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 29th November 2016

At the “Lest We Forget” Exhibition in the Old Fire Station Gallery in August 2014 we floated the idea of renaming Townlands Hospital to reflect the Henley War Memorial Hospital which closed in 1983. The name Townlands Memorial Hospital appealed greatly to the visitors who were approached at the exhibition. The idea was put on the back burner until more progress had been made on the actual building.

At the beginning of May 2016, after checking with the Mayor Councillor Lorraine Hillier, M.L.W. contacted Alec Cameron, Communications Manager, N.H.S. Property Services with the idea of changing the hospital name. Over the next few months with the unanimous backing of the Town Council, the Townlands Hospital Steering Group, support from the British Legion and a petition signed by over a thousand Henley residents the N.H.S. Property Services made their decision.

Around 7 pm on 21st October 2016 Alec Cameron phoned M.L.W. at home and told him that he was pleased to inform me that in light of strong community support for the name changing received from Lest We Forget, the Henley on Thames Town Council and Townlands Steering Group, the hospital will be renamed Townlands Memorial Hospital. The reasons given by the T.S.G. sum up quite succinctly the very appropriate reasons for the change.

  • The group had discussed the proposed name change several times with no oppostition
  • It reflects the name of the Henley and District War Memorial Hospital which closed in 1983
  • The group believes the delivery of the new hospital honours a pledge made to reinvest funds from the sale of the War Memorial Hospital in Townlands.

Lest We Forget wishes to thank N.H.S. Property Services and everyone who helped to make this name change possible.

The new signs were in place the very next day!

Pictured from left to right: Brian Hughes (British Legion), Mayor Councillor Julian Brookes, Mike Willoughby, Lesley Willoughby, Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak Townlands Steering Group, John Green (British Legion). Photo taken by Dave Murray.

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