THE hard work of volunteers researching the lives of Powerstock men who fell in World War I for the village’s centenary commemorative book is now over.
The book is printed and will be available by the end of next week – although the official launch is not scheduled until October 22 at Bridport Arts Centre to link with the season of Remembrance.
Before then readers will be able to get copies of the book for £7.99 at The Bookshop, Bridport, Waterstones, Bridport, The Museum, Bridport, The Keep, Dorchester, The County Museum, Dorchester and the village shop, Evershot.
The driving force behind the project was Richard Con-naughton.
He said in 1914, when The Times first published the poet Laurence Binyon’s eulogy to the fallen, now a key part of the Remembrance service, people did remember those that died.
He said: “The difference between now and then is that in 1920 the respondents were in a position to remember those lost because they had known them.
“The names heard by Powerstock’s 2013 congregation were those of total strangers. A pledge was accordingly made to the effect that in a year’s time, at the Centenary Remembrance Sunday, the parish’s long forgotten servicemen would be both known and remembered.
“We would write a book, A Dorset Parish Remembers 1914-1919.”
Mr Connaughton said: “I am particularly taken by the fragility of history – how, but for the contribution of one person, part of our history might never have been told.
“Had we waited another year before recording experiences, this book would be marginally different. A great deal of what we know has been passed down through the relatives of the individuals being researched.”
He said: “Mary Connaughton trawled genealogy sites with a view to producing a dossier of facts on each of the individuals.
“Gina Connaughton set out each contribution in a regular format. Preceding all that was the design and selection of the cover.
“Chris Day began a process completed by Steve Luck. He is a photographer and designer whose tasks included mapping and improving the resolution of century-old photographs.
“Channy Kennard, the Power-stock correspondent of the benefice magazine, became the publicist.
“Margaret Morgan-Grenville, editor of the benefice magazine and owner of her own small publishing company, converted the incoming manuscripts to pdf format as required by the printer.
“A not-for-profit venture such as this has to be aware of all available means of raising funds. It seemed at times the hurdles we had to negotiate were impossibly high.”