Fairford’s Local Heroes: a record of the sacrifice of a Gloucestershire town in the two World Wars

Price: £8 (p & p £2)
Available from FHS, St Mary’s Church, and the Coln Gallery, High St, Fairford

This is an account of the men from Fairford who went to war in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 as well as the impact of those two World Wars on the town itself. The main focus of the book is a detailed account of the men who died during the conflicts and are listed on Fairford’s war memorial; 34 named for the First World War and 12 for the Second World War. In addition another 12 men have been identified who were either born or who lived in Fairford and who could also have been listed on the war memorial. Another section gives briefer details of a further 87 Fairford men who served in the First World War and survived, albeit some of them badly wounded. These men served in a wide variety of units and roles in the army, navy and air force and although the majority died in action, some were killed in tragic accidents and several died of illness or disease.

A section of the book is devoted to the home front, particularly during the Second World War. The townspeople of Fairford took in a large number of evacuees from London, many of the children attending the local Farmor’s School. An area known as the Settlement was created to serve as a community point for these evacuees. Home defence was also a prominent feature of daily life in Britain during the Second World War and several organisations were established in Fairford including an Invasion Committee, Air Raid Precautions, First Aid Posts and the Home Guard. Fairford Park became a base for British Army units and later a United States Army Hospital was built in the Park to cater for the wounded that were flown back to Britain after D-Day.

Well illustrated with both contemporary and modern photographs, Fairford’s Local Heroes provides the reader with a comprehensive account of the town’s contribution in the two World Wars and a record of the sacrifice of those who served and those who fell.