I'm reasonably sure that by the time this year is ended, let alone by the time we get to 2018, I shall be suffering from World War I overload. I am not meaning to be disrespectful to those of my grandparents' generation who suffered so much, but still, today, we are battered almost senseless by a seemingly never ending procession of wars. We have had Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine . . . But to revert to WWI, it was only this weekend that I first heard of the Thankful Villages.
Occupying a prominent place in most towns and villages in England is the war memorial. This was probably erected in about 1920 to commemorate the men from the town who gave their lives during what was then called the Great War. Very few war memorials existed before then, but the war of 1914-18 had affected every family in the country in one way or another, the first war ever to have had such wide-ranging reverberations, and there were few families which had not suffered the loss of one or more menfolk.
But there are a few villages - just 53 in England and Wales, none have been identified in Scotland - which are collectively known as the
|The Rodney Stoke memorial|
Of those 53 villages, there are a smaller group of 13 which are Doubly Thankful, having lost nobody in the Second World War either.
What a pleasant change to learn that there are places with no war memorials as we know them.