Old Whittington and The Brushes suffered  many casualties during the month of July.  Especially  July 1916, which most of us will now know as the month the Battle of the Somme started.  1st July 1916 is one of the most infamous days of WW1.  Old Whittington lost 2 men on the first day and overall on that first day there were 57,470 British casualties, including 19,240 men killed.

We remember the following men who died in July:

Robert Bunting          1 July 1916

Clarence Hewitt        1 July 1916

Sam Waine                 2 July 1918

George Bates             3 July 1916

Fred  Lilliman           3 July 1916

George Barker         14 July 1916

Wm Leachman        14 July 1916

Harry Lilliman        14 July 1916

Fredk C Massey       14 July 1916

Archie Newell          14 July 1916

Wm Whitmore        23 July 1918

Jno Thos Warwick  25 July 1916

Ernest Watts            29 July 1915

Geo Isaac Fearn      31 July 1916


For the Fallen

By Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,

There is music in the midst of desolation

And a glory that shines upon our tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;

They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known

As the stars are known to the Night;


As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

(Above casualty figures taken from http://www.iwm.org.uk)


Old Whittington War Memorial Dedication

When I was researching the men on the War Memorial I came across this report in the Derbyshire Courier 26th February 1921, of when the War Memorial at Old Whittington was unveiled. (Transcription below)

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I have transcribed it exactly as it appears in the newspaper.


War Memorial Unveiled at Old Whittington

Old Whittington War Memorial was dedicated and unveiled on Sunday afternoon before a large crowd.  There were present the Whittington Moor, the New Whittington and the Old Whittington branches of the Comrades of the Great War, the 2nd Whittington Girl Guides, the Sheepbridge Britannia Lodge of Buffaloes, the Staveley Comrades Military Band and the Sheepbridge Works Brass Band, as well as a congregation of about a thousand.

The monument is surmounted by a four fold cross, and in this feature it is probably unique. It is built entirely of Derbyshire Grit, symbolical(as Mr E D Swanwick, the treasurer to the war Memorial Committee, aptly put it) of the grit of the men whose memory it commemorated.  The cross stands immediately in front of the old Revolution House.  It was designed by Mr J Syddall and constructed by Mr T Moxon, both local men.  It cost £331 3s and up to date, including a sum of £42 4s 8d brought forward from the Peace Demonstration Funds, £253 4s 11d has been received, leaving a deficit of £77 18s 1d.

The Memorial was unveiled by Brigadier-General G M Jackson, who said it devolved upon the present generation, who went through the War and who lived with and knew the valiant heroes whose memories were being commemorated, to see that these men had not given their lives in vain, and to see that the ideals for which they fought and died, were eventually realised.  In these days of abnormality, and in the aftermath of War, it behoved us to keep before our eyes the sacrifices which had been made by these heroes.  Derbyshire had a glorious record.  Something like 10 per cent of the whole population of the county went to the War, and of these about one in seven were killed.

Mr J H Green, the Chairman of the War Memorial Committee, commenting on the number of wreaths and flowers brought by the bereaved wives and parents to place at the foot of the Memorial, said he hoped all the flowers would not be saved for those who were dead.

“I think it is better to strew flowers in the path of people while they live rather than save them until they are dead” he said.

Mr Barnet Kenyon MP said, as surely as we had risen out of what appeared to be a hopeless condition of things in 1917, so should we rise out of the present industrial troubles if only we grappled with the situation in the same spirit that helped the men and women of Whittington to give that Memorial in commemoration of their dead. Now they had fought and won, he wanted them to remember there was one thing to realise – he was speaking to employers and employed – and that was that the remedy to get back to normality was in their own hands.

The dedication service was conducted by the Rev. G Ford, Rector of Whittington, and the Rev. G Elliott Lee, of Staveley.

The names inscribed on the Memorial are:  Horace Aaron, Harry Adams, John Atkinson, George Barber, (Actually George Barker), George Bates, William Arthur Belfitt, Reginald Benton, Wm Henry Bestwick, George Bonson, Arthur Booth, William Bowman,  John T Bunting, Robert Bunting, Alexander Carlile, John Carlile, Percy Carlile, Frank Charnley, Matthew Clayton, Vincent Cook, Norman Dennison, Reginald Draycott, Bernard Dyson, Kenneth Eveleigh, Abraham Fearn, George Isaac Fearn, Charles Fearn, William Fisher, William Leslie Gaunt, Herbert Gaunt, Ernest Gilberthorpe, Archibald H Gill, Harold S Green, C G Hemstock, William Hewitt, Clarence Hewitt, Albert Hewitt, Henry Higginbottom, George Kirk, Joseph Kynaston, William Leachman, Charles Leggitt, Horace Lewis, Charles Lievesley (DCM), Fred Lilliman, Harry Lilliman, Christopher Loomes (DCM), Bertram Love, Thomas Mason, Frederick. C Massey, Fred Mitchell, John McGee, Archie Newell, John Newey, Joseph Norton, Stanley Pardy, T W S Pendleton, W Henry Reynolds, Seth Rich, Fred Robinson, J W Shawcroft, John Short, John Smedley, George Sims, John Smith, John Smitheman, Ben Siddall, George Straw, Fred Taylor, Harry Taylor, George Thorne, Joseph Thurman, William James Thurman, J Vaughan, Sam Waine, Frederick Walker, J T Warrick, Ernest Watts, Frank Wheelhouse, William Whitmore, H Widdowson, William Wood

It sounds as though it would have been a very moving event for the bereaved families.  Looking at the names listed like this I now realise how much more research I have to do.

Again I would ask if any descendants would like to share any information or photographs on the website then I would love to hear from them. I can be contacted via this website or via the facebook page Old Whittington one Place Study.



Photo courtesy of Chesterfield Museum


Joseph Syddall designed the Memorials for Old Whittington and Dronfield and I have been lucky enough  to see the original pencil drawing by Joseph Syddall of his design for  Old Whittington. I found an extra surprise when I visited Chesterfield Museum as they also have a photograph of the war Memorial when it was originally dedicated together with an Order of Service from the Unveiling and Dedication ceremony on February 20th 1921.

I was allowed to take photographs of these items and these can be seen on https://oldwhittingtonops.com/old-whittington-war-memorials/ orhttps://oldwhittingtonops.com/joseph-syddall/

Photo courtesy of Chesterfield Museum

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The Memorial in 1921.


The following men who died in WW1 during June and are remembered on Old Whittington and The Brushes War Memorial.

George Thorne                             Died 8th June 1917

John T Bunting                             Died 14th June 1916

Thomas Mason                            Died 15th June 1917

John Smith                                     Died 19th June 1915

Joseph Thurman                          Died 28th June 1918


The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.


And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)