Cotswold village to hold WW1 exhibition

Cotswold village to hold WW1 exhibition

Private Ernest Johncey, who died December 8, 1916, age 23. He was buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece.

Nick Walford laying wreath from Parish of Westcote on Ernest Johncey's grave (Struma).

First published in News
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THE centenary of the First World War is being commemorated in a special two-day archive exhibition near Bourton.

Following the success of a similar event in Westcote last year, an archive display is returning to the village hall on Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3 from 10am to 4pm.

The exhibition will include additional material including more than 100 newspaper cuttings related to Westcote from 1835 to 1950.

And there will be a special exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.

There were six men from Westcote who died during the Great War who are commemorated on a tablet in St Mary's Church.

They are Benjamin Pettet, Mark Johncey, Ernest Johncey, George Acock, Harry Acock and Albert Dix.

When villagers Nick and Christine Walford first started researching their history, they assumed all the men would have died in France.

But they were amazed to find that only two died in France and that the others died in diverse locations such as Greece, Iraq and Germany.

They are now trying visit as many graves or memorials as possible and lay a wreath at each from the Parish of Westcote.

The couple also visited the National Archives at Kew to read the war diaries for each battalion for the dates of the men's deaths.

Mrs Walcote said: "It is incredibly moving to hold these hand-written diaries and read the details of the battles that killed the men from Westcote".

The exhibition will feature photographs, war diaries and transcripts, maps, medal cards, wills, service records and artefacts along with photographs of site visits and wreath laying.

The pair have already been loaned photographs of Benjamin Pettet and brothers Mark and Ernest Johncey.

Mr Walcote said: "Thiepval Visitor's Centre is building a photographic archive of The Missing of The Somme. It is very gratifying to know that, thanks to the Westcote exhibition, Benjamin Pettet's photograph can now be added to this database, putting a face to his name and ensuring he is fully remembered by future generations."

Anyone related to or with knowledge of the six men or who have photographs of Albert Dix and brothers George and Harry Acock should call 01993 831196.

There will also be a Service of Commemoration on Sunday, August 3at 6pm in St Mary's Church and the exhibition will re-open for an hour after the service.

Entry to the Exhibition is free. Refreshments will be served in aid of Westcote Village Hall.

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