1914 to 1918, 'THE FIRST WORLD WAR'
Communications improved during the late 19th and early 20th century. The 'penny post' began in 1840 and a carrier service to and from Willingham is first noted in Kelly's 1856 directory. From the mid 1800s, newspapers carried news from other countries and in 1876 'wireless' broadcasts began. Villagers began to hear about injustices in other places, for example expansionist aggression in Europe. Some men were so strongly against this that they enlisted to fight. Others followed when compulsory conscription was introduced in 1916. Sadly, not all of them returned and the tragic roll of eleven local lives lost in this war, is recorded in St Helen's Church. Church magazines during this period record two sons from the Cook family being lost. Villagers held many supportive events, such as knitting socks, scarves and mittens and in August 1919 a big celebration to mark the end of this war was held.
This is an excerpt from the Willingham Commemorative Booklet produced at the turn of the century. It can be downloaded HERE . . . . .
WILLINGHAM VILLAGE HALL
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Willingham by Stow, Lincolnshire