Thursday, 9 October 2014

The British Film Institute is to show a long forgotten silent film about the Battle of Coronel and subsequent Battle of the Falkland Islands. Able seaman Arthur Stokes of Drayton was one of those who died at Coronel. ' The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands (1927), directed by Walter Summers, will also be shown at selected cinemas across the UK.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Taking part in the WW1 event at Cottingham on 24 August was a hugely rewarding experience. The organisers did a brilliant job and I'm very grateful to them all for inviting me. There will be a repeat of the exhibition in November at the Methodist Church.

I've acquired lots of new information,  much of it from Janice Binley who has been very generous with sharing her research. I've also been provided with Corby Borough Council's list of people in the relevant parishes who served in and survived WW1;  some of them known to me but not yet researched, others whom I didn't know about. All in all, there's a lot of work yet to be done, but what are long winter nights for, if not slaving over a hot computer?  

24th August seems a long time ago. We've been helping look after our small grandchildren and have only just got home again, somewhat weary, but hopefully I shall be revving up for the next wave of soldiers within a day or two. Maybe three.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

It's been an exceptionally busy few weeks on the domestic front, so opportunities for Soldiering On have been brief. However, this week sees the William Coles history going public. It's one of the longest so far,  mainly because there was some very interesting family background to be unearthed.

In just over a week the World War One exhibition is happening in Cottingham; details at htpp:// I've been exchanging information with Janice Binley, and am particularly excited to learn that one of the medals to be exhibited belonged to the only man named on the Cottingham war memorial to whom I'm related. Edwin (known as Edward) Towndrow was married to my great aunt Frances Bamford for five months before his death at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on 13 March 1915. (William) James Tansley was killed on the same day, both men being in the 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment.

I have a good deal of information on both men as much of their military record survives. Unfortunately their histories are unlikely to be ready for uploading before the exhibition on 24 August, but I should have them finished in the autumn.   

I am really looking forward to seeing people's family memorabilia on display and hoping to learn a lot more about Cottingham's soldiers from the families who remember them. It should be a great day.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

WW1 event at Cottingham

Annie Johnson has generously sent me excerpts from family WW1 letters that mention certain soldiers from the village. This is exactly the sort of detail that adds colour to what can seem a very bald account of someone’s experiences, and I am very grateful to her. If anybody else has letters or family anecdotes that they’d be willing to share, I would love to hear from them too. 

There’s a list of servicemen I’ve identified up till now on the website.  However there will be many not listed, largely because their military records were among those that were lost in WW2 bombing raids. If there were soldiers in your family you would like to be added to the list, please tell me. 

The next family group to be uploaded to the website will be the Chambers family.

Sun 24 Aug (2 to 5pm), WW1 Commemoration, Cottingham Village Hall Annexe.
An event is being organised in the village to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. If you would like to get involved, or if you have any information or memorabilia from the era, please contact Joanne Leaning on , telephone 01536 770913.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Welcome to the Cottingham Soldiers Blog. So far I've identified just over seventy men from Cottingham and nearby who served during WW1. There's not very much detail yet for many of them but I hope to find out more as new sources of information become available online.

I'll be giving updates and listing any interesting new websites here.

If you've got anything you want to share about WW1 soldiers in your family,  please do get in touch:

The next men to be added to the website will be Frederick Oliver and Alfred William Inchley.