Hucknall on the Somme talk by Jim Grundy

Community news
Community news

Hucknall military historian Jim Grundy gave two talks on successive days about the First World War.

The first was the latest in his series at the town’s library, entitled ‘Hucknall on the Somme’.

The second, ‘Hucknall and the Outbreak of the First World War’, took place at Central Methodist Church as part of the Byron Festival.

In the latter address, Jim spoke about men from Hucknall who served in the Great War. They included Bernard Brownlow, who used to sell copies of the Dispatch on street corners.

The speaker told of horses being ‘called up’ for service in the conflict and undergoing an inspection in the yard of the town’s Seven Stars pub.

Jim went on to mention that a local man thought to be dead proved to have survived the war when he was identified on a photo published in an American newspaper which was received at the Dispatch Office.

In the second talk, Jim said Hucknall men who served on the Somme included Frank Fletcher Fidler, whose father was manager of Dexters cigar factory in the town.

Another soldier, Robert Ryder, who latterly lived in Hucknall, won the Victoria Cross on the Somme in 1916.

The citation described how, when his company had lost all its officers, he advanced alone on an enemy trench and, by skilful manipulation of a Lewis gun, cleared the trenches.

“This very gallant act not only made possible, but greatly inspired, the subsequent advance of his comrades and turned possible failure into success,” the citation continued.