AN ASHBOURNE historian is about to launch a book which pays tribute to more than 100 soldiers from Ashbourne who died in the First World War.
Trilby Shaw first began putting ideas together for her new book, entitled They Are Not Lost, They Are Here, when gazing at a memorial to 116 Ashbourne men in St Oswald’s Church on Armistice Day in 2007.
A period of research which saw her travelling out to personally visit memorials around the country and overseas began and this month her new book will be launched officially.
Mrs Shaw, who lives in Mayfield Road, said: “I just thought it was so sad that these men were just names on a wall — not even memories, but names.
“It made me want to learn more about them and put flesh on the bones. I thought there must be stories to them.
“Some families I met were able to give me information and it set the ball rolling.” The book will be the first study done into the lives of soldiers who left families and friends in the area during the war and contains detailed accounts and profiles from 121 men who either lived in Ashbourne or had connections to the town.
Using information from the News Telegraph archives, Derbyshire County Council’s archive service, the Sherwood Foresters Museum, the Royal British Legion and other sources of history including Ashbourne Heritage Society, soldiers are listed in groups that represent their social circles, or the graves their lives are marked in.
Each entry bears as much information as possible about each soldier, but some even contain letters and other documents,offering a more in-depth story.
Mrs Shaw said: “I feel like I’ve lived with these men for many years and after a while you find yourself talking to them.
“I know them all so well that if their names come up then I know who they are and whether they’re in the book. They’re all my friends really.” The public launch event, at 7.30pm on Friday, August 26, will take place at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club in the Market Place and the book, priced at £9.99 and published by Ashbourne’s Horizon Editions Ltd, will be on sale in the town afterwards.
£2 from the sale of every edition will be donated to the Royal British Legion’s 90th Anniversary Fund.