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War heroes’ exploits brought to life
Buy this photo Peter Smith with the medals awarded to L/Cpl James Daniel Iles
HEROES of the First World War from an Oxfordshire village are remembered in a new exhibition.
Volunteers at the Tom Brown’s School Museum in Uffington have traced records of the 130 villagers who served during the conflict from 1914-1918.
Led by curator Sharon Smith, the exhibition opened at the weekend and presents a detailed map of those who served, alongside photos and newspaper articles.
Research discovered that 29 men from Uffington were killed in action, while more than 100 returned to the village near Faringdon.
Friends John Jenkins and John Moore signed up with the Berkshire Yeomanry regiment together at the outbreak of the First World War.
The former rose to be a sergeant, the latter a corporal but both killed at the Battle for Hill 70 in Gallipoli on August 21, 1915.
The Berkshire Yeomanry were mobilised in August, 1914, days after war was declared on July 28. The regiment trained at Churn on the Berkshire Downs for three months before being moved to the East Coast.
In April 1915, the troops sailed to Egypt.
The Yeomanry were a Territorial Army cavalry regiment but were used as infantry in Gallipoli.
After three months of trench warfare, they were withdrawn.
The museum also looks at the Randall family of Uffington – seven of whose eight sons served in the armed forces in the First World War.
William, the eldest, became a foreman fitter after being discharged from the Army.
His brother Frank served as a private for more than 10 years in the armed services, including time in Mesopotamia.
George Randall served with the 49th Labour Company in France, rising to the rank of lance corporal.
Mrs Smith, a retired school administration officer, spent more than four months with volunteers scouring the 1911 census and Commonwealth War Graves records for the exhibition.
Mrs Smith said: “We have collected names of all the men that served in the area, not just of those that were killed.
“By looking through records, we have amassed 130 names of those who have served from this area.’’ Her husband Peter colalted research for the exhibition, which was set up by six volunteers.
Eleven visitors attended the exhibition on its opening day on Saturday.
The museum in Broad Street, Uffington, is open from 2pm to 5pm each Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from Easter until the end of October.
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