How many villagers were involved in the various wars prior to the Boar war, whether local battles or in foreign lands is lost in the mists of time. Records show that 5 former pupils of the village school fought in South Africa in the Boer War. Sadly there is no lasting memorial to these people or a record of their names to recognise the fear they must have felt or their bravery.

When the call to arms for the first World War came many men joined the armed forces 11 of whom sadly did not return home. This will have cast a dark shadow over the village, as like all villages at that time, everyone knew everyone who lived in the village. There are war memorials in both the Chapel and Church bear the names of those who died in WW1. Men from the village responded to the call to arms again when WW2 was declared in 1939 and 3 did not return home but the only memorial bearing their names is a paper document hung in the church.

Both wars resulted in changes to life in the village, in both instances the woman took on more of the traditional male roles for instance on the farms and businesses. During WW2 some of the village women worked in the Swordfish airplane factory at Sherburn-in-Elmet.

Other changes to village life during WW2 included the Owl being used as a NAFFI for Officers and nissen huts in Barwick Yard (where the shops are now) housing either prisoners of war or soldiers. To date no official record of this camp has been found but as there were 600 such camps by 1948 this is not surprising. Memories have included the soldiers being billeted to look after an ammunition store of sort at the site of the jam factory or prisoners of war to work the land. Further research is needed to clarify who was resident in the nissen huts.

World War 2


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