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Occold's Roll of Honour book honours village men who fell in the Great War

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It is unlikely that any other village will be able to match Occold’s souvenir of the First World War.

AUTHORS: Barry and Patricia Woods of Occold with their book. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
AUTHORS: Barry and Patricia Woods of Occold with their book. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

Its 100-page Roll of Honour book details the lives and deaths of each one of the 15 Occold men who answered their country’s call and paid with their lives.

It has been compiled by genealogists Barry and Patricia Woods, who traced the backgrounds of the village’s men among the millions to die in the Great War.

“They were not all killed in the trenches. It wasn’t all cannon-fire and artillery,” said Mr Woods. “Some were treated for their wounds in hospital, but died, and some survived to be discharged, but died soon afterwards, the gas used during the war being a particular problem.”

Mr and Mrs Woods have been keen genealogists for more than 30 years. Their interest began when Mrs Woods asked about her husband’s mother, who had died when he was born in 1944 while his father was in France, and he was bought up by various family members. “I grew up never knowing a mother, but we looked for her family and suddenly I had an existence,” said the former BT project director.

When he retired, the couple moved from Felixstowe to Occold and they continued their interest, eventually turning their attention to the men named on the war memorial.

The parish council has paid for the publication of the book, which will be free to every household. Copies will also be for sale.

The couple will sign their book at a Roll of Honour event in the village hall on November 9.

Council clerk Caroline Emeny said that pride of place would be given to the three silhouettes of soldiers the village has been awarded by the Armistice and Armed Services Communities Fund.

Primary and pre-school children will take part in the day and the WI will donate refreshments.

The silhouettes will later be placed in the church for the Remembrance Sunday service.

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