The Great War
Queenie's mother worked the button holes for removable 'batchelor' buttons. This helped to bring in a bit of extra money. Queenie also remembered her mother being asked to provide hot meals for five Australian mechanics who came from Aston Down to repair an Allied forces plane that crashed nearby. She recited the poem (see below) these men wrote in her mother's visitors' book, even though the book itself had gone missing with time.
There came five diggers from the AFC
To Oakridge in snow to a crash in glee.
Among the mob was Peter McNaught,
When he eyed the crash he began
We had with us driver Cocky Young,
Who said the pilot ought to be hung.
And another digger by the name
Rubbed his mits and remarked
Then digger Williamson stroked
And Chas Cunningham began to grin.
'Oh, it's a lovely war' the
When they arrived back at camp it was
very near dark.
A war memorial in the form of a fountain and water supply was presented to the village and unveiled by Earl Beauchamp, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. The inscription recalls Mabel Dearmer and her son Christopher, both of whom died in 1915.
There are twenty-one more men of Oakridge who gave their lives during the First World War who are commemorated on this memorial, and seven men from the Second World War.
In the church, two memorials record the men from Oakridge who died during each of the two world wars. Many of the names are those of men from families still living in, or closely associated with, the village.
The above is based on an an extract from 'Oakridge a History' by Pat Carrick, Kay Rhodes and Juliet Shipman, available from Oakridge History Group, price £15 through the ‘Contact Us’ page or from the Oakridge Village Shop.
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