Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beyond the Internet Week 13: Lest we Forget: War Memorials

Continuing the weekly theme, inspired by Family History Across the Seas.

I always feel a sense of sadness when I come across a War Memorial. As I stand and reflect upon the names that appear on the Memorial, I have an acute sense of awareness that the names reflect not just a sacrifice made by the named individual, but beyond that there is a deep sense of loss to the families left behind. In some cases families suffered more than one loss. How do you recover from that?

Following the First World War there was an obvious increase in the amount of War Memorials. Each Memorial reflecting a generation lost.  The photograph below is from the Parish of Enstone in Oxfordshire.

As you can see there are two families that have multiple entries, these are the Hawtin & Sheffield families. 

I have a slight interest in the Sheffield family. My Great Grandmother's sister, Mabel Harris married into the Sheffield family. They resided in London in the docks areas as that is where they worked. They raised a family of three daughters and one son. One of the daughters married a cousin so she was a Sheffield all of her life, which was a long one. She, like many of the girls from this part of the family lived well into their 90s.


  1. This is a memorial of a sort: "Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly." Notice pinned to the door of Tyneford Church by departing villagers, Christmas Eve, 1941. From the book: "The House at Tyneford."

    1. Thank you for sharing that moving piece. I now need to investigate further about what happened at Tyneford.

  2. Thanks for joining in Julie. You're very right that these memorials inspire such a sense of loss. How did people ever recover who lost even one, let alone more, family members or loved ones. Thanks also to loverofwords for that quote about Tyneford. How it must have hurt those families to give up their homes as well as all the other sacrifices made. Thanks to both of you for sharing.


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