Gorefield soldiers are remembered thanks to research by a villager

PUBLISHED: 14:24 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:24 07 November 2017

Sidney Thomas Gagen survived WW1. It is thought he served in the artillery regiment.

Sidney Thomas Gagen survived WW1. It is thought he served in the artillery regiment.


The history of men who served in the first world war is being compiled for a village Facebook page as a timely reminder to hold those in our thoughts who served our country.

Ernest Robert Bailey served in the Bedfordshire Regiment. Ernest Robert Bailey served in the Bedfordshire Regiment.

As Remembrance Day approaches Peter Thatcher is posting as much information as he can find, helped with a grant from the parish council,

He has discovered more than 60 men from the village served.

He said: “It is quite remarkable from a village which numbered only 479 in 1911, 260 of which were males.

William Dack from Gorefield then lived in Tydd St Mary. William Dack from Gorefield then lived in Tydd St Mary.

“I have been researching the history of Gorefield for the past two years, and have discovered there is a particular rich resource of information on the involvement of the men from Gorefield who took part in the first World War.

“I became interested in this aspect of Gorefield’s history when I remembered there were a number of photographs of many of the soldiers who were named on the war memorial in the church, fortunately these had recently been re framed and displayed near the war memorial.

“I was fortunate to be granted permission to scan and digitise these photographs, so I could share them with the wider community, via the Facebook site Gorefield in the Past, to which I contribute.

Robert Digllng from Gorefield served in the Royal Fusiliers. Robert Digllng from Gorefield served in the Royal Fusiliers.

“This enabled me to add details from people with knowledge of these soldiers. In addition to this the parish council granted me funding to purchase subscriptions to Ancestry and Find My Past, which have enabled further research to be made.

“I have been able to find the names of many men who fought in the war and survived.

“Many people who live in the village have contributed information of their relatives.

“This has included the memories of one particular soldier, Herbert Walker who was in the Royal Garrison Artillery, survived the conflict and afterwards wrote his memories.”

His memories are on Cambridgeshire Community Network:

Herbert wrote: “Sometimes when I am in bed, or alone quietly thinking how plainly I can hear that awful scream of a shell coming over, and then followed by the terrible crash, with the too well known results.

“I don’t suppose anyone dreamt on that eventful August 4, 1914, that the awful struggle would last over four years, and that about 1,000,000 men would be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice.”


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