Thankful and Doubly Thankful Villages

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by plant-pilot, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    The village of Upper Slaughter in Gloucestershire has, despite its violent name, a local reputation as a 'thankful village'.

    Every member of the village who joined the forces and went to war between 1914-1918 returned alive, well and uninjured. There were other villages who could say the same but sadly, not many.

    The same not only happened again, between 1939-1940, but despite several incendiary bombs landing on the village and destroying property, nobody was injured. Once again there were others, but none that could say the same about the first war as well.

    Recently, a member of the village, commissioned in the Royal Artillery completed two tours of Afghanistan, returning safe and well and has since retired from the Army.

    An amazing record and one that I hope continues for them.... I might even move ;)
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Sounds like a safe place to live.
    Brings back wonderful memories of walking around the Slaughters. Great countryside to walk in as I recollect and extremely photogenic.
  3. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    An ironic name but not in nature. Thankful indeed.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I remember Ian Hislop mentioning these on a documentary last year, WW1 not being my primary thing I'd never heard of them before that.

    List here, with some explanation that they're a comparitavely modern 'discovery' (No doubt familiar to many 'WW1-ers' here (I have a strong suspicion the page belongs to a member here?).
    HELLFIRE CORNER - The Thankful Villages
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    BBC News - Thankful villages: The places where everyone came back from the wars
    Thankful villages: The places where everyone came back from the wars

    The mass slaughter of 1914-18 robbed the UK of a million lives, leaving no part of the country untouched. But there was a tiny handful of settlements where all those who served returned home.


    Mee identified 32 such places, a figure that has been revised upwards in recent years to 52. Of these, just 14 have, like Upper Slaughter, come to be known as doubly thankful - also losing no-one from WWII.
  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the list, I have never seen a village were both WWI & WWII deaths passed them by.
    Abbotsbury in Dorset has a memorial to no loss of life in WWII
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Wales' two 'doubly thankful' villages

    Llanfihangel y Creuddyn is one of two places in Wales to hold "doubly thankful" status

    In two Welsh villages, no bells will ring on Remembrance Sunday, no wreaths will be laid nor silences observed.

    Llanfihangel y Creuddyn near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, and Herbrandston in Pembrokeshire have good reason.

    Everyone who left those villages to fight in World War One and World War Two returned home from battle.

    As a result they are known as "doubly thankful" villages. There are 10 places in England with the same moniker.

    A third Welsh village, Colwinston in the Vale of Glamorgan, is known as a "thankful" village after all its soldiers returned from World War One. Four soldiers from the village lost their lives in World War Two

    Sheila Rattray's great-uncle William Davies was one of the men who left his Llanfihangel y Creuddyn home on the family farm to fight in the Great War.

    He enlisted with the South Wales Borderers and became a driver responsible for the regiment's horses.

    "He was a horseman and he would have worked with horses before he joined up on the farm at Cynon Fawr," said Mrs Rattray.

    William Davies (left) became a driver responsible for South Wales Borderers horses

    "I think we're very fortunate here in Llanfihangel not to have a war memorial.

    "We're so fortunate that the boys who went to the First World War and the Second World War all survived and all came home.

    "We are a 'doubly thankful' village and we are thankful for that."

    About 886,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen were killed in World War One, of which 40,000 were Welshmen.

    Everyone knew someone who had been lost in the war.

    The villagers were keen to give thanks for the safe return of their men by holding concerts and fundraising events for those home on leave - and at the end of the war, when the men came home for good, there were more concerts.

    Former headteacher and keen historian Gerald Morgan has found reports from the local newspaper, the Cambrian News, marking the return of the men.

    He has made a list of 11 men who returned to the village.

    "In April 1919 the local vicar returned, he had been a chaplain to the forces in Mesopotamia [Iraq], Egypt and Palestine, and his son was a cadet in the Army," he said.

    "It is a small village, but for all the men to return home safely is quite something."

    Canon Andrew Loat said many parishioners will go to a service at a nearby church

    The term "thankful village" was coined by author and journalist Arthur Mee in 1936.

    He wrote a series of guides called The King's England. In the first - Enchanted Land - he wrote that a thankful village was one which had not suffered any losses in World War One.

    He identified 32 villages in Wales and England, while there are thought to be 13 doubly thankful villages.

    As communities across the country gather around their war memorials on Sunday, the two Welsh villages will not follow suit.

    Canon Andrew Loat is the team leader for the churches in the Llanfihangel y Creuddyn area, including St Michael and All Angels.

    "We're very blessed in this part of Ceredigion and the churches are very good at supporting each other's services, so although there will be no service here many parishioners will go to other churches nearby where there will be a memorial service, because they did lose soldiers in the Great War," he said.

    "They will be going there to remember those who were lost in the two wars and conflicts since."

    4jonboy likes this.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BBC audio: BBC Radio 4 - Open Country, Herodsfoot, Thankful Village

    Herodsfoot, Thankful Village
    Open Country

    Helen Mark visits the 'thankful' village of Herodsfoot in Cornwall. At its centre is a war memorial that looks like any other, to the extent that most people in the village had no idea that it was not a memorial to the fallen. All thirteen of those who served in World Ward One returned alive. The story of the men of Herodsfoot is unique in Cornwall and has been made into a community play to mark the centenary. But there's another reason why the people of the village were safe from the perils of the frontline, by an accident of the Cornish landscape.

    Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

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