The courage of our region’s First World War heroes is being brought into sharp focus during this year’s 100th anniversary of the start of the devastating conflict that claimed over 37 million military and civilian lives.
Young men, women and families from our smallest communities, villages and towns suffered heartbreaking losses following Britain’s declaration of war against Germany on August 4, 1914.
The war unfolded after the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian which led to Austria’s invasion of Serbia and Austrian ally Germany’s invasion of France and Belgium pulled Great Britain into the Great War.
Derbyshire communities were subsequently decimated by continuos losses as the war continued until the Armistice in the eleventh hour, of November 11, November 1918, when the war officially ended with Germany defeated.
Our war memorials still stand today as testament to our county’s courage and sacrifice and the names of the fallen will ring with pride more than ever this year as the Derbyshire Times and our readers reflect on the military and civilian losses in the battle for world peace.
Those with proud family links, cherished artefacts and pictures are urged to recall and share their First World War stories and mementos with the Derbyshire Times’ coverage as we recognise the county’s endeavours during this brutal time.
Already, one kind reader has armed the DT with a fabulously compiled collection of newspaper cuttings and pictures of servicemen seriously injured, killed or missing in action as well as images from the frontline.
Among the fallen, the book’s news cuttings tell the tale of Sapper Daniel Davies, of the Tunnelling Section of the Royal Engineers, who gave his life for King and country. Sapper Davies, 30, a married father of three, from Orchard Terrace, Carr Vale, was killed by a grenade while in the trenches.
Navy Stoker Fred B Turner, 28, of Riber Terrace, Chesterfield, had been serving in the Hood Battalion of the 2nd Royal Navy Brigade, when was killed in action near the Dardanelles.
Bradwell man Lance Corporal H Rodgers, of the Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was also killed in action.
The Derbyshire Times also wants to hear about heroics on the homefront as many women turned their hands to industry, manufacturing, arms production and labouring.
Those with family links, stories, pictures and artefacts are urged to call Jon Cooper on 01246 504578 email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Derbyshire Times, Spire Walk, off Derby Road, Chesterfield S40 2WG