Fromelles – 1916

The War Memorial at The Lee. Thirty names are inscribed from a population of 750.

Pen and Sword Books have republished local military historian Mike Senior’s very readable book No Finer Courage, (2004), revised in 2011 and in 2022 with a new title, Fromelles 1916. Another subtitle is The Loss of an English Village. The biggest loss for The Lee was at Fromelles, more famous now for the huge Australian Memorial Park. Descriptions of life in The Lee in the early 20th century reveal a caring Lord of the Manor in Arthur Liberty and his heir-presumptive nephew, Ivor Stewart-Liberty. In 1911 a confident Arthur Liberty had extended The Lee Parish, with difficulty, by adding Swan Bottom and Kings Ash from Wendover as well as Lee Common from Great Missenden.

When war was declared, on Bank Holiday Monday, 3 August 1914 most local lads joined the 2/1st Bucks who trained in England and were only sent to France in May 1916, many under Captain Ivor Stewart-Liberty. They did not participate in the Battle of the Somme which started on 1 July. The Battle of Fromelles was a distraction to the north on 19 July. The account of the battle is clear and horrifying.

The book is available from author, Mike Senior, was the local military historian who wrote a month by month account of World War One from September 1914 to June 1919. Local social historian Val Moir reported on what happened locally. All the articles can be accessed by searching for “Wendover Remembers” on the Wendover News website,