Forgotten Derbyshire military memories explored in new book to raise funds for Royal British Legion

Chapel-en-le-Frith Takes Aim is a new book exploring military historyChapel-en-le-Frith Takes Aim is a new book exploring military history
Chapel-en-le-Frith Takes Aim is a new book exploring military history

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A new book tells the story of military volunteering from the establishment of the Rifle Volunteers in the late 1850s through to the Home Guard of WWII.

Chapel-en-le-Frith Takes Aim by Elizabeth McCormick is a charity book with money from sales going to the Royal British Legion and Furness Vale History Society.

Author Elizabeth said: “The book reveals long forgotten items such as an old and to date unknown rifle range on Eccles Pike and also includes details about the first Drill Hall that was built in 1907 in Chapel and the original role it had as a temporary church in Manchester before being dismantled and brought to the town.

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"The book has a section which lists as many rifle competition prize winners from the 1860s through to the early 1900s as I could find and there are a great many names in those lists that are still present in the Whaley Bridge and Chapel-en-le-Frith area today.”

The idea for the book came about after Elizabeth took part in a history exhibition in 2018 and was encouraged to continue with the research of Chapel Parish's military background and the families linked to it.

She said: “The book’s details have been pulled together from military annuals, minute books at Derbyshire Record Office and various newspaper archives as well as including stories passed down to and memories recounted by members of the local community.

"It also includes maps, photos, old adverts and there are local family connections from the area in and around Chapel-en-le-Frith to augment the local military rifle range and buildings history.”

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During her research Elizabeth found Chapel-en-le-Frith reflected the changes being seen across the rest of the country during the hundred years that followed the perceived threat of invasion by France in the 1850s. The Drill Halls and Rifle Ranges were training facilities and remained in use until the Cold War era was established.

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“There is a section about the Home Guard of WWII,” said Elizabeth “and I am hoping it will bring forward a few more people with memories to share, thus the the importance of working with Furness Vale History Society.”

Chapel-en-le-Frith Takes Aim is available from Reading Matters Bookshop, Chapel and from Furness History Society, price £10. An electronic version is also available from Amazon Kindle, price £5 and available here

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