FIRST World War memorabilia is being sought by the organiser of an exhibition being held during an evening to commemorate the centenary of the start of the conflict.
King and Country takes place at Mappleborough Green Village Hall on November 8 and will feature songs, poetry and sketches.
It is being run by Bob Wilkes who was inspired to hold the event by his late grandmother’s brother George Irish who was from Redditch and fought in the First World War.
George was born about 1893 and lived at the back of number ten Britten Street with his parents and siblings.
Even before the outbreak of the war George was a hero having been awarded the Albert Medal by King George V for saving a boy who had fallen down a sewer close to Bridge Street School (what is now Holyoakes Field) while it was being built. He was also given a watch from the Carnegie Trust for his bravery, which Bob still has as well as the medal.
As a carter for a coal merchant George should never have been considered for battle as it was a reserved occupation.
However his uncle failed to submit the correct paperwork to avoid him being called up. He was killed at the Somme in France on August 22, 1916.
“There’s got to be lots of families who have similar stories and have medals and memorabilia.” Bob said.
“I wouldn’t expect them to bring their most treasured possessions for the exhibition, but if we could photograph them and put the pictures on display, that would be great.
“In some ways I’m trying to keep the memory of George Irish alive and I think it would be great if we could do the same for as many people from Redditch and Studley as possible.”
Anyone who has stories or other memorabilia to do with those who fought in the First World War can call Bob on 01527 877603.
* The story of George Irish is one of more than 400 featured in the Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes book due to be published ahead of this year’s Remembrance Sunday event.