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Town’s role in war to be commemorated

First World War book - Banbury Town Council leader Kieron Mallon and author Julian Dancer by the war memorial in People's Park

First World War book - Banbury Town Council leader Kieron Mallon and author Julian Dancer by the war memorial in People's Park

A book commemorating Banbury’s role in the First World War will be published in August thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Banbury Town Council has received £10,000 from the fund’s First World War: Then and Now programme, and the book, Banbury – the history and the heritage of World War One, will be made available free of charge to libraries and schools, and to the first 1,000 people who request a copy.

It will be launched at a public exhibition in the town hall on August 4 – the 100th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany in 1914.

Councillor Kieron Mallon, leader of the town council, said: “We are thrilled to have applied for and won the support of the HLF for this project.

“Banbury played a massive role in the First World War but many people in the town today are unaware of what happened here between 1914 and 1918.

“The book will examine the heritage of the war in Banbury – what happened during the war years, what has happened since, and what remains to this day.

“The intention is to commemorate Banbury’s part in the war and educate people on the happenings and the consequences of the conflict as it affected the town. For example, a massive munitions factory in Grimsbury employed about 1,500 people, a Red Cross Hospital in West Street treated hundreds of wounded soldiers and German prisoners of war held in Banbury built the former Ironstone Railway which is now a footpath in the north of the town.” Mr Mallon added the council wants people to come forward with photographs, memorabilia and stories.

The 100-page book will be written by former Banbury journalist Julian Dancer. He will be at the town hall at 9am-2pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and anyone with items of interest can call in or contact him on 01295 250340 or julian.dancer@banbury.gov.uk. He is also able to make visits.

 

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