The lives of 30 Hampshire Regiment soldiers killed in the First World War are the subject of a new book.
We Will Remember Them: The Great War Dead of Fulflood & Weeke, Winchester, is co-authored by Derek Whitfield, a volunteer at the Regimental Museum. Derek was responsible for researching and writing much of the Timeline on the Regimental Museum website.
The book, the subject of more than five years' exhaustive research by local historians, examines the lives of the 91 men whose names appear on the Great War memorials at St Paul's Church, Fulflood, and St Matthew's Church, Weeke. A third of the men served with the Hampshire Regiment. Of these, 17 were soldiers of the 4th Battalion who perished while fighting in the Mesopotamia campaign, most after being taken prisoner following the surrender of the Kut garrison on 29 April 1916.
Much of Derek's research was carried out in the Regimental Museum where the diaries of Regimental Sergeant Major William Leach and the Comforts Fund records of Mrs Esme Bowker, widow of the 1/4th Battalion's CO, Lieutenant Colonel Francis Bowker, proved invaluable sources of information. The book also features several previously unpublished photographs of Hampshire Regiment soldiers in Mesopotamia, India and elsewhere.
There are biographies, too, of Hampshire soldiers killed on the Western Front as well as in the Palestine and Gallipoli campaigns.
While the men's military service inevitably make up a large part of the book, it is by no means exclusively a work of military history. Each biography contains information about the subject's civilian life, some of which has been supplied by family descendants. There are also two chapters on the development of Fulflood and Weeke in the years leading up to 1914, a period when the parish was expanding rapidly.
A copy of the 400-plus page book is being lodged at the Regimental Museum. Anyone wishing to order their own copy can do so by contacting Derek Whitfield at firstname.lastname@example.org