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Thankful Villages: Map

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Thankful Villages is a term for the small number of villages in Englandmarker and Walesmarker which lost no men in World War I, and which are sometimes called "Blessed Villages". The term Thankful Village was popularised by the writer Arthur Mee in the 1930s. In Enchanted Land (1936), the introductory volume to "The King’s England" series of guides, he wrote that a Thankful Village was one which had lost no men in the Great War because all those who left to serve came home again. His initial list identified 32 villages.

In their Thankful Village website at http://www.fylde.demon.co.uk/thankful.htm Norman Thorpe,Tom Morgan and Rod Morris have identified the following 50 parishes in England and Wales from which all soldiers returned:

Buckinghamshire
Cardiganshire
Cornwall
Cumberland
Derbyshire
Dorset
Essex
Glamorgan
Gloucestershire
Herefordshire


Hertfordshire
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Pembrokeshire


Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Suffolk
Sussex
Yorkshire


In Francemarker, where the human cost of war was higher than in Britain, Thiervillemarker was remarkable as the only village in all of France with no men lost from World War I, nor any memorials constructed in the subsequent period. Amazingly, Thierville also suffered no losses in the Franco-Prussian War and World War II, France's other bloody wars of the modern era.

Remarkably, the two Lancashire villages of Arkholme and Nether Kellett, only 5 miles apart, sent between them some 80 men to fight in the Great War - and all came back.

References

  1. St Cyrus - an example of the use of "Blessed Villages"
  2. Jérôme Duhamel (Paris 1990). Grand Inventaire du Génie Français, p.196: "Between 1919 and 1925, a war memorial was erected in every community in France, with one single exception: the village of Thierville in the department of the Eure, the only French village which had no dead to mourn, not in 1870, nor in 14-18, nor in 39-45"
  • http://www.fylde.demon.co.uk/thankful.htm



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