Dunmow author honouring First World War heroes who paid the ultimate price

Dunmow War Memorial unveiling Dunmow War Memorial unveiling

Thursday, May 1, 2014
9:34 AM

Five war memorials stand tall in Great Dunmow to honour the soldiers who lost their lives, in order that we could have a bright future.

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Yet, other than their names, what do we really know about the men who paid the ultimate price for us?

This is what a Dunmow historian is trying to find out. Austin Reeve is currently working on a book, due to be published later this year, about Dunmow during the First World War and the history of the men commemorated on the memorials.

It has been his mission to track down all the information and photographs he can find. Now he is asking residents if they have any pictures or information relating to those brave men to aid him in his quest.

The research scientist told the Broadcast: “I would love to copy and use anything that I can get hold of. As you can probably imagine, it is 100 years later so there’s not much about.

“I do have some very interesting material – some of the soldiers and airmen have proved to be well documented and we have heroes from the Army, the Navy and the Royal Flying Corps among our fallen. Photos of the soldiers, however, are very thin on the ground.”

Mr Reeve, who is a recorder of local history for Uttlesford, is working on the book single-handedly.

Not only is he carrying out all the research, he will also be putting the book together, as 
well as self-publishing and financing it.

Despite it being a mammoth task, he feels compelled to do it to remember the men who died fighting for our lives.

“Commemorating wars has always been a tricky one as some people do not think it is a good idea as they don’t want people to remember,” he added.

“But these men gave their lives for your tomorrow.

“They did this so the people that came after them would be safe and that is why I think we should commemorate it.”

To speak to Mr Reeve about his book or if you have anything that may help him, contact him on Austin.Reeve@crl.com or 07930819827.

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