One of the first projects tackled by Takeley Local History Society was to investigate the history behind those commemorated on the Takeley War Memorial, particularly the 24 from the Great War about whom so much had been forgotten. Many people on approaching our village hall must have wondered about the men whose names are carved on the War Memorial stone, but apart from names no other details are known to have been collectively recorded of these soldiers who gave their lives for King and Country.
In the spring of 1999 Bill Marshall picked up the challenge of finding out more and by talking with the older residents of Takeley he was able to piece together a lot of information. The frustration was that if this had been done 20 years earlier there would have been many old Takeley soldiers still around from the Great War who would have directly remembered the fallen they served with. Now there are none.
On the positive side, with information technology we now have access to a variety of facts via the internet and CD-ROMs which were not so accessible 20 years ago. In particular, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site allows the user to search by name and this has allowed us to fill in many of the gaps in the overall picture. This resource also brings home the vast number of men lost where so many with the same name are listed.
The War Memorial booklet is now at its second issue and we believe we have found the service details of all of the soldiers shown on our memorial.
On 6th June 2004, to mark the 60 th anniversary of D-Day, a service was held in Holy Trinity Church. The compilers of the Book of Remembrance, Bill Marshall and Steve Hazon (Chairman, TLHS) with Trevor Allen (President, TLHS and Chairman, Takeley Parish Council) presented it to John Monk (Chairman, Takeley British Legion). Mr Monk in turn presented the book to Rev. Laurie Bond for safekeeping and permanent display within the Church.
A display cabinet for the book was specially made and presented to the Church by Derek Collier.
Every year Mermorial Service is held at the War Memorial on the Sunday nearest to 11th November. A brief address is made and recent ones are archived here.