MFAA members were at Cradley Library, Colley Lane on Saturday, 13th December to help at the book launch of 'Some of Cradley's Finest' by local author Terry Evans. The book documents the lives of Cradley men who were enlisted during World War One. With 414 pages of information and images, the book is a historical record of what happened to the men who went to war and those that returned home.
Terry Evans became interested in The Great War through researching his own family history, his grandfather and great uncle having survived the conflict. He’s spent the best part of 20 years completing his first book.
In his own words:-
“As my interest grew I became absorbed in the fates and the stories behind the men that never returned or died on home soil as a result of their military experiences, especially those named on the war memorial in the town where I was born and bred - Cradley.
The more I delved into researching the names on the memorial the more I became aware that there were more men than the 117 named on the memorial with Cradley connections who also died as a result of their wartime exploits, hence the title of the book.
I have in my research noted the names of any Cradley men that I came across who also enlisted. The majority of these men were either discharged or demobilised during or after the war ended and returned to their families. These men should also be remembered, for they, although not giving the ultimate sacrifice did their part somewhere and at sometime to help secure the final victory.
Although the war memorial was the inspiration of the project, with the main aim being to remember the fallen, I have tried to unearth more than just a name. Where I have been able I have hopefully given an insight into men with personalities of their own and found out as much as possible how they lived and died. Some of the men were easy to research but for some very little could be found of their lives. Some were Cradley born and bred, some moved to Cradley when they were married or when their family moved there, some just had relatives living there and some men seem to have no obvious connections with Cradley whatsoever. However, I hope that this book will in some way act as an additional memorial to some of Cradley’s finest, who gave their lives during or as result of the 1914-18 war.”
The book is available through Cradley Then & Now.
Terry is now working on World War Two and would greatly appreciate any information on men with Cradley connections who were involved in that conflict.
For more information go to: www.cradleylinks.co.uk or email Jill Guest at firstname.lastname@example.org