“Our Boys”

Cockshutt War Memorial

This blog is dedicated to the memory of the sixteen men from Cockshutt who fell in the Great War.

One hundred years on from the 1918 Armistice, for many people alive today, the names on the War Memorial are just names; people they never met, people they never knew.   Yet they were real men, ordinary men, with their own dreams and aspirations for whatever life may have held for them.  Through circumstances far beyond their control they were flung into the most catastrophic and brutal conflict ever known to man. For many, it would have been far beyond their means to travel to France or Belgium, but there they were, struggling to stay alive in the mud of the battlefield.

As I have researched the lives of these young men, I still find it difficult to comprehend the conditions they found themselves in and the extent of their courage to keep going, knowing that they could die at any moment, facing a merciless enemy that used any means it could to try and break the deadlock of the trenches.  Some of them suffered gas attacks or flame thrower attacks, all will have experienced heavy bombardments that sometimes went on for days.  We now know that they died brutal deaths, whether there on the battlefield or subsequently as a result of their wounds.

Whilst investigating their early lives, I began to refer to this group of young men as  “My Boys”.  Now, as the Armistice Centenary draws closer, I have to let them go.  They are “Our Boys”.  I hope that you will take the time to read their biographies and perhaps appreciate the Real Lives behind the names.

Valerie Cartlidge

We Will Remember Them.







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