Copyright Everton Village Hall 2016
Everton Soldiers’ memorial
Everton Village Hall contains a unique wood-panelled fireplace as a memorial to those men from the village that lost their lives in the two World Wars. As part of the hall’s recent refurbishment, with the financial support of Everton Parish Council, the memorial wall has been restored to its former glory. To commemorate the lives of the ten soldiers who fell in the First World War we have tried to contact all their living relatives using local contacts and parish records held in Huntingdon. This has been a difficult task.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Everton was a small village with just a few families living closely together. Today those families are widely separated. The ten fallen soldiers are: Archibald Frank BAKER, William James CHAPMAN, Herbert Edward DARLOW, John Frank ENDERSBY, Parker GIGGLE, John HULL, William James HULL, James LAWSON, Walter Lee LAWSON, or Thomas George MEEKS. Click on a soldier’s name for more information about their wartime service.
Below is a report on the Everton Soldiers’ Family Reunion held in Everton Village Hall on Saturday 4th October 2014.
On Saturday, Everton Village Hall hosted a reunion of the families of the ten soldiers that gave their lives in the Great War. A gathering of 55 people aged from 6 months to 91 years and from as far away as Kent had been brought together following nearly two years of research using local contacts, census reports and parish records.
The guests were welcomed back to the village by Councillor Margret Westergreen-Thorne and by Michael Flack, Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee who explained how the Memorial Wall had been refurbished. The unique panelled wall, displaying pictures of the ten soldiers who fell in the conflict which had started 100 years previously, had been specially decorated with flowers and flags for the occasion.
Everton’s Mike Collins explained how the search for the families had been made and how the hunt continues. Family trees for all the soldiers had been prepared and were on display together with a book collecting the soldiers’ war service stories. Family members were invited to write their thoughts in the book. Local Historian Roy Litchfield explained about the distribution of bronze plaques to commemorate the lost soldiers and how these would have been cast.
The Rector for St. Mary’s Church, Rev. Steven Rothwell, also gave an address and offered a prayer. News reports found in the archives of the Biggleswade Chronicle relating to the village of Everton during the period 1915-18 were read by village members playing the roles of War Correspondents. Members of the Baker and Chapman families presented their own appreciation of their lost relative and Gwen Dibdin (nee Lawson) produced an emotional poem by her uncle Lot Lawson written to his mother from the trenches.
The performances were followed by a toast of wine to “All the Soldiers of Everton”; the 40 from the village who served in the Great War, the ten that did not return and the four soldiers who had been born in Everton but commemorated on the war memorials in Sandy and Gamlingay. Finally a grand afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes and the chance to catch up with old friends and lost relatives concluded a wonderfully emotional event.
Please contact Mike Collins if you have further information or would like to have more information.. Mike is at 12 The Lawns, Everton, Beds. SG19 2LB, Tel: 01767 692268 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of your family tree and an image of the soldier can be made available and will eventually be reproduced on this website.
Below are photographs of the graves of two of the fallen soldiers - Parker Giggle and Archibald Baker - courtesy of Roy Litchfield.
Parker Giggle’s grave in Hooge Crater Cemetery near Ypres
Archibald Baker’s grave in Klein Vierstraat British Cemetery near Ypres
Above: Members of William James Chapman’s family at the soldiers’ reunion