Eyam - Roll of Honour, 1915


Compiled and edited by Rosemary Lockie © Copyright 2004
with special thanks also to David Turner.

“In Hoc Signo Vinces”

These web pages describe a booklet given to my grandmother, Ada Reeves, as a record of those from the Parish of Eyam (including Eyam Woodlands, Nether Padley, and Stoke) who served for their Country during the First World War.

The booklet opens with an address from the then Rector of Eyam, Francis L. Shaw, composed on Christmas Day 1915, following which are 50 portraits of 'sailors and soldiers', after which is a list of 34 others also serving their Country. There are 20 pages overall, and on the last page are some verses headed '1665-1915'.

Note: the booklet describes the images as 'portraits', although they appear to be what we would call photographs, rather than commissioned portraits. It is assumed that the only reason for separation of others serving is that no such 'portraits' were available of those named in the additional list, and certainly not that they were any less meritorious.

The booklet is approximately 3"x5", and has a light brown ‘linen-look’ cover, on the front of which is is a simple red cross, below which is the caption “In Hoc Signo Vinces”[1], which may be freely translated as “By this sign you will conquer ”. The booklet is produced on paper which is semi-glossy - no doubt some paper-maker could tell me exactly what it is, and why it is so wonderfully well-preserved - specially chosen, perhaps with that in mind!

Note: the photographs in the book include those who survived as well as those who may sadly have died in the fighting. Of the latter, it is a sobering thought that for many, it was in July of the following year, 1916.

These web pages are respectfully dedicated to the memory of all these brave young men who marched “down from the green farmlands”, and to their ladies who lost their “husbands and brothers, and fathers and sons”.[2]

‘Lest we forget’.[3]

[1] The motto is understood to have been adopted by Emperor Constantine after having a vision of a fiery cross in the sky, before his victory in battle over the (pagan) Emperor Maxentius, at Milvian Bridge, in 312AD.

[2] Quote from folk song ‘Dancing at Whitsun’ - as performed by Tim Hart & Maddy Prior on their album “Individually and Collectively”. I shed a few tears whenever I hear it…

‘Dancing at Whitsun’ was composed by John Austin Marshall in the 1960s. The lyrics are available by courtesy of Henry's Songbook, with comments on the same taking the sentiment a bit further, by remarking on “the way the spirit of the generation sacrificed in the mud of France had been caught and brought to life by the new generation born since World War II...” And so it continues...

[3] In 2014, the Eyam Museum lauched an exhibition commemorating THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR I. Unfortunately I don't know its current status, but it would be a pity if the memorabilia, and family anecdotes for the period 1914-1918 they collected are no longer available. Those with an interest may wish to visit Eyam Museum Website to seek further information.

This is a Genealogy Website
URL of this page: https://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/DBY/Eyam/WWI/index.html
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library