Thankful Villages

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Thankful Villages (also known as Blessed Villages[1]) are settlements in both England and Wales from which all their then members of the armed forces survived World War I. 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 an October 2013 update,[2] researchers identified 53 civil parishes in England and Wales from which all soldiers returned. There are no settlements in Scotland or Ireland (all of Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom) that did not lose a member of the community in World War I.[3]

13 of the English and Welsh villages are considered "doubly thankful", in that they also lost no service personnel during World War II.[3] These are marked with a (D) in the list below.

In France, where the human cost of war was higher than in Britain, Thierville 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. Thierville also suffered no losses in the Franco-Prussian War and World War II, France's other bloody wars of the modern era.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ St Cyrus - an example of the use of "Blessed Villages"
  2. ^ Norman Thorpe, Rod Morris and Tom Morgan. "The Thankful Villages". Hellfire corner. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kelly, Jon (11 November 2011). "Thankful villages: The places where everyone came back from the wars". BBC News Magazine. BBC News. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ 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"