Tansor in the Great War

In November 2017, I undertook to research the lives of the Tansor men who enlisted during World War One, with a view to holding an exhibition in St Mary's church on the centenary of the end of the conflict. Using the Muster Roll as a guide, over a number of months I collected archival material about the majority of these men - from where they lived in the village, to which regiments and battalions they joined, and where those battalions were deployed. Whilst many of the Tansor men signed up to the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, a territorial unit whose sphere of activity was limited to Great Britain, many of them were eventually redeployed into infantry units and sent overseas.

The documentary material collected (where it survives – much material perished in a fire at what used to be the Public Record Office in London) includes soldiers' enlistment papers and war records, and in some instances the war diaries detailing their deployment – some of these are especially poignant since they feature men who did not return home. I also collected material relating to their time living in Tansor – from school records through to census returns.

Piecing together these men's lives was by turns captivating, thought-provoking, surprising, and on many occasions distressing. The journey took me from the familiar turf of Tansor to the West Riding of Yorkshire, the Canadian Prairies, the Shetland Islands, Basra and Baghdad, and inevitably of course, the battlefields of Flanders and France. Along the way, where I was able to, I got in touch with the descendants of the Tansor war heroes, who generously offered me photographs and any further information they had about their ancestors. All of this material was used to create a series of posters for the exhibition, which opened on the day before the centenary, and which you can now view online on the Tansor village website. Naturally, in any undertaking of this nature, historians select the material that they feel is somehow interesting or compelling in some way. This selection process almost always means that additional data have been set aside, and that is the case here. So, for those researching Tansor family history requiring further information on these files, please do get in touch by email – I’d be happy to help if I can.

Tansor, January 2019

Click on the images below to view the full-size poster

Tansor and the Great War 1914-1918

Frank and George Baldwin – Canadian Army Service Corps

Albert Rowlett – Harrogate and Basra

John Appleby Robson – Battle of Arras

Sidney Calver, Daisy Purse and Francis Harold Preston

The Baxter Family

The Muster Roll and John Butler

The Tansor Muster Roll

Frank and George Baldwin – The End of the War

Albert Rowlett – France

James and Francis Edwards

Herbert Stokes, Percy Parker and George Kirkby

Sam Beach

Tansor Churchyard

Frank and George Baldwin - Emigration

Herbert Tumman

William Rowlett – Battle of the Somme

Tansor Court (John Layton Mills, William Gubbins, Sidney Calver, George Crisp, Thomas Yeomans, George Gough)

Harry and Herbert Baxter

Henry Pollard and Daniel Butler

Children in World War One