Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Woodbury’s war dead stories told

11:30 30 March 2014

Woodbury resident Gillian Selley, who has researched all of the names of soldiers on the village war memorial, is seeking a grant to publish her book, Woodbury Remembers, in time for the Centenary of the Poppy in August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exv 7225-10-14AW

Woodbury resident Gillian Selley, who has researched all of the names of soldiers on the village war memorial, is seeking a grant to publish her book, Woodbury Remembers, in time for the Centenary of the Poppy in August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exv 7225-10-14AW

Archant

A WOODBURY resident has high hopes that her World War One book will soon be published, coinciding with the centenary of the start of hostilities.

But the ambitious project may stall if it doesn’t get National Lottery funding.

Currently in draft form, Woodbury Remembers has details of all the servicemen listed on the village war memorial who died in the Great War. It also shows where many of them were buried.

“Every year their names are read out, but nobody knows much about them,” said the book’s author, Gillian Selley.

“I’ve been looking at all the service records I can find – when they enlisted, which regiment, what was their rank, when they died, where they died, whether it was from wounds and where they are buried, or whether there was a memorial for them if their body wasn’t found.”

The 77-page book has colour photos.

“It’s in a state that it could be published, but I can’t afford to do it myself,” said Gillian.

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Understanding the First World War grant could be ideal, but Gillian thinks the project may fall outside its remit.

“They’re not happy for one person to do something,” she said. “They want it to be done by the community. The problem is if the community doesn’t do it, then it ends up as one person.

“To me the important thing is not who has done it, but the fact that it’s been done.”

The book has taken many years to research. Started by Ian Macfadzean, Gillian picked up the project after he died, with Roger Stokes offering her technical help.

“Even though it’s we three that have done it, it’s a parish thing,” said Gillian. “It’s not something we want any fuss about for us. It’s got to be done to remember those who have died.”

Despite the many casualties, some servicemen from the village did survive.

“I may be able to get a grant to help me research those men that came back,” said Gillian. “I’ve got the names of a lot of them and their records. They survived, although some were injured or gassed. I want to find out the relatives who are still here and how they were affected by it.”

REMEMBERING VILLAGE’S HEROES

Woodbury Remembers has brought to light some untold stories. Here are just a few...

Private Arthur John Davey: born in Woodbury in 1897, Arthur lived in Broadway. A farm labourer, he enlisted in the Coldstream Guards and took part in the Battle of Givenchy during December 1914. He died on the last day of the battle and was commemorated on the memorial at Le Touret for those men who had no known grave. The 17-year-old was awarded all three World War One medals – the Star, Victory and British War – posthumously.

Sydney Lear, stoker, first-class, Royal Navy: born in 1868, Sydney grew up in Woodbury, becoming a jeweller in Teignmouth. He enlisted at the start of the war and was a stoker aboard HMS Amethyst. The cruiser participated in the Dardanelles Campaign off the Gallipoli peninsula. On March 14, the ship led six minesweepers to clear mines and was hit by field artillery. Twenty-two men were killed and 38 men were wounded. Four of those – including Sydney - died later in hospital on Malta. The 47-year-old was buried at the island’s naval cemetery. He received all three World War One medals.

Private Joe Ash: born in Woodbury in 1894, Joe emigrated to Canada around 1911, becoming a farmer. He enlisted in 1916, joining the 8th Battalion Canadian Infantry, and was sent to France.

He was killed on August 8, 1918, the first day of the Battle of Amiens, a few months before the end of the war. The 24-year-old has no known grave, but his name is listed on the Vimy Memorial and on the Canadian Roll of Honour.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:51
Celebrations as the Exmouth Cockles win the Devon Cup Final beating visitors Brixham 31 points to 25. Ref exsp 18-16SH 2231. Picture: Simon Horn.

Exmouth 31 Brixham 25

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Exmouth woman foils telephone scam

An outraged Exmouth woman, who escaped being a scam victim, is warning people to be on their guard.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Chris Dayer, head chef at The River Exe Cafe, which has been nominated for a national award

A floating restaurant moored in the River Exe near Exmouth has been nominated for a national award.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Year six children at Otterton Primary School are pictured with the load of rucksacks that have been collected at school for the Mary's Meals charity. The youngsters have also raised around £400 by various events including a sponsored fast and sponsored silence as part of their RE work for the charity which provides school meals to children around the World. Ref exb 16-16SH 1247. Picture: Simon Horn

Children from Otterton Primary School have collected equipment and unused back packs for youngsters in other countries.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
George Nightingale is facing a battle with the council over alterations made to the inside of his premises Spoken on the Strand gardens. Ref exe 17-16SH 2276. Picture: Simon Horn.

An Exmouth councillor has called on district planners to reconsider a ruling which could force a town centre café/bar to close.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
County Hall in Exeter.

An Exmouth man died from a cancer connected with exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard.

Read more
Fri, 10:32
Graham Booker. Picture: Irving of Exeter.

A Sidmouth churchwarden, found guilty of pushing over an 85-year-old pensioner and kicking him as he lay on the ground, has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Read more
Fri, 10:26

A headteacher who apologised to parents when pupils believed role-play was real has defended her tactics.

Read more
Fri, 10:16
Exmouth Business Awards evening. MP Hugo Swire has a go at the tables with chair of Chamber Of Commerce Ian MacQueen. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 0288-18-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

After hours of deliberation by the judges, the shortlist for the Exmouth Business Awards 2016 has now been announced.

Read more
Fri, 10:11
Exeter Magistrates' Court

A motorist who was caught doing 73mph on a 30mph residential road has escaped a driving ban.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications