Soldiers stories uncovered

Jim Beachill of Conisbrough with World War 1 memorabillia.  Picture: Tony Saxton
Jim Beachill of Conisbrough with World War 1 memorabillia. Picture: Tony Saxton

World War One heroes from the Dearne are being brought back to life through a unique exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the conflict.

The Conisbrough and Denaby Main Local History Group has organised the exhibition to tell the stories of local men who fought for their country.

The exhibition, from March 15 to 22 at Conisbrough Library, features over 200 stories with photographs highlighting the many acts of heroism and sacrifice from the people of the area.

Organiser James Beachill of the Conisbrough and Denaby Main Local History group said: “When you look at a war memorial it’s just a silent name on a slab but this exhibition is bringing these people back to life and letting the community know what happened to them and finding out how the war affected the community.

“I’ve been getting some great feedback already from people who have contacted me to say their ancestors are featured. A lot of them may have heard that their ancestors fought in the war but have never seen a picture.”

The most famous of the many heroes from the area was Laurence Calvert who was awarded the Victoria Cross.

A diorama depicting Laurence Calvert’s heroism, which involved him single-handedly battling seven German soldiers to knock out a machine gun post, will be on display with other models from the period, war posters and memorabilia, documents and medals.

The worldwide conflict which began in 1914 and ended in 1918 followed shortly after the Cadeby disaster in 1912 when 91 men and boys in Denaby and Conisbrough lost their lives.

As the recruitment for the Great War gathered pace thousands of local people left the area to take part in a conflict on foreign shores, most of whom had never left the area before.

The war memorials in Conisbrough and Denaby show 340 more boys and men were never to return.

Computers will also be available to access more stories from the history group’s website which contains 3,300 pages of Local History in Conisbrough and Denaby.

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