Middleton Remembers

Middleton Remembers

Like so many communities across the United Kingdom and around the world, the First World War
changed the lives of families in Middleton forever.

The aim of the Middleton Remembers project has been to commemorate the centenary of the end
of the First World War and create an appropriate tribute and focal point for future remembrance
and reflection.

There are a number of elements to this project which received generous grants from The National
Heritage Lottery Fund and Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund amongst others. On 11 November
2018 Middleton joined with Steeple Grange Light Railway and Wirksworth World War 1 Project to
mark Remembrance Day with a series of commemorative events, which resulted in replica
headstones being placed at Steeple Grange Light Railway and Wirksworth Memorial Gardens.

Leading up to Remembrance Day, research was carried out to identify those connected with
Middleton who served in the First World War. The starting point was the names listed on the Holy
Trinity Church memorial and Chapels' Rolls of Honour, but other criteria used included being born in
Middleton by Wirksworth, recorded on the census in 1911 or having Middleton by Wirksworth as
the residence on the Army Service Record. Pen portraits were produced to convey something of the
lives and personal stories behind the names - where they lived, their relatives, their trade and their
experiences on the battlefield.

This research was used as the basis for a new memorial which brings together the names of those
connected with Middleton who served and died in the First World War. The memorial is made of
Derbyshire limestone and its design is in keeping with traditional styles. The dedication service on
30 June 2019 commemorates the centenary of the formal ending of the First World War.

Research is continuing to understand the impact of the First World War on the community at the
close of the war and in the years immediately after, including the role of the Hopton Wood Stone
Company in producing over 120,000 headstones which were sent to cemeteries in France, Belgium
and beyond to Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. Drawing on census and military service records, newspaper
articles, Parish Council minutes, Trade Directories, Commonwealth War Graves Commission archives
and family memorabilia, a final document will be produced over the summer of 2019. This will be
shared through the Parish Council website and displays in local venues.

Middleton Remembers has created an opportunity for new residents to learn more about this period
alongside families who have lived here all their lives. It has also bridged the generations. Pupils at
Middleton Community Primary school have gained an insight through visits, poetry and history
workshops, also funded by the project.

It is acknowledged that there are other men who served who had connections to the village in other
ways. Consequently, many of these will be included in the final document to ensure their memory is
also honoured. The findings ofthe project will be placed on Middleton Parish Council website and
archived with the Derbyshire Record Office as a lasting record of Middleton's community during this
important period of history.

Middleton Remembers is co-ordinated by Middleton Parish Council and supported by The National
Heritage Lottery Fund; Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund; County Councillors' Local Community
Fund; Better Derbyshire Dales Fund; Wirksworth WWl Group; Steeple Grange Light Railway; Charity
Plant Sales and Middleton Village Green Committee

Posted: Fri, 28 Jun 2019 09:02 by John Rowe

Tags: Middleton Remembers