The Slaugham Archives

British Legion dinner
The Slaugham Archive
British Legion dinner

This picture was almost certainly taken at a British Legion dinner with two of the diners wearing a poppy. On the extreme left is Raymond Funnell of Slaugham, and second from the right is my grandfather. On the right is Frank Jeffery of Yertiz (now Clare Cottage) in Slaugham who devoted his spare time to maintaining the churchyard in an immaculate condition.
My grandfather was James Wilson, who was originally a groom at Ashfold for Capt. Eric Smith and family. In later years when there where no horses he planted a lot of the pine trees on the estate, some near the Wheatsheaf pub. My grandfather and a lot the locals always called the pub "The Bunk", on account of a story that a lot of guys did a bunk when the police arrived uninvited one day many years ago!
Picture added on 15 December 2012 at 19:28
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British Legion
During the First World War of 1914-18 some 10 million servicemen and civilians were captured and sent to detention camps.
Instigated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, each camp was obliged to maintain index cards for each prisoner. In searching for the history of my grandfather, Pte. James Wilson, I came upon this website where anyone can search for information on prisoners-of-war.
I was able to learn that he was captured in Mo├┐-de-l'Aisne in Picardy in Northern France on 21st March 1918 and was sent to a POW camp at Stendal, 80 miles west of Berlin. From there he was sent to the saltmines in Silesia, now in Poland.
At the time of his capture, my grandmother was informed that he was missing, presumed dead. She refused to believe this and did not claim a war widow's pension. Somewhat later her brother, who was a postman working in the sorting office at Haywards Heath, came upon a letter or telegram saying that he was alive. He took it upon himself to cycle as fast as he could to my grandmother at Scotlands Farm, Slaugham to deliver the message she had been waiting for.
Added by John Skinner on 24 November 2014
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