Heritage group tells 100-year-old stories

Soldiers in the Market Place - First World War EMN-140710-090759001
Soldiers in the Market Place - First World War EMN-140710-090759001

As the nation commemorates the centenary of the First World War, closer to home, one group is researching the local men who served.

Over the past few months, Rase Heritage Society has put up a number of displays setting the scene for the outbreak of war - giving an overview of the town in 1914.

Rase Heritage Chairman Caroline Foster EMN-140710-091901001

Rase Heritage Chairman Caroline Foster EMN-140710-091901001

Now they have turned their attention to those who served - and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The first roll of honour was published in the Market Rasen Mail on September 26 1914 and listed 43 names of those serving their country.

“It is important to remember during the war years the Roll of Honour referred to those serving, whereas now it means those who died,” said Rase Heritage Caroline Foster, who has headed up the research.

“And it wasn’t just men who were mentioned, there were a number of women serving as nurses and we would love to find out more about them.”

Service records for some of the Rasen area men have been obtained and research has also been done into their lives before joining up and, where applicable, on their return.

“There are only around 50 percent of service records available; the others went up in smoke,” added Caroline.

“But we wanted to give an overview too of who these men were they headed to war - using census records, trade directories etc.

“And we would love to hear from anyone whose family members served in any capacity during the First World War to help fill in the gaps.”

Market Rasen’s town memorial, next to the Methodist Church, features 72 names and these were documented in the booklet by Douglas Boyce - Let Us Sleep Now - published in 2002.

Rase Heritage has a small number of these books available.

“Four of these men died in 1914 and these have been our main focus at the moment,” said Caroline.

“Next year, we will look at those who were killed in 1915, then the following year those who died in 1916 and so on throughout the war years.”

But Caroline has also discovered a number of men with 
Market Rasen connections who do not feature on any of the town’s memorials.

Over the next few weeks, the Rasen Mail will be publishing some of the stories uncovered by Rase Heritage Society.

And if any of our readers has their own family story to tell or has memorabilia from that time, we would love to hear from you too.