Parkend, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England: The Eight Men of the 13th Glosters

On the 25th October 1916, eight men of C Company of the 13th Pioneer Forest of Dean Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment were killed near the Schwaben Redoubt on the Somme. It seems singular to imagine that in one foul swoop, eight men’s identities and lives could be extinguished. They were buried as one in that action. And as war sometimes does, their identities and graves were lost. Found once again, they became eight men of the Gloucester Pioneer Regiment; that was their identifier. Until sometime in the 1920s when those eight soldiers were identified. Identified as men once again; as a collective.

Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, England: Never in darkness

It must have been all too common. But the concept that families could send their menfolk off to battle and know that they would never return; but never know where they ended, never know their final moments, never see or even identify their place of death. On a gravestone headed by a tricolore of floral tribute, Elizabeth Reed is remembered. Dearly beloved wife of John Reed of Chipping Sodbury who died January 1st 1910. Below her name is written the name of her son; ordered there by his father.

Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, England: One who never turned his back, but marched breast forward

St Mary's Church at Frampton speaks of golden times. When the canal carried more trade than leisure-seekers; and when life in the climbs of this flatland of Gloucestershire was more of farming, goods and patronage. Hanging in the dim light of the church, the Roll of Honour perches, hand-scribed for the First and the Second World Wars. The flags of the Royal British Legion hang in solemn memorial overlooking the Roll. 

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