Poignant address book is sad reminder of casualties of war

THE war memorial at Fernhurst bears the names of 41 young men who did not return home after the first world war.

The village had done all it could to support those men as well as the fortunate ones who returned and the wealth of information collected by the Fernhurst Archives gives an insight into this special war effort’.

One of the most precious possessions of the archive is the priceless address book of villager Philippa Salvin who, with an army of volunteers back home, wrote letters and sent parcels to all Fernhurst men serving in the forces.

Most poignantly, whenever she learnt that one of the men had died, she marked his name with a red cross in the address book and each one of those names appears on the war memorial.

Mrs Salvin, who lived at Woodfold in the village, sent Christmas parcels, Easter gifts and parcels of food to the Front.

All the Fernhurst men abroad knew of the effort of their womenfolk back home and requests such as that of Lance Corporal Glazier for packs of cards for the battalion were often received.

After the war, Mrs Salvin was a leading light on the Peace Celebrations Committee which presented a silver-headed walking stick to the next of kin of all those from Fernhurst who died and also those who returned.

At the same time, Fernhurst’s war memorial committee was planning and designing a permanent memorial to those who died.

It was decided in addition to place a rood screen across the chancel of the church commemorating their names.

The archives owe much to the research of Brian and Mary Silver, both born and bred Fernhurst villagers, who published, in 2005, a book detailing the lives of all those whose names appear on the memorial.