Photo paints tragic picture of the stark reality of WW1
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A HISTORY group is on the hunt for a mystery man who can help shed more light on eight Cockfield soldiers who fought in the First World War.
The photograph, which was taken in front of the village’s Welcome pub, was taken before September 1915 and shows the men in full uniform, complete with rifles.
Evenwood and District History Group received a copy of the photograph from the Welcome’s landlord Tom Robinson in 1986 when members were helping to organise an exhibition in the village.
At the time, no one knew the identity of the men in the photograph and it would take more than three decades of determination to discover their names.
Kevin Richardson, of the history group, said: “We had no names, just the photo. If there were names on the back, I would have written them down.”
“We had help from Hazel Buck, Evelyn Humphries, Hazel Bowman and John Hallimond in identifying four of the soldiers who are recognisable by comparing their images with other photographs.
“There was an image of Thomas Pinkney in the press and it was a spitting image of him.”
It wasn’t, however, until last year during a Remembrance Day event in Cockfield that the final names were established. During the event, history group member Bob Dixon was approached by a man, whose name and contact details have since been lost.
Mr Richardson said: “This chap who spoke to Bob said this one was Cecil Sedgewick and another was Jonathan Linsley. We had two football photographs of Jonathan Linsley so we could match them.
“The mystery chap identified three more – he just listed them off.
“I would just like to meet the chap and thank him and ask him ‘do you know anything else?’.”
Anyone who can put the group in touch with the mystery man can email Mr Richardson at knrichardson
Identifying the soldiers in the photograph also brings back the stark reality of the First World War – of the eight men, five were killed in action and another was discharged for medical reasons.