Rayleigh’s Survivors From The First World War

113

The Rochford District Community Archive has a photo of 113 men who came back.

A few of the surnames may be familiar – Byford and Cottee, for example.

9 Comments

  1. Jim Cripps

    I guess this sort of local history sort of puts our woes with RDC into perspective , given what these fella’s went through , there is a good effort at the Rayleigh Mill Museum on local WW1 stories.
    Christine – there was a project to renovate the two graves of Airmen in the field near
    you , did it get done in time for these 1914-18 reflections ? , if so I’ll take a walk over there. Thanks – JIM.

    Reply
  2. Chris Black

    Jim, you are quite right, we have local and national issues that need properly addressing but most previous generations would have been happy to swap our problems for theirs.

    I know that my great grandmother went down to the recruiting station to retrieve one of her many sons from the recruiting sergeant “He’s only 16, you can’t have this one yet”. I know there was frightful poverty in Rayleigh between the wars. I believe the mother of my Mum’s best friend, who lived in Rayleigh High Road, was killed there by a German bomb…
    Then we had the Cold War, when Leonid Brezhnev’s missiles could have killed most of us in an afternoon.Makes Al Qaeda look pretty anaemic.

    What lies ahead for future generations? Climate chaos? Fanatical religious group like ISIS in Iraq? Artificial intelligences?

    Reply
  3. Jim Cripps

    How about we use this thread for everyone to remember their forebears in the Great War – just a few words each , I can start us off :-
    One Grandfather was in the Royal Horse Artillery , had 6 horses killed from under him and collected two bullets in the thigh and was invalided out and back Blighty.
    The other Grandfather was in the Royal Fusiliers and survived uninjured, he was also
    awarded the Military Medal ” for bravery in the field ” , I still have the medal ,ribbon and Citation document.

    Reply
  4. Christine Paine

    What a co-incidence Jim, my Grandfather was also Royal Horse Artillery. I have his medals and his discharge papers, which include a reference from his CO saying he was an outstanding horseman. Although he survived the war he sadly died when I was about 5. He had been a miner before the war and developed “black lung”. One of his brothers also survived the war, but he too died fairly young. He had been gassed in the trenches and it left him with damaged lungs. Two other brothers died, one at Ypres and one at Paschendale.

    My other Grandfather was in a reserved occupation. He was a ship plater in one of the Clyde shipyards, and they were considered vital for the war effort and were actually prohibited from joining up at all.

    Reply
  5. Jim Cripps

    There you go, this thread up and running – some more please !!!!!.

    Christine – do you know if the renovation of the two pilot memorials ( near you ) has
    Been done in time for this 1914-18 anniversary ?, thanks – JIM.

    Reply
  6. Christine Paine

    I don’t know Jim. I know that Rawreth council said they would take them in their community garden if they had to be moved, but then it was decided to leave them where they were and Mr Philpott said he would make improvements to the public footpath over to them, but last time I looked the footpath hadn’t been touched so I haven’t walked over there to see if the renovation has been done.

    Reply
  7. A.Matthews

    I believe that funds are available to renovate them with the agreement of the landowner in situ . Rayleigh through the looking glass have been active in sourcing funds ,the parish council have offered any support to them,we will follow it up .The footpath was clear and accessible in May when I walked it .

    Reply
  8. Jim Cripps

    Thank you , who holds the funds & how can we chase this up – seems to me this year is the time to do it ( 100 years etc; ), I will volunteer if they want help.
    It was actually mentioned on BBC Essex Radio this morning ( not the funding , it was
    an explanation of the mid air crash that killed both pilots ) – think I will pop into the ‘through the looking glass ‘ exhibition and ask about a timescale.

    Reply
  9. JIM Cripps

    Catch up – apparently we are still in the fund raising phase ( a grant is being applied for shortly) , so in answer to my own question – not yet , I think the target is probably the crash anniversary ( 1918 ).

    Reply

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