WW1 soldiers' stories: Harrogate church's emotional appeal

Part of St Wilfrid's Church's First World War memorial to the parish's fallen soldiers.
Part of St Wilfrid's Church's First World War memorial to the parish's fallen soldiers.

Harrogate's grandest church has launched a campaign to put some flesh on the bones of some of its fallen parishioners of the First World War.

Generally regarded as one of the largest and most beautiful churches in the country, St Wilfrid's on Duchy Road is keen to shine a light on the lives of the soldiers named on its own WW1 memorial.

Located in St Wilfrid's Holy Spirit Chapel, the aim during a year, which marks the 100th anniversary of war's end, is to use any information discovered as part of a new display telling the soldier's own stories.

But its a race against time to get it ready Heritage Open Days in September when the public can visit what is Harrogate’s only Grade I listed building for free.

The church's facilities manager Rebecca Oliver said: "We are currently researching the history of those named on the First World War memorial in the church and would love to find out more about the men listed on it.

"If anyone has any knowledge of those named on the memorial or their families please contact myself or the church."

The church of St Wilfrid Harrogate was consecrated in 1914, at the start of World War 1. The earliest parish magazines that we have make regular mention of parishioners or members of the congregation who were killed in action.

The new display will contain some of these precious artefacts which will be shown to the public for the first time.

Local people listed on the St Wilfrid's Church war memorial include:

Ernest Richard Gardner Wood – North Staffordshire Regiment

Joseph William Smith Hird – North Staffordshire Regiment

Edgar Perham – West Yorkshire Regiment

Godfrey Harold Averdieck – King’s Royal Rifles

George Gerald Averdieck – Rifle Brigade

Herbert Smith – West Yorkshire Regiment

John Wilson Ware – Royal Engineers

Richard de Paive Eddison – Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Charles Edmund Boote – North Staffordshire Regiment

Arthur Norbury Solly – Manchester Regiment and Royal Flying Corps

Francis Cecil Yates – West Yorkshire Regiment

Ernest Wynn – Royal Flying Corps

Harry Carr – Warwickshire Regiment

Ernest Bristow Farrar – Devonshire Regiment

Leslie Riley Watson – Royal Field Artillery

Marcus Head – Royal Flying Corps

Charles George Gordon Shelton – South Lancashire Regiment

Anyone who may have information of the soldiers, should contact Rebecca Oliver on bookings@stwilfrid.org or Pam Grant on peterandpamgrant@uwclub.net