Rudgwick Great War Project
This project commenced in May 2014. It was intended that the Project would run until at least the end of 2018 to commemorate the parish contribution to and experience of the war both overseas and on the home front a century ago. In the event, it ran until July 2019, when a memorial was erected at Rudgwick Primary School..
An important addition to the local history of Rudgwick 1914-19 was the collection of short stories from current Rudgwick residents about their relatives who took part in the war effort, wherever they might have lived then.
We hoped this information would enable Rudgwick residents both to understand the war better and to foster a sense of community. The result was published in Book 2 of Rudgwick’s Great War. A great result.
There was already a wealth of information about Rudgwick’s fallen comrades, for which a huge debt is owed to Andy Bailey (see his website), and RPS member Geoff Turberville-Smith who collected much information for the annual Rudgwick Remembers event in the parish church every November.
For the four years of the war’s centenary, from August 2014 to November 2018, the Rudgwick Magazine carried an article every two months detailing the events of Rudgwick’s home front and our loss of life over the period 100 years ago.
Research went on in parallel with this, into the years leading up to the war, and the years following, so that comparison could be made with life before during and after the war. And what a difference there was! The lives and families of the fallen were further investigated for publication, and a list drawn up of all those who served and returned, with brief details. Some ex-servicemen who lived in the parish after the war were given biographies. The overall result was a huge increase in the number we know of who served, and those who died. Only a few were in any way ‘famous’. Most were just ordinary folk thrust into a war for which they exhibited astonishing support and stoicism and fortitude. It can never be an exhaustive list. I owe much thanks to the numerous people who helped me.
The result was our publication, Rudgwick’s Great War, by Roger Nash, in two volumes, published in September 2019.