The six years 1939-45 were a time of hardship, change, excitement and tragedy for the residents of Cholsey, a village in rural
Berkshire. Rationing, the black-out and shortages
affected everyone, while many feared for their loved ones away in the forces. Some of those who could not fight volunteered
in the village, becoming members of the Home Guard, Land Army, the Air Raid
Protection (ARP) force or the Auxiliary Fire Service.
But for 12 men, as listed on Cholsey war memorials, it would be the end of their lives. They were career military men, conscripts and those who volunteered following the outbreak of war, and their ranks ranged from Private to Sergeant Major and Flight Lieutenant. Several died in the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force to
Based on extensive new research, this work is a record for posterity of the sacrifices made at home and abroad of a generation that rose to an almighty challenge.
Edward William Bitmead 29 Dec 1911 – 1 May 1943