Tribute to Whitchurch's First World War dead goes on display in town hall

Andrew Jordan at the opening of the exhibition at Whitchurch Town Hall

Andrew Jordan at the opening of the exhibition at Whitchurch Town Hall

First published in News by , Reporter

IT’S been a labour of love – and last weekend the man who has been involved in helping to compile a major First World War tribute saw his work go on display in Whitchurch.

Around 100 people flocked to the Town Hall, in Newbury Street, last Saturday morning after Whitchurch Mayor Councillor Mike Kean officially opened the event.

The exhibition was compiled by the Whitchurch History Society, the Whit-church branch of the Royal British Legion, and Andover father-of-two Craig Fisher.

Over the past five years, Craig, who is a full-time environmental manager at the Environment Agency, has been searching through National Archives and census records, birth and death records to build profiles for the 64 men who left Whitchurch to fight in the war in August 1914.

Craig, 46, told The Gazette: “My wife’s great grandfather died and his name is on the Whitchurch war memorial.

“When my son was born, I tried to find out more about him so my son could have the story, and it has built from that.

“It is hard to locate information because most of the service records were destroyed in the Blitz, so it took away a lot of details.”

In addition to the personal profiles, postcards, photographs and a copy of the 1911 census, which features the men from Whitchurch who fought in the battle, were on show to the public.

Cllr Kean told those at the event: “The Town Council is delighted that the chamber is to be used to host the commemorative display, which will be open throughout the month of August.

“I hope as many people as possible take time out to visit the display, and reflect on the past and this important part of our town’s history.”

Volunteers are being sought to steward the exhibition during the day from Monday to Saturday. If you wish to do so, please contact John Mariner on 01256 893437 or on john.mariner@yahoo.co.uk.

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