Spotlight on more than 2,000 Hucknall World War I heroes in new book

A new book has been published shining the light on many of the men from Hucknall who fought in the First World War.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 9:36 am
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 9:37 am

The book, Hucknall’s Heroes, has been written by Nottinghamshire historian Andy McKinnon.

The book contains biographical and military information about 2,616 Hucknall men who went to war – more than 400 of whom never came back.

Andy, 70, who is from Arnold said: “I’ve always had an interest in the Great War and my first book, Arnold’s Army’ came out in 2018 on the centenary of the Armistice.

Andy McKinnon has written a new book telling the stories of more than 2,600 Hucknall WWI soldiers

"I got the bug then and it’s almost addictive researching the history of these men and I wanted to do another project and Hucknall seemed the obvious choice.

"The thing was, Hucknall back then was about half the size again of what Arnold was, it was much bigger place with more soldiers , so this book is bigger than the first one as a result.

Andy describes many of the men he has written about in the new book as ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things, sometimes willingly and sometimes not’.

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He continued: “The story that sticks out in my mind from doing this book is that of a young fellow called William Henry Randall who was shot at dawn – and was desperately unlucky.

"He was born in 1893 and he was a miner before he volunteered and joined the 10th Batallion Sherwood Foresters.

"He survived the campaign at Gallipoli, where his job was burying fallen British soldiers, which can’t have been very nice.

"Then he went to France and went over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and survived that.

"And then shortly after that, he heard that his brother was serving nearby and decided to go and find him.

"But, he didn’t ask permission and he was stopped by an officer, who had him arrested and he was court-martialed, with nobody to defend him, and three months later, on November 25, 1916, he was executed.”

The book is available to buy now, priced £15 from Andy directly by email at [email protected]

All profits from the book are going to the Hucknall Heritage Society.