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Remembering those from Thrapston lost in wars
A watercolour of WWI.
This watercolour was commissioned for the role of honour project.

Two members of Thrapston's Historical Society have written a book to remember people from the area lost in wars.

Eric Franklin and Eddie Sewell wanted to provide a resource that local people could use to find out more about their relatives.

Eric said: "We wanted to find out some of the stories behind the names and quickly realised that there were more stories that hadn't been written down."

The book covers WWI, WWII and the Iraq war.

Doing the same thing

It all started on Remembrance day in 2007, when both Eric and Eddie were listening to the role of honour being read at St James Parish Church. They had the same thought, - was anything known about these people?

They each picked some names at random to see what information they could find about each person. The task was much easier than they first thought.

In the beginning they worked on the project independently not really knowing what the other person was doing. Then, after a chance conversation, they realised that they were working on the same thing.

"We worked on it together for a couple of months without a clear structure then we saw that there was more work than we were initially thinking," said Eric.

WWI & WWII

The initial plans were to produce a resource archive for Thrapston District Historical Society, but they found out that there was enough material for a book!

Starting with 44 names from WWI and 11 from WWII, Eric and Eddie had to set some strict parameters to get all of their research done.

People selected for the book had to be in one of the town's role of honour, born and have lived in Thrapston for a number of years, or they or their parents had to have lived in Thrapston when they died.

They also had to have had their death reported in the local papers as being from Thrapston

For much of 2008, Eric and Eddie spent time at Kettering library working through the names.

Not only did they have to find out the stories of the casualties, but they also had to find good pictures, which was not always easy

Eric said: "World War II is a lot harder to research than World War I. Many of the details for WWII are still secret, but luckily we managed to get more information from families."

Producing the book

The historical society had already received two grants from the lottery on two other projects so they understood the process involved and knew what forms to fill in.

A copy of In the Springtime of their Lives.
The book took two years to research and complete.

The first part of their work was to estimate how much it would cost to get the book published.

"Our estimation was £7900 for all the research, display materials, publicity materials and printing the book but in the end it cost £6400," said Eric.

After this they spent a few more months getting everything compiled.

The book was launched on Remembrance Day in 2009. It is selling very well in Thrapston and surrounding areas.

Eddie and Eric are already planning their second book which could be about the Boer War.




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