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Halesowen man's book is tribute to town's Tommies
7:20am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in News
A Halesowen man’s 12-year labour of love has resulted in a book remembering fallen soldiers listed on Halesowen War Memorial.
Michael Green was inspired to take on the mammoth task of researching all 422 names on the memorial at St John’s Parish Church, after spotting a friend’s grandfather’s name on the monument.
The retired quantity surveyor has published details about the soldiers listed who gave their lives in World War One in Halesowen War Memorial, vol one, The Great War 1914 - 1919.
Included in the book are the men’s full names, regiments, battalions, where they were born and lived, where they enlisted, the day they were killed and where and where they are buried or commemorated.
The memorial, unveiled by Major Reddie in 1921, was designed by Sir Harold Brakspear and lists soldiers who fell in the Great War and the Second World War.
The youngest soldier listed and featured in the book is 16-year-old George Wood, son of George and Esther Wood, of Hayley Green, who died at the Battle of the Somme on July 3, 1916.
Mr Green, aged 70, of Moorfield Drive, said: “One day, walking past the memorial I became aware of the sparcity of information provided - which is just an initial and surname. There was an Parkes E. listed and I happened to know this was the grandfather of my friend Terry Parkes.
“We had visited his grave on the Somme.
“I realised that if not now, certainly in a very short time no one would know who Parkes E. and his compatriots were and for what they had died.
“I decided that I would try and research as much as possible and record it for any relatives or others who may be interested.”
Mr Green, who became interested in the war because his father Lewis Green served on the Western Front, hopes to go on to publish Volume Two – The Second World War 1939 -1945.
Halesowen War Memorial, vol one, The Great War 1914-1919, published by Reveille Press is available from Summer Hill Books, Halesowen and St. John the Baptist Church’s shop, at £12.95.
Proceeds go to the Western Front Association.