Villagers' project to remember Powerstock's First World War dead

Dorset Echo: PROJECT: Richard Connaughton PROJECT: Richard Connaughton

VILLAGERS are undertaking an ambitious project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of First World War.

There are 11 soldiers and sailors from Powerstock who died in the conflict and they are being researched by a dedicated team.

Each researcher is ‘adopting’ one of the 11 names of the Powerstock First World War dead and the intention is to produce a book, with chapters on each individual, in time for Remembrance Sunday next year.

The aim is to complete the research work by the end of April and the book will be for sale nearer the end of the year to help recoup costs.

There will also be supporting chapters outlining the causes of the First World War, writer Brian Jackman will discuss the environment from which they came and there will be sections on remembrance.

The project is being overseen by Richard Connaughton.

He said: “We are producing a book on the 11 people who left to go off on the ‘short, victorious war’ who never returned.”

He said they knew the day the soldiers died – like Fred Travers who died when HMS Bulwark blew up in Sheerness in 1914 because cordite was left all around the corridors of the ship.

He said: “The news would have filtered down to the Bridport News so we are hoping to find reports of his and others’ deaths.

“We have this impression of all these soldiers going off to Flanders but of our 11 only two were killed in France, the others were all over the place.

“I am researching Harry Marsh, who died in Vladivostok in October 1919.

“His father used to run the Bradpole level crossing gate and most of the family seem to have come from Bradpole.

“But what was he doing in Siberia and why did he die there?”

The team are keen to hear from any relatives or anyone who has information about any of the men listed, below. If you can help, call Mr Connaughton on 01308 485002.

The team is keen to find information on the following men:

Fred Biles and Fred Hansford, who died at Gallipoli in August 1915

George Galpin who died in the Persian Gulf in November 1914

Harry Marsh who died in Siberia in October 1919

Richard Reed who died in Flanders in February 1917

William Stone at Poona in October 1918

Sidney Styles in Egypt believed to have died in August 1915

Fred Symes in Wales in March 1915

Albert Tiltman in Jutland in June 1916

Fred Travers in Sheerness in November 1914

Charles Watts in France in October 1916

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