Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembering the Great War

Thousands of people attended recent Remembrance Day commemorations across Cornwall, and I was pleased to lay a wreath at my local war memorial in St Enoder Churchtown.

It is my strong belief that everyone needs to fully appreciate the horror of war, and the tragic loss of millions of lives in the two World Wars and other subsequent conflicts.

As we look forward to 2014 – the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War – I believe it is especially important that people should find out more about the lives of the ordinary men who fought in the Great War and, in many cases, did not return to their families.

Numerous publications and events are being planned to commemorate the anniversary. I am gathering information about the men from my local area who fought in the conflict, which I hope to publish in a new book.

One part of this publication will focus on thirteen men who worked at the Trewheela China Clay Works near Fraddon, and together joined the Territorial Force of the Royal Engineers in August 1914.

I understand that they were encouraged to enlist by the Nalder family, who had a large stake in the clayworks at Trewheela, and also had links with the Royal Engineers at Falmouth.

I am trying to find out all that I can about the men and their lives. Their names were Frederick Stanford Biscombe (Summercourt); three brothers Ernest, James and Orlando Brokenshire (Summercourt); my great-grandfather Richard John Cole (Summercourt); Richard Veal Common (Higher Fraddon); Richard Grigg (Ruthvoes); two cousins Charles Bernard Halls and Llewellyn Halls (St Newlyn East); John Harvey (Toldish); Albert Victor Menear (Indian Queens); George Robins (Summercourt) and William Phillips Tippett (Summercourt).

The above photograph includes many of the men.

Ernest Brokenshire was killed in August 1918 while Richard Veal Common, who had transferred to the Tank Corps, lost his life in October 1918. I believe that the others survived the war, though sadly two men died within five years of the end of the war.

I am also researching the lives of servicemen from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who were killed or died in the Great War, and whose names are remembered on local war memorials.

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has family information or photographs, that might be of use to me. I can be contacted on 07791 876607 or

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