Remembering Isham’s First World War heroes

Clockwise from top left: A picture of Lewis Reynolds with his medals and death penny, Trevor at his great uncle's grave, the war exhibition at St Peter's Church and Isham's War Memorial. NNL-181122-161701005
Clockwise from top left: A picture of Lewis Reynolds with his medals and death penny, Trevor at his great uncle's grave, the war exhibition at St Peter's Church and Isham's War Memorial. NNL-181122-161701005

The fruits of an Isham man’s mission to find out about the village’s First World War victims will be on display this weekend.

Trevor Jones became interested in his ancestors after finding a framed picture of a soldier with medals and a memorial plaque when clearing out his aunt’s cupboards.

The picture was of Lewis William Reynolds, the youngest Isham soldier to lose his life in the war at the age of 19, who was Trevor’s great uncle.

Trevor then began working to find out about Lewis and the other villagers to die in battle and was fascinated by what he found.

He said: “The more I found out, the more I wanted to know and the more I came across.

“It’s fascinating to find out the stories of those from Isham who served their country.

“I’m always wanting to find out more and meet these war heroes’ families so we can share information.”

Pte Lewis Reynolds died on August 6, 1918, after his army line was subject to heavy shelling. He is remembered with honour at the Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette.

LCpl Walmsley Reynolds died on April 15, 1918, aged 29 during a German attack in the Arras sector. He is remembered with honour at the Arras Memorial.

Cpl Frank Andrew died on November 30, 1917, aged 27 after the Germany army launched a counter-attack. He is remembered with honour at the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.

Pte Horace Dexter died on March 22, 1918, aged 25 in the Somme battlefields. He is remembered with honour at the Pozieres Memorial.

Pte James Conroy died on on September 25, 1916, aged 20 at the Battle of Morval. His name does not appear on Isham’s war memorial as his family moved from Isham to Wellingborough during his service. A memorial vase was placed on the memorial in his memory.

Pte Alfred Turner died on November 6, 1918, aged 22 just days before the Armistice was signed. He was invalided out of the army and returned home, where he died of pneumonia. His grave is at Isham Cemetery.

On August 6 this year - exactly 100 years to the day since his great uncle died - Trevor and his wife Liz made the journey to the Somme to be at Pte Reynolds’ graveside.

Trevor said: “It was quite moving to be there.

“We visited all of the graves of the Isham men. It was a great pilgrimage.”

Trevor’s work, which took him about six months, was part of an Armistice centenary exhibition at St Peter’s Church over November 10-11.

The exhibition featured information about the soldiers and exhibits, such as a model trench made by Nigel Stokes.

It attracted about 500 visitors and total of £458 was donated to be shared between the Royal British Legion and the work of St Peter’s Church.

Trevor said: “It’s brought the people of the village together and made them come into church.”

His work will be on display again this weekend as part of a tree of remembrance at the Isham Christmas Tree Festival at the church.

It will be open for viewing today (Friday) from 2pm to 6pm, tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm.

At 5pm on Sunday there will be a short carol service amongst the illuminated trees to close the festival.