History is brought to life with a step back in time board at Whittlesey

Friends of Whittlesey Cemetery

Friends of Whittlesey Cemetery - Credit: Archant

A voluntary group is bringing history to life with a scheme aimed at keeping people informed of their latest projects.

David Edward Hart

David Edward Hart - Credit: Archant

The Friends of Whittlesey Cemetery have invested in a notice board to let everyone know what the volunteers have been doing to keep the cemetery tidy and what their plans are to keep the area well maintained for the future.

As part of the project they have launched a step back in time scheme called Who’s In Our Cemetery where they write about someone buried in the cemetery to compile a collection of stories about the history of local people.

The notice board was installed in time for Remembrance Day on November 11 and the first entry is one of Whittlesey’s First World War Soldiers, David Edward Hart.

Born in 1899 Mr Hart’s father was an agricultural labourer who lived in Coates.

At the age of 12 his father died and as the only boy he went to work on the land to earn money for the family while also being trained as a bootmaker by his grandfather.

When he was 15 he tried to enlist into the army as war broke out in 1914. His mother was not happy and contacted the police who brought him back home.

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On his Army records it states that his crime was to give false age and his punishment was to be returned to mother. She could not keep him at home for long because as soon as he turned 16 he joined the 5th Battalion Essex Regiment and went to fight in the First World War.

When he returned to Coates he continued as a shoe maker.

Anyone wishing to join the group or who would like to add someone to the history project please contact Sandra Lawton 01733 841144.

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