Six forgotten soldiers from Kenilworth who served in the First World War are now being remembered on the town’s war memorial 100 years after the conflict.
The names of Thomas William Dilworth, Timothy Laurence Foley, William Jonathan Hancox, William Hubbard, Frank Bernard Thake and John William Woodfield have now been added to the memorial in Abbey Fields thanks to extensive research by Kenilworth historian Susan Tall.
As we reported last month, Susan has been researching the memorial for the last 20 years, and published a book, entitled Kenilworth and the Great War, in 2004, along with Betty Sunley.
She said: “I always knew there were people that had been left off.
“I had relatives (of the men) contact me saying ‘Why isn’t my grandfather on it?’ I made a list of around 50 men, before gradually getting the list down to six men who, for various reasons, were left off the memorial.”
Susan said many men originally from Kenilworth had been left off the memorial for several reasons - most commonly because the family had moved away from the town before the war began.
But the six men, whose names have now been added to the memorial, had stronger connections to Kenilworth than others such as strong familial ties or not being included on any other memorials despite their connections to the town.
Twenty members of the family of L-Cpl Hancox, the first Kenilworth man to be killed in action when he died on September 14 1914, came from all over the country to attend a dedication ceremony at the memorial in Abbey Fields on Saturday (November 3).
They included L-Cpl Hancox’s 95-year-old niece Joan Sewell, who still lives in Kenilworth and his great-grandson Kevin Bailey who wore his great-grandfather’s war medals.
Representatives from the families of each of the other five men also attended.
The service was conducted by Father Kevin Hooper and the Rev James Martin, and also present were Kenilworth mayor Cllr Michael Hitchins, Cllr George Illingworth who is the chairman of the Kenilworth branch of the Royal British Legion, three standard bearers representing the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, two cadets and First World War re-enactor Malcolm Cooper in authentic uniform.
Susan said: “It is very important for us in Kenilworth to remember these men, particularly with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice this year.
“They were part of our town and need to be remembered generation by generation for their sacrifice.”