The First World War: 1914 – 1918

WW1 ended 100 years ago this year on Armistice Day, the 11th November 1918.

One hundred years on, whether we are aware of it or not we are all connected to WW1. This is perhaps through our own family history or because of its long-term impact on our society and the world we live in today.

WW1 was one of the deadliest conflicts in the history of the human race, in which over 16 million people died. The war killed almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel. In Great Britain around 6 million men were mobilised, and of those just over 700,000 were killed. Germany lost 2.1 million men and Russia, 3.8 million.

We, in Badwell Ash, want to commemorate and remember all of those men from our village who lived, fought and died in this terrible conflict. The BAHS has therefore been researching the men who left our village to fight in the war. Almost 70 men who lived in this parish, or had family connections with it, left for WW1. At the time, the population of the village was little more than 350. Of the men who were called up or enlisted to fight in the war 16 of them never returned home and are commemorated on the original war memorial, a stained glass window and brass plaque in the South Aisle of the parish church, St. Mary’s. They are also now commemorated on a new war memorial and village sign that was erected in 2014. Additionally, those who died are also commemorated in a booklet “Lest We Forget” which was researched by Tony Pringle and whose names are included within this research.

The Heritage Lottery Fund provided financial assistance for this project which includes a Heritage Trail around the village identifying and depicting the homes where some of these men lived.

Unlike some villages, where almost all the men went to the same regiment, such as in “The Pals Battalions”, Badwell’s men entered all facets of the armed forces: the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Many men went to or were called up to the Suffolk Regiment, but as the conflict wore on and shortages of men were felt in almost all the regiments, some were placed with such diverse regiments as the Northamptonshire, the East Surreys, the Hampshire, the East Kents, the Kings Royal Rifles and Royal Irish Rifles. Some were sent to the more specialist regiments such as the Army Service Corps, the Royal Garrison Artillery, the Labour Corps, the Chaplaincy, the Cycle Corps, the Royal Horse Artillery, the Lancers, the Veterinary Service and the Royal Engineers.  Both the Royal Navy and the Royal Flying Corps (the fledgling RAF) were also represented.

Men who fought in WW1 who came from Badwell Ash

These men died in WW1 and are commemorated in Tony Pringle's book "Lest We Forget"
These men are on The Roll of Honour

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