The Battle of the Somme commenced on the 1st July 1916 and amongst the many who died on that first day were four of the fifteen Buxton Lime Firms men to whom we dedicate this podcast.
We had the pleasure of attending a commemoration service for these men at which they named one of the freight trains Poppy, see below.
Unfortunately it was impossible to trace any of the relatives of the fifteen men, however we were lucky enough to make contact with two sisters who told us a wonderful story of one of the fifteen men who was killed.
Below is a picture of Lance Corporal James Uriah Ferris who is second from left smoking a cigarette. He was the sweetheart of a Tideswell woman named Mary Jane Longstone.
When James went to war, with many of his pals from the area, he kept in contact with Mary through letters and postcards.
Below is a beautiful postcard sent to Mary from James and kept in her possession throughout her life. After James’ death his sweetheart Mary, like so many other women, grieved for her lost love. Eventually she married in her early 30’s but she continued to tell the story of James Ferris and her love for him to her two granddaughters, who provided us with these pictures. When Mary’s husband died in the 1970’s, Mary then in her 80’s, set off alone to find his grave in France.
This podcast is both commemoration and a love story and it is about the memories that we keep alive throughout a century of huge change.
Lest we forget.