New book pays tribute to men who fought in WW1

Andrew Sefton with the new book entitled 'Adieu To Dear Old Pock'.
Andrew Sefton with the new book entitled 'Adieu To Dear Old Pock'.

A detailed account of Pocklington and World War I has been produced by Pocklington and District Local History Group archivist Andrew Sefton.

The 245-page book, entitled “Adieu To Dear Old Pock” – A tribute to the Pocklington and District men who served in the Great War 1914-18, will be on sale for the first time during this week’s WWI themed Pocklington flower festival.

There will also be a special launch event for the book in All Saints’ Church next Thursday evening (20 September) at 7.30pm.

The publication includes pen portraits of all 53 Pocklington men who died in the conflict; dozens of group and individual photographs of the combatants and the town; the war diary of John Brook, a Pocklington plumber who served throughout in France and then wrote a retrospective journal when he got home in 1919; scores of local newspaper reports and letters; and the service records of more than 380 Pocklington and district men who went to war.

The book is published by Pocklington and District Local History Group in association with Pocklington Town Council who started the initial research a decade ago.

Andrew followed up this and two Pocklington WWI exhibitions with countless hours of research, writing and editing in recent months.

He said: “It took many hours to put the book together, but uncovering photographs and stories of the local men and the sacrifice they made to the cause deserves to be remembered and recorded. I’m really pleased how it’s come out.

Gareth Hughes, the head of history at Pocklington School and a WWI author, and his history teacher colleague Callum Braidwood-Smith, will give the keynote talk entitled ‘Legacies of the Great War’.

A selection of letters sent home from the front and from military hospitals that are contained in the book will be read out by history group committee members: John Brown, Peter Green, Geoff Sheasby and Jane Henley, and by Pocklington Royal British Legion chairman Kevin Warcup, and former history teacher and All Saints reader David Rumbelow; there will also be excerpts of recordings of local WWI veterans.

“Adieu To Dear Old Pock” – A tribute to the Pocklington and District men who served in the Great War 1914-18 will be on sale at the launch night at a special price of £10. It can also be purchased from local bookshops at its usual price of £12.