New exhibition honours Hilgay and Ten Mile Bank’s fallen

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A new exhibition will be honouring the men from two villages who gave their lives during the First World War.

Peter Dearsley has researched information on all of the 60 First World War soldiers who are listed on the memorials in Hilgay and Ten Mile Bank.

Among the names is his paternal grandfather George, who died early in the fighting and has never been found.

With this year marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, Mr Dearsley is putting on an exhibition in Hilgay Village Hall on Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2.

Mr Dearsley, who lives in Ipswich, said: “The exhibition is a tribute to him and all the guys who are listed on the memorial. I have always had an interest in Hilgay and the village’s history.

“Researching all of the names on the memorial was the right thing to do.

“This will ensure that they are not forgotten. It is summed up in the phrase ‘We will remember them’.”

George had fought in the Boer War, which raged in South Africa between 1899 and 1902.

He was still a reservist when the First World War broke out during the summer of 1914 and was called up.

George was serving with the Norfolks but the regiment split up as the fighting became more fragmented following the retreat from Mons.

He is officially listed as dying on October 28, 1914, but this is disputed by Mr Dearsley, who has letters written by George in the trenches to his family in early November. George had left behind two daughters and a son.

Mr Dearsley said: “His body was never recovered and he is classed as one of the missing. He is remembered on the Le Touret memorial in France.”

The exhibition will feature a variety of other artefacts, including newspapers, cap badges and other memorabilia along with information on the men listed on the memorial.

Mr Dearsley said: “The commonwealth war graves lists where the solider was born, enlisted and where they died.

“I have found out more information.

“The exhibition aims to give a sense of the time. It was 100 years ago. The men lived in a different time and we have no concept of that.

“We are trying to give people a feel for the time and the men who lived in it.”