The Pride of Pirton

PUBLISHED: 23:45 17 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 February 2013

The Pride of Pirton

The Pride of Pirton

On Saturday 23rd October 2010, villagers of Pirton, just north west of Hitchin, will launch a book to remember and honour the men from Pirton who served in World War One. The Pride of Pirton is predominately the work of devoted villagers.

In the Great War the men of Pirton answered their countrys call to arms. The names of 230 men with a Pirton connection are recorded as serving. Some did so through a sense of duty to King and Country, others for adventure and to escape their humdrum lives and some were forced to join through conscription. 38 of them died - a fate shared by almost a million other men from the British Army - and 30 of them are named on the Village Memorial.

The Pride of Pirton remembers them all, those who died and those who survived. It has involved an immense amount of research; from local newspapers to service records, from parish magazines to battalion war diaries, and from the censuses to museums. This research was undertaken between 2003 and 2010 by members of the book team and other volunteers. Contributions to the book were received from as far away as Canada and America. It has resulted in an impressive, large format, professional quality, full-colour book, of 210 pages with over 300 images and photographs.

This book is predominantly the work of three villagers, whose sense of responsibility to these men and their memory has grown with the task; they are Tony French, Chris Ryan and Jonty Wild. We hope this will become the definitive study of Pirtons role in World War One, and for good reasons:

It is a collaborative project.

  • Its entire contents have been independently researched by the authors and volunteers both in the UK and overseas.

  • It is inclusive all known men with a Pirton connection are featured.

  • It has been written and produced by those who have visited all the graves and memorials of the men on the Village War Memorial France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Egypt.

and perhaps most of all, because it is a village project sponsored by the people of Pirton.

The Pirton World War One Project

The Pirton men of the Great War.

Those that died and those that survived.

We will remember them.

How could it be otherwise for it was only yesterday.

The book will be launched as a double event on October 23rd, which will feature the WW1 living history group, The Rifles and others.

The first part of the event is on Great Green, Pirton, between 2pm and 6pm and will be of interest to families and adults. It will be possible to meet soldiers from the Great War and learn more about them, their equipment and the war, and books will be available. There will also be a short tribute to the men that served at the Village War Memorial in Crabtree Lane at 4:30pm. The second part of the event will be more focussed on adults and will be in The Motte and Bailey PH between 7:30 and 9:30pm. Confirmation of times, locations, alternative venues if wet and more information can be found at

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