New book honours Peak’s war heroes

Keith Taylor, author of a book about the First World War casualties from the Buxton area.
Keith Taylor, author of a book about the First World War casualties from the Buxton area.

A new local history book focusing on the lives of residents of Buxton, Fairfield and six neighbouring High Peak villages during the First World War is to be launched at Buxton Library.

‘Buxton, Burbage, Chelmorton, Harpur Hill, Peak Dale, King Sterndale and Wormhill Remembered - The Sacrifice Made By The Families Of The High Peak During The Great War 1914-1919’ is the latest book by author Keith Taylor.

It tells the stories of the lives and deaths of 340 servicemen who lost their lives during the First World War and whose names are commemorated on local memorials.

Many of the 570 photographs provide an evocative look at the way of life in the area before the Great War and help to place these men back into the town and villages they would have known so well.

Life on the Home Front provides tales of the great patriotic recruitment meetings, the arrival of German prisoners of war at their camps at Peak Dale and Ladmanlow, including a vain attempt by some to escape, the departure of members of Burbage Band as they filed, en masse, through Buxton to the railway station, playing their instruments as they volunteered to join the Army, the arrival of Canadian servicemen in the spa town and the great pageants put on by Buxton Lime Firms Company in September 1917 and 1918, at Harpur Hill and Peak Dale.

Stories emerge of Armistice Day in Buxton, Fairfield, and the six villages on November 11 1918, while splendid photographic images record the celebrations held on Peace Day, in June 1919.

Yet the main theme of the book is the sacrifice made by the servicemen and their families as they served their country in its hour of need.

Mr Taylor, of South Darley, will be present at the launch of the book at Buxton Library, situated on Kent’s Bank Road, on Saturday November 8 between 10am and 4pm, when signed copies will be available.