Anniversary book records Iffley’s role in Great War

Ron and Diana Cosford outside St Mary's Church in Iffley

Ron and Diana Cosford outside St Mary's Church in Iffley Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

A HISTORY society has celebrated its 20th birthday with a book about Iffley’s role in the First World War.

The Great War: Iffley Remembers has been published by Iffley History Society.

The society boasts 110 members and regularly hosts talks from Oxford University academics and authors.

Secretary Paul Butler, of Iffley village said: “It’s a big part of life in the village, like so many of the society’s which exist here.

“Part of the reason is we have a great programme of events – for example we had Dr Janina Ramirez who is well known for presenting historical programmes on television. She was a great speaker and very entertaining. We’ve seen an increase in interest in the society over the past year and I think that is in part down to the First World War centenary.”

The book’s authors are Ron and Diana Cosford, who live in Iffley Road and joined the society a year ago.

The book details the 26 Iffley men who died in the First World War, including a roll of honour revealing their service.

It also tells the story of the Iffley Memorial Institute, which was set up in their honour in 1917 but fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1973.

Mr Cosford said: “In many ways Iffley is the perfect place for a history society because so many interesting and talented people live here. We have retired professors from the university, authors and other people with lots of interesting things to say about our history. I have always had an interest in family history and getting involved in the society has allowed me to take that further.

“It’s really interesting to see how the village has changed down the years. At the time of the war it was much more mixed than it is now, with farm labourers and workers living here. Now times have moved on and it’s almost exclusively middle class.”

Greg Birdseye, who got involved two years ago after moving to Iffley from London, said: “Iffley is a very welcoming place anyway, but the society is a great way to get people involved. I love going to the meetings, they’re stimulating and a great way to get stuck into village life.”

The society’s 21st season will focus on Oxford’s role in conflict from the Wars of the Roses to the Second World War.

It begins on October 21 with a talk on the role of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry at the Battle of the Somme at St Mary’s Church Hall, Church Way, Iffley.

For details, see iffleyhistory.wordpress.com

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