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Historian tells story of Ludlow's war memorial names

South Shropshire | News | Published:

A Ludlow historian has dug out the human stories behind the names on Ludlow's war memorial in a new book, called Till Ludlow Tower Shall Fall.

A Ludlow historian has dug out the human stories behind the names on Ludlow's war memorial in a new book, called Till Ludlow Tower Shall Fall.

Clive Richardson, of Broad Street, has researched more than 130 local men listed on the 1914 to 18 memorial. He sets them in the context of the battles in which they fell and also features contemporary news reports and soldiers' letters home.

He has dedicated the book, which takes its title from a line in A E Housman's poem The Recruit, to his maternal grandfather, Frank Cowen, who was wounded several times.

The book costs £8.99, and is available from Ludlow booksellers, through www.richardsonandgray.com or direct from Mr Richardson on (01584) 878914.

"My grandfather died when I was 12 and some years later I inherited his diaries from 1915 and 1916, during which he had been serving as a stretcher bearer at Gallipoli and in the Battle of the Somme, among other places," said Mr Richardson.

"The diaries were not in-depth accounts, just short daily entries. But as a young man who thought he was living life closer to the edge than his parents or grandparents could possibly have done, it did make me think when I read them.

"For me this was real history, not facts and figures in a book, but real scary things experienced by my own grandad.

"In the same way that my grandfather's diaries brought his experiences to life for me, my aim has been to do the same for the men of Ludlow who made the ultimate sacrifice."

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Mr Richardson is secretary of Ludlow Historical Research Group which has funded the book. He also runs his own tour company. He added: "A portion of my business is battlefield tours. I have been leading tours to the Western Front for 10 years now and must have been 30 times."

Mr Richardson is now researching Ludlow's fallen of World War Two and is appealing for anybody who can help to get in touch.

He is signing books at Ludlow Royal British Legion on Thursday at 7.30pm and at Castle Bookshop on November 13.

By Toby Neal

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