Bingham's part in World War One

On the 4th August, 1914 Great Britain declared war on Germany and became embroiled in World War One, the war dubbed ‘the war to end all wars’. The carnage was extraordinary. Scarcely any family was immune from the human tragedy caused by the fighting. Our village of Bingham, then home to no more than 1500 souls was no exception. These web pages honour the sacrifices made by the young men and women who served. The war memorial, sited in the Parish Church, records the names of 36 men who were killed. The Roll of Honour, kept at the Church, lists over 200 others who served and survived. The project has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Apart from supplying service personnel, Bingham perhaps came closest to the action when two Zeppelins flew over the town on Monday January 31st 1916. This was noted in the parish register by Canon Hutt, the Rector:

“On Monday Jan 31st at 6.20 pm a Zeppelin flew quite low directly over the church in a westerly direction. At 8.30 pm another flew over the town also in a westerly direction. One was noticed flying to the south and another to the north. At 9.40 pm one returned flying eastwards & at 12.45 am on Feb 1st another flew eastwards directly over the town. No bombs were dropped and no damage done to the immediate district. Some in the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire suffered heavily. Total numbers killed 60, injured 101, total 161.

Had these Zeppelins arrived 24 hours earlier they would have found the church brilliantly lighted and full of people. Under the circumstances Evensong at 6.30 pm was abandoned for the time being and held at 3.30 pm, as it was felt sure that the Germans would at the first favourable opportunity repeat this dastardly mode of warfare.”

Some detailed accounts of this Zeppelin raid, whose original target was to be Liverpool, but in the end they seem to have settled for Rolls Royce and the Railway works in Derby, can be found here:

Bingham also had a plan to utilise German Prisoners of War to clear out Carr Dyke.

We have prepared the web site as a resource for users to dip into as deeply or otherwise as they have a mind to. Thus you will not find written up stories in here, rather the raw material to write your own.

The core of the network of information is the “soldier’s page”, one for each person who served, divided between those who died and those who survived. There are links (click on the words underlined blue) from each soldier’s page to other material, according to what we could find. This first tranche of material covers all those who were killed and some of their relatives who also served. Later in 2015 we shall be adding material for the survivors.

Less than 40% of individual soldiers’ service records survived Hitler’s bombs which destroyed the London warehouse where they were stored. We have retrieved as many records for Bingham service people as are available. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission looks after our soldiers’ graves or monuments; you will find notes on each of these for Bingham’s dead. We have collected information from war diaries for most of the battalions in which Bingham people served. There are links to notes of these, sometimes to the actual images. Many make poignant reading and allow you to develop empathy for what they experienced.

We have consulted the major genealogy web sites to derive a large amount of information on family history for all those who served. We have collected evidence such as marriage and death certificates for the survivors to see what happened to them after the war. We have been fortunate in being able to speak to surviving relatives. From those details, it is possible for their descendants to honour them and for other readers to give their thanks. It also provides a window into the occupations and living circumstances of the people living in Bingham in the early years of the 20th century.

We have included some pages describing the erection of the War Memorial and the creation of Bingham’s Roll of Honour. We are still working on other aspects of the Bingham Home Front by delving into the newspapers of the time, school log books and other contemporary material.

We have included a map of the Western front as most Bingham soldiers were engaged in fighting there at some time. This was published in Harmsworth’s New Atlas of the World, published about6 1920 by The Amalgamated Pres Ltd You can leave this image open while you read solders’ pages etc.

We hope you find much of interest. If you can help us by correcting information or by offering new material, artefacts for photographing and photographs etc. Please let us know by sending an email to us here.

Please start your exploration now by clicking on a link:

Bingham’s War Memorial
The Roll of Honour

Roll of the fallen
Roll of those who survived
Sources, list of acknowledgements
Glossary of terms and abbreviations

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