Quest to find relatives of First World War fallen - as plans for ceremony finalised

Tommy silhouette
Tommy silhouette

The village of Adstock is appealing to anyone who can help trace relatives of local soldiers who died in the First World War in a bid to invite them to join in a special commemorative event, taking place on Saturday, 9 June 2018.

As part of the village’s 100 year anniversary celebrations of the armitice on 11 November 1918, a six-foot aluminium silhouette of a British soldier (known as a ‘Tommy’), funded by Adstock Parish Council, will be unveiled outside the War Memorial.

The Tommy has been purchased from the charity ‘Remembered’, as part of the national ‘There But Not There’ charitable campaign.

Organisers hope to welcome as many friends and family members of the fallen as possible to the event, as well as those from other villages.

Adstock lists seven soldiers who perished during the conflict, two of whom are buried in the village’s churchyard. But to date, organisers have been unable to trace any of their relatives.

Names of those who died are:

> Private Francis (Frank) Phillips 4336 Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

> Private Henry (Harry) Phillips 265927 Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

> L/Sergeant Reginald Phillips 8953 Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

> Private Walter Sear 266202 Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

> Sergeant George Sirett 13397 Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

> Sapper Harold Sirett 91578 – Royal Engineers

> William Turner - Royal West Surrey Regiment

“Adstock parish council felt that the village should remember and give thanks to those from the area who gave up their lives by supporting the charity,” said Simon Walker, chairman of the parish council, adding, “We really hope that friends and family can join with us to mark this special unveiling.”

The unveiling will be accompanied by four pipers and two drummers from the Milton Keynes pipe band, along with a serving member of the The Rifles. Up to ten million combatants died in the 1914-1918 war, 888,246 from Britain and the Commonwealth. The last living British soldier who fought in the war was Harry Patch, who died on 25 July 2009 at the age of 111.

If you are family or friend of the above soldiers, please contact Simon Walker admin@adstockvillage.info.

For more background information: https://www.therebutnotthere.org.uk