Hampsthwaite Historian's remarkable appeal to trace lost records of war heroes
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Shaun Wilson, a keen historian, became interested in how many of the people of Hampswaite had served during the war whilst reading old newspaper clippings kept by his grandfather.
The articles indicated that a great number of villagers who saw active service were not properly documented, so Mr Wilson decided to go in search of the lost records.
In an article which covered the unveiling of Hampsthwaite’s war memorial in 1920, it was indicated that over 70 local men fought in the First World War.
Mr Wilson said: “In November, 1915, there was an article published in the Leeds Mercury proudly indicating that all the men and women of Hampswaite village had been sent to war.
“Fred Barker who had five sons, two of which were killed, was the proudest man of the village who declared that to the Mercury.
“It became clear a great number of village people reported to have gone to war, did not receive the correct dedication.”
Since Mr Wilson began his search, the village’s history group has so far found over 100 names and pieces of information about the families that served.
The Hampswaite History Group have now documented the 100 plus men and women to have served, but they are still searching for more information to complete their records .
They are now appealing for descendants of families that may have links to the Harrogate village, including surrounding areas to get in touch.
Mr Wilson said:“So far, a group of Hampswaite historians have found 103 men who have connections with Hampswaite.
”The aim is to collect a comprehensive record and put together an accurate account of the lives lost and dedicate those lost by publishing a book.”
Anyone one who may be able to provide further information about the people of Hampsthwaite who served during the war is asked to contact the laocal history group at https://www.hampsthwaite.org.uk/villagehistory