have been discovering who they were and writing the stories of their lives, military service and deaths. Although the names of 109 men are recorded in our churches I have found details of a further 61 men, all with some local connection, who also perished. Now, to complete this substantial work (together with introductory sections, explanatory notes and several databases it is around 1800 pages in length!) I am looking to our local families to assist in completing the picture. If you had a family member who served in the Armed Forces or services such as the Mercantile Navy and died in, or immediately following the First World War (I have included anyone who died of war-related causes up to August 1921), I would be very happy to hear from you as you will probably have further details, mementoes and stories that could be included in this work. I can be contacted, by email, or you can leave information and/or your contact details with staff at Neston Library. You can also get in touch if you would like a list of the men included in this work; this list gives basic information such as name, rank, regiment, Service Number, age and date of death of each man. If you have knowledge of someone who died, and who is not commemorated locally, please do share this information with me – I don’t want to omit anyone who deserves to be commemorated.
Whilst I have comprehensive information on many of the men who died – some of the individual accounts run to over 20 pages – I have been unable to identify with certainty six of our men so I am hoping particularly to get some leads on
Private J. Devine (commemorated in Neston Parish Church)
Sapper W. Jones (commemorated in Neston Parish Church)
Private William Williams (commemorated in Neston Parish Church)
Private George Palin of the Manchester Regiment (commemorated in Burton Parish Church)
Private Joseph Jones of the 8th Battalion Cheshire Regiment (but not commemorated locally)
Private Harry Wright (probably of the 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, not commemorated locally, and uncertain as to what, if any, connection he had to Neston – or even if he died in the war!
I am hoping to complete this work, and make a printed copy available in Neston Library, by October of this year but three of the accounts (Christopher Bushell, William [‘Billy’] La Touche Congreve and Alfred Jellicoe) are available to preview in the First World War section of the website www.nestonpast.com.
Although this work covers only those who gave their lives in, or as an immediate consequence of, the war I have copies of the military Service Records of a further 230 local men who were fortunate to survive the war; although I have no plans to write the stories of the survivors I can share these records with anyone who may be interested.
I look forward to hearing from anyone who can assist in making this work a fitting tribute to those men of Neston and Burton who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country one hundred years ago. Thank you”
Ian L. Norris email