1914 - 1921 Lest we forget
Each one was some mother's son
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Great Uncle 'Jack'
John Arthur King - Born in 1895
served in the Royal Irish Rifles
killed in action 8th July 1916.

BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE - view it here
The aim of this Book of Remembrance is to make Mike's research into each of the First World War names on the outside wall of the Henley Town Hall and the other Henley war memorials, as well as the local Village memorials. This can also be viewed at the Henley Town Hall.

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Posted 15th October 2015

The Henley Lest We Forget project will be holding their full exhibition at Holy Trinity Church off Greys Road, Henley on Friday 6th November 2015 between 2.00 pm and 7.00pm : Saturday 7th :10.00 am until 6.00 pm and Saturday 14th November between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. It will also be open for schools to visits by prior arrangement Monday 9th November to Friday 13th.

Private Charles Edward Tidman

On Saturday 7th at 3.00pm as part of the proceedings there will be a dedication service and the blessing of a stone, funded by the project ,on the grave of Private Charles Edward Tidman in Holy Trinity Churchyard. He died on 27th September 1917 aged 28 from an illness after serving in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and was buried on Tuesday 2nd October 1917 in the same grave as his younger brother James who had died in 1915 aged 16. James had served as a boy soldier in the Essex Regiment enlisting in Dover on 31st December 1912 aged 14. He served for two years until discharged in March 1914 as no longer physically fit, suffering from TB and died in February 1915 buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard on 8th February 1915. Members of their family will be travelling down from Edinburgh and other parts of the country to attend the service.

Following the service on 7th November there will be a reception to thank all of the people who have supported the project and sum up the achievements over the last two years as the Heritage Lottery supported part will be complete at the end of this year. The Lest We Forget Project will continue until at least 2019.

Posted 13th October 2015

Following the memorial service which was held in August forSapper William Woolley by the side of the River Thames we have been contacted by a gentleman form Bilston in Staffordshire whose Grandad was stationed in Henley with Ulster Division of the Royal Engineers. The full story of Sapper Thomas Elliott will be displayed at the November Exhibition along wit all of the new local pictures that we received. Just to be going on with here is just one of the pictures of new pictures of the Royal Engineers taken from Henley Bridge.

Royal Engineers taken from Henley Bridge
Lance Corporal(later Corporal) Alfred Parrott, Royal Engineer

Posted 13th October 2015

This picture recently appeared on "Henley Past and Present". I am pretty sure that it is Lance Corporal(later Corporal) Alfred Parrott, Royal Engineers. This is just the sort of item we are looking for to add to our archive. Many thanks to Terry Custance for permission to use the picture

Posted 13th October 2015

The distribution of the “Lest We Forget Project” soldiers’ memorial window plaques began on 9th October with the first ones being placed in the window of Richard Ways Bookshop at 54 Friday Street.

Example of the window plaques

Brothers Arthur and Godfrey Allum lived there before the commencement of World War 1. Their father was a labourer at Greys Brewery which was located there and obviously they lived above the premises. Arthur was killed at Passchendaele, Belgium on 31st July 1917 aged 33 while serving with the 1tth Queens’s (Royal West Kent Regiment) and Godfrey was killed on 26th August 1918 aged 25 while serving with the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment near Peronne in France. It is the projects aim to get all 311 window plaques distributed by 11th November. Hilary Fisher has been working with Mike on identifying the location of each soldier, either an address where he was living or had lived or a premises where he had worked.

There were around 24 soldiers who they were unable to find and address for although they were definitely resident in the town, these have been adopted by 24 individual town centre shop keepers and their plaques will be displayed by the shops.

Each person agreeing to display a plaque will be given a copy of “Bringing Them Home” Mike’s book on the WW1 men of Henley and the local villages.

Posted 13th October 2015

On Saturday 31st October 2015 in Henley Market Place the “Lest We Forget” project will be staging a small exhibition and update of their research into local WW1 soldiers in support of the Royal British Legion. This is being arranged by John Green and Shirley Lees of the “Legion” with Mike Willoughby of the “Project”.

NEWS - Click here for past news updates

VIDEO - Henley-Lest We Forget exhibition.

PHOTO SHOW - Henley Remembers by Peter Williams

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THE PROJECT: Lest we forget - Each one was some mother's son.

Mike Willoughyby's research began in 2006, inspired by a comment from an elderly aunt mentioning her uncle who was killed in action on the Somme in WW1. Mike subsequently met a cousin, Rod Eggington, who had a picture of this 'Uncle Jack', but no other information. A long search to find evidence of Arthur John (Jack) King's military service and death, was finally successful, leading him to the war memorial in Jack's home village in Hampshire - Abbots Ann, and later to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, in northern France.

However, he discovered that no-one in the village of Abbots Ann could identify Arthur John King - known as 'Jack', born in 1895 - as a local boy. Baptised as Arthur John, he had signed up as John Arthur and when the memorial was erected at the end of the war, he was entered there as 'J.King'. He had served in the Royal Irish Rifles in France from 1914, and was sadly killed in action on 8th July 1916. As a younger brother of Mike's grandfather, Jack was therefore Mike's great uncle. This made Mike realise that there are many other soldiers on local memorials whose identities are unknown.

In November 2012, Rev. Duncan Carter and Mike staged an exhibition in Holy Trinity Church, Henley on Thames, which the Mayor at the time, Elizabeth Hodgkin, attended with the Henley MP, John Howell. During their visit, counsellor Hodgkin learnt that there are more than 70 men in Mike's research who are not recorded on any of the 9 Henley Memorials, and in excess of 100 names do not feature on the Town Hall Memorial. It seemed a very fitting time to right this wrong, by creating a complete and lasting record of their identity and sacrifice.

This will be achieved in various ways, and as the project progresses the results of the dedicated work of a small team of volunteers will be announced as each element comes to fruition.

Henley on Thames WW1 Remembrance Association