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New book from King’s Sutton author tells story of villagers who served their country in wartime

September 1st, 2016

King’s Sutton resident Margaret Burne has just published a new book recounting the results of research she began as part of the First World War centenary commemorations a couple of years back. Titled “The King’s Sutton War Memorials – The Story of Those who Served”, Margaret’s new book provides a fascinating glimpse into village life up to a century ago and will likely be of interest to descendants of those who saw service during the world wars as well as people with connections to the local area.

Margaret began her project by researching the 157 people listed on the WWI memorial in the entrance to the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul, plus those included on the stone memorial erected after WWII. Many of these people were related – brothers, cousins, even a father and son. And many of their names are still common in the King’s Sutton area today.

Margaret Burne found that twenty two of those commemorated in King’s Sutton were killed during WWI but the majority came home to take up their lives again. The 1911 census and local parish registers provided her with valuable information on their families, places of birth and occupations. Most of their military service records were either destroyed completely or badly burned during WWII but where they still exist, Margaret found these documents very helpful.

During these researches, Margaret discovered that some of the names on the church memorial did not, in fact, come from King’s Sutton at all. Several were from the neighbouring villages of Charlton cum Newbottle, Bodicote, Aynho and Croughton, and even further afield. Usually, though, they had an obvious family or other connection with the village. As well as casualties from WWII named on the village’s stone war memorial, there is one from 1953 (in Hong Kong) and another, Arthur Halestrap, a survivor of service in WWI who lived in King’s Sutton for many years. Margaret has been unable thus far to identify just one of the people listed on the stone war memorial: Frank Taylor.

Margaret’s researches revealed a number of people connected with King’s Sutton whose names were included on neither of the village’s memorials, so she decided to write about them as well. The majority of these “forgotten men” were either killed in action or died of their wounds – five from 1914-18 and one from 1939-45. Margaret hopes that her work will result in their names being added to the stone memorial later this year. She also uncovered several people from both world wars who were already more appropriately commemorated elsewhere in the area or whose local links were only tenuous.

The King’s Sutton War Memorials – The Story of Those who Served is available now from the author, priced £7.50. For more details, contact Margaret Burne on 01295 811936 or use the link below to send her an email.

Click here to contact Margaret Burne by email.

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