ON the evening of Thursday November 24, in a talk that was exciting, humorous and moving by turns, Wilma Hayes told members of the Vale of Evesham Historical Society about her grandfather’s experiences during WWI. At times it seemed almost miraculous that Lieutenant William Hayes survived the war, since he was present at every major engagement – the Somme, Passchendale and Vimy Ridge among others – being wounded twice but surviving to win the Military Cross and to marry a German girl and bring her home with him to Canada.

Before he volunteered at the start of the war to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a private soldier, William was camp cook in a logging camp, catering for 100 men at a time, so perhaps it is not surprising that within a short space of time he was Acting Quartermaster Sergeant Hayes. He ended up being sent to England on Officer Training, ending the conflict as a lieutenant.

Almost as fascinating as her grandfather’s experiences, was the story of Wilma’s researches to discover his history, and there were lively discussions afterwards between Wilma and members of her audience.

The Society will be having its Christmas talk next Thursday, December 1, when two ladies known collectively as “From Time to Time” will be coming along (in costume) to tell members and guests all about a Tudor Christmas.

For more information visit the Society’s website: www.valeofeveshamhistory.org or contact the Secretary, Gerry Harte, on 01386 870665.