People are now once again wearing their poppies with pride as we remember those who have lost their lives in conflicts fought around the world.
One of the Local Studies Library’s long standing users, Keith Taylor for over ten years now has dedicated much of his free time to commemorating Derbyshire men who fell during the First and Second World Wars. He has written a number of books, largely covering the Derbyshire Dales area detailing the lives of those soldiers who sadly didn’t make it back, showing us just what life was really like for them and their families. For each book Keith spent months in the Local Studies Library looking at old newspapers and searching through records such as the Soldiers Died databases and the Commonwealth War Graves website. To illustrate his books he trawled through the library collections of photographs, looked extensively through the picturethepast website and had many images given to him by local people.
Last year Keith decided to tackle the High Peak area and produced what was to be his last book, ‘Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Harpur Hill, Peak Dale, King Sterndale and Wormhill Remembered: the sacrifice made by the families of the High Peak during the Great War 1914-1919’. But Keith couldn’t leave it there and needed to finish the story, so this year he has worked on the follow up book .
‘Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, Fairfield, Harpur Hill, Peak Dale, King Sterndale, Taddington and Wormhill Remembered 1920’s-1950’s’ gives us an evocative portrait of life in Buxton and the neighbouring villages in the period 1925 to 1960, giving special mention to local events during the Second World War. The stories of the lives and deaths of all the servicemen who lost their lives receives pride of place but other aspects covered include the Home Guard, evacuees, black outs, VE and VJ Day celebrations, raising funds for the war effort and festivities in peacetime, especially during the Coronation year of 1953, and is richly illustrated with 780 photographs.
The book will be launched at Buxton Library on Saturday 21st November 10.00am – 4.00pm, when the author will be signing copies. It will be on sale at the library and after the event also from other local retailers and from us here at the Record Office, price £12.00. If you are interested in seeing any of Keith’s other books copies are available to look at in the Local Studies Library at the Record Office, and available to loan through Derbyshire Libraries. For photographs of the period don’t forget to look at the picturethepast website http://www.picturethepast.org.uk