It has been truly a labour of love to research the lives of the twenty-five men and one woman who lost their lives in two World Wars, and in the Malayan jungle in 1950.
For forty-six years I have lived in the village, and every Remembrance Day I have wondered about the lives of the men whose names were read out from the chancel steps. Now at last I feel that I know them, which makes me sorrowfully regret that their lives were cut short, the youngest a seventeen-year-old boy, who had left school only three years before.
As in life, so in death, there was no equality. For the very young, their short lives yielded very little knowledge. For the officers, their lives were better documented, and they have more pages devoted to them.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was the starting point for research, and after that, local reference to St Helen's Births, Marriages and Deaths, the Etwall Primary School's admission registers, 1886 to 1910, the Methodist Sunday School registers 1864 to 1910, the Census returns for 1841 to 1901, and the National Archives at Kew, gave much vital information. The Sherwood Foresters Museum gave me much encouragement.
Most of all, people from near and far have given photographs, letters and personal remembrances, for which I am eternally grateful. Here I wish to thank Mrs Gladys Twigg, her daughters, Vivienne and Lindsey, Anna Sander, Lonsdale Curator of Archives at Balliol College, Oxford, Christine Mitchell of Calgary, Canada, Andrew Kenworthy, Charles Colquhoun of Clifton College, Bristol, Richard Roberts of Burnaston, Mrs Joan Grainger of London, Mrs Viv Rodgers, Frank Heath, David Parker, Miss Nina Barnett, granddaughter of Nina Bishop, Mrs Andrea Collier, Mrs Svlvia Coruzzo, Mrs Barbara Smedley, Mr John Litchfield, Reverend Stewart Rayner, Mrs Buster Elliott, and Mr and Mrs J D'Arcy Clark of Quenington, Gloucestershire.
Special thanks to Joyce Fearn who has always been there when I needed advice, and has helped me over many difficulties. John Pritchard-Jones, my husband, I thank for driving me around the country in the course of my research, and for his encouragement. I also want to thank the Etwall and Burnaston Local History Society for its encouragement and support.
Last of all. and most importantly, because he has been my constant guide in illustrating the book with its photographs, pictures and insertions, my most grateful thanks to my friend and colleague in the Etwall and Burnaston Local History Society, Derek Roome.