10th November 2023

An extraordinary and bittersweet story of loss across the generations unfolded at Old Silk Works Club in Warminster this week.

Members, who live with dementia, were talking about Remembrance in the run up to Armistice Day, and club volunteer Paula was sharing a fascinating collection of family memorabilia from the First World War.

One of the items she brought in was an original wartime poster showing photographs of soldiers missing in action. It was created to be circulated around field hospitals and prisoner of war camps in the hope that loved ones would somehow be recognised and found. Among the photographs on the poster was one of Paula's great-uncle Walter Titford who went missing near Arras in 1917.

As the document was passed around for everyone to see, club member Joy gave a gasp. She had recognised on the poster her own great-uncle Harry Freeman, who had also been lost in France. She had never before seen the document, but her family had the same photograph on the mantelpiece at home as she was growing up, and she had always known of Harry who never returned from the Great War. 

Club manager Louise Gover said: 'It was a very emotional moment for Joy. She did shed a tear as she remembered the family's sadness for the great-uncle she never knew.

'We are so grateful to Paula for sharing her family's stories and for bringing in her collection of things that have meant so much to people down the generations.'

More about Old Silk Works Club