Some 200 men and women from Misterton and West Stockwith enlisted in the ‘war to end wars’.
Fifty of them, including one woman, were killed. Many others returned home with life-changing conditions.
Their stories begin in a new book, Suns of Home, by local historian David Seymour, describing how Misterton and West Stockwith enjoyed ‘boom’ times in the Victorian and Edwardian periods before the war: full employment, rapid population growth, developing industries, new public buildings, and a confidence that things could only get better.
Suns of Home is published on Saturday, February 17, when the author will be signing copies at Misterton Library. It is the first of three books and covers the period leading up to the First World War. The second and third books If I Should Die and Some Corner of a Foreign Field will be published later this year.
If I Should Die covers the optimism of the first few months of WW1 reflecting a belief that it would be ‘over by Christmas’, a time which saw the first local casualties in the war, including Nurse Kitty Jollands.
Some Corner of a Foreign Field describes local people’s involvement in the big conflicts of the war, including Gallipoli, Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele - and village life after the war. This book also includes the death of the local doctor from cholera in India, the death of a boy soldier from West Stockwith on the first day of the battle of the Somme, and the death of a medic from Misterton on the sister ship of the Titanic.
South Yorkshire-born author, David Seymour, moved to Misterton in 2012 and has written extensively about his adopted home: “The war changed the villages forever, bringing economic decline and a changed world, national, and local outlook. These three books chronicle those changes using lots of local primary resources, including photographs, newspaper extracts, and oral history records to give a local slant to changes felt across the whole world.”
He added: “This is a local book for local people, and I’m grateful to all those who have contributed to it. It has taken four years to research and compile and as we commemorate the end of the First World War this year, it is timely that we can look back at our villages’ involvement in that global war and its impact on our local communities.”
The limited edition, 200-page paperback book is priced at £12.
It is only available from David Seymour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 01427 890936 and 07952 544 604.