The Names on The Olney War Memorial 1939-1945

2007 : It is 62 years since the end of World War Two, a conflict still within living memory that engulfed Europe and extended half way round the world to the Far East. As with World War One (1914-1918) Britain’s sacrifice of life was great and in cities, towns and villages throughout the country there are public memorials with the names of the local men and women who failed to return.

Olney’s War Memorial stands in the centre of the town, in the Market place, and I like others, had passed it many times without particular thought of the individual names carved into it.

It was by chance that one day in conversation with the Reverend Nigel Pond (now retired), my attention should be brought to a ‘remembrance book’ kept in the church of St Peter’s & Paul’s, Olney. Compiled by Alec Morgan, who died in January 1996, it was his personal tribute to the men of the town who were killed - almost all of whom he had personally known. In looking through the collection of photographs and notes compiled in 1991, I was struck by how many branches of the Services were represented for such a small town. At the same time I was aware how difficult it must have been for him to obtain and check the details as in many cases even those closest to the men knew little about the circumstances of their loss. It is surprising therefore that since his work, and the passing of time, it has become easier to find out more! This is due to the power of computerised systems, and the Internet in particular, which together with improved access to official records have created new avenues for researching, publishing and sharing information.

Without wishing to modifying Alec’s work I have added to it from some of these sources, and by publishing in this format my hope is that the knowledge will be more accessible to relatives, local historians, and anyone else interested in remembering these men. Like him I have found the experience both fascinating and humbling, with insights into some of the lesser known areas of World War Two.

This is the first draft of a record which I am sure can be expanded further. If you have any information, recollections or photographs, that might be added please get in touch ... before the opportunity passes.        .... click to INTRODUCTION & INDEX


  Colin Mackenzie, Parkhead Steading, Dufftown, Banffshire, AB55 4EN HOME  I  SITE MAP