Remembering the Fallen: in all conflicts, whether in living memory or beyond, numbered among the fallen are those who were their parents’ only son, if not their only child. Losing one beloved son is unimaginable – yet in the Great War four families lost five sons each.
The Smith family from Barnard Castle in County Durham lost John, Alfred, Frederick, George and Robert (not included in the photograph). Their brother Wilfred was sent home after the family’s local vicar’s wife wrote to Queen Mary. Frederick’s body was the only one not found.
The Beechey family from Lincoln lost Harold, Charles, Frank, Barnard, and Leonard. Harold was living in Australia at the outbreak of the Great War, so joined the Australian Imperial Force. The eldest, Barnard, a gifted mathematician, has no known grave, and so a cross was lain on the grave of an unknown Lincolnshire soldier.
The Souls family from Great Rissington in the Cotswolds lost Frederick, Alfred, Arthur, Walter and Albert. Alfred and Arthur were twins and died five days apart; Frederick was last seen going over the top in the Battle of the Somme, his remains were never found.
The Nicholls family from Easton-on-the-Hill in East Northamptonshire lost George, John, Cecil, Arthur and Charles. Only George has a known grave. Of the 213 men from the village who enlisted, forty-five did not return home.