Grimston couple’s booklet tells villages’ stories on eve of war

The Way We Were - The Villages on the Eve of War.
Booklet by Ian and Steph Hall, of Grimston, about the villages of Grimston, Roydon, Pott Row and Congham in the years leading up to the First World War and during the war.
The Way We Were - The Villages on the Eve of War. Booklet by Ian and Steph Hall, of Grimston, about the villages of Grimston, Roydon, Pott Row and Congham in the years leading up to the First World War and during the war.

A couple from Grimston have published a book telling the stories of the soldiers from their area who died in the First World War.

Ian and Steph Hall decided to start looking into the history of Grimston and Pott Row, Roydon and Congham after finding that little was known about the men from the villages who fought for their country 100 years ago.

The pair have collated the information they have found about the First World War into a booklet named ‘The Way We Were: The Villages on the Eve of War’, which is available to view online.

The booklet has three versions, which differ from each other due to the details of the Fallen from each village.

It is hoped that a bound hard copy of the booklet will be in the village churches in the future.

Mrs Hall, who is a retired history teacher, said the research project had yielded some interesting facts.

She said: “We started doing research on the beginning of the war, and we had no idea that so many people from Grimston died. It just sort of snowballed from there.”

The research into the 52 Fallen soldiers from the four villages now means that the pair have an in-depth biography for each man.

They have also obtained detailed information about the day and cause of their deaths, as well as photographs, where they have been available.

Mrs Hall said: “In addition we have done some basic research about life in the villages on the eve of war to try and show the lives that men were leading before they left to fight.”

The couple’s next project will be to find out about all the soldiers who went out to fight, but who survived.

Mr and Mrs Hall are hoping to speak to relatives of those who fought during the war.

If you can help them, email ian483fern@btinternet.com.

To view the booklets online, go to www.ggmbenefice.uk/our-churches, select the village you wish to find out more about, and then select ‘In Remembrance’.