Thankful Villages

Photo:Arthur Mee (1875-1943) of Stapleford, Notts, who first proposed the idea of 'Thankful Villages'

Arthur Mee (1875-1943) of Stapleford, Notts, who first proposed the idea of 'Thankful Villages'

A Nottinghamshire Concept

It was Nottinghamshire author and journalist, Arthur Mee (1875 - 1943) - a native of Stapleford - who first put forward the notion of 'Thankful Villages'.

In 1936 in his book "Enchanted Land" - an introductory volume  to his 'King's England' series - he identified a series of English villages were all the men who went off to war between 1914 and 1918 came back.

He called these 23 settlements 'Thankful Villages'.

More recent research has enlarged Mee's list to 53 civil parishes in England and Wales, but no Scottish or Irish villages are included as all suffered fatalities during the war.

The 23 Thankful Villages, spread across 11 counties, as originally identified by Mee are as follows (in each case the number of men who came back is given in brackets):-


BEDFORDSHIRE: Stanbridge (33)


DERBYSHIRE: Bradmore (18)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Coln Rogers (23); Brierley (14); Little Sodbury (6)




NOTTINGHAMSHIRE; Wigsley (7); Maplebeck (2)

SOMERSET: Stocklinch (19); Rodney-Stoke (17); Woolley (13); Aisholt (8); Tellisford (3); Chelwood (4); Stanton Prior (3)

WILTSHIRE: Littleton Drew (22)

YORKSHIRE: Cayton (43); Catwick (30); Norton-le-Clay (16); Cundall (12)



By way of a Nottinghamshire postscript, we may also note that on pp146-7 of "Enchanted Land", Mee commends the method of preserving memories of the Great War in his home county:

"There is the unique memorial which Nottingham has set up in the city for the county, with the names of all its villages and the number of men they lost - a fine example for all those counties that have not yet discovered the number of men who died for them"

This page was added by Website Administrator on 01/02/2016.
Comments about this page

Arthur Mee attributes two returned soldiers to the 'Thankful Village' of Maplebeck.  Interestingly, however, the churchyard at Maplebeck does contain one burial of a WW1 soldier.  He is Pte A. E. Williams who was actually born at Stragglethorpe, but buried at maplebeck because he married a woman from M\aplebeck - Meaning that Maplebeck does indeed still qualify as a 'Thankful Village'

By Jon Steel
On 02/09/2016

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