Tillington war heroes are brought back to life

Trevor Purnell signing his book for Peter Rhys Evans, watched by Dennis Clark
Trevor Purnell signing his book for Peter Rhys Evans, watched by Dennis Clark

The lives of the 31 soldiers from Tillington who died in the first world war are no longer just names on brass memorial plaques in the village church.

Their stories have been documented in a new book, ‘Young Men Still’, by villager Trevor Purnell.

Following the exhibition in 2014 at All Hallows’ Church to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war, Dr Purnell conducted further research into the lives of the soldiers.

“It has been a privilege to use this work to produce a stirring book which includes chapters on all thirty-one soldiers from the parish,” he said. “The book portrays where possible something of their individual personalities and with these insights, the young men will no longer be just names, without rank or regiment.”

The book’s forward is written by retired RAF Group Captain Hugh Rolfe, who said: “In focussing on a very small village, Trevor Purnell has enabled us to see the effects of this epic tragedy from a human perspective. What happened to the people of Tillington also happened in every other village and town in the UK. He has painted a vivid picture of our parish as it was at the outbreak of war which enables us to re-connect with this generation.” He added: “Trevor is to be congratulated on producing such a detailed and valuable village history at that momentous time. Every home in the parish should have a copy of ‘Village Boys Still’.

At £15.00 plus p&p it can be ordered by telephoning 01798 344040.

Dr Purnell said every effort would be made to deliver the book free of charge in the Midhurst and Petworth area in time for Christmas.

Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?

It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.

There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.

Go to www.midhurstandpetworth.co.uk/christmas/