This website, and the research, was never actually planned, it came about very much by accident. It all started with an innocent conversation as Vice-Chair of the local Parish Council and how other Councils used their Emergency Plan from World War 2 as a basis for current planning. So in an attempt to make it easier I traipsed off to the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies in Aylesbury to see what I could find. The visit on that score was a complete disaster, not only was there no plan but you would never have believed that the war was on, apart from a few references to bawdy Royal Air Force personnel at local Village Dances, there was hardly anything at all. A check through the old minutes from World War 1 proved the same, it made me wonder exactly what kind of war Wing had on the home front.
The Parish Magazines were recommended to me by one of the staff and out he pushed on a cart what seemed like hundreds of them, all neatly tied up. My excitement grew as I turned the pages of each one as the unfolding story of Wing at war came to life. The trials and tribulations, the role of women, the everyday lives all laid bare. I took photos of the information relating to Wing and sought permission from both the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, who hold them, and the Church, who own the rights, to publish them. Two years later and the project was virtually ready to publish as was, however the more I transcribed of them the more I realised that there was more to the story than was written and I found myself writing footnotes for each month, then that seemed too little so this accompanying website was born. Each section of life within Wing is discussed and how and why things were done that way. The magazines themselves are an amazing find and hopefully they will further our understanding of Wing and Buckinghamshire during this turbulent period of British History.
The magazines are not complete, some months are missing and sadly the publication was stopped in June 1918 soon after the death of Rev. Henry Tatham and of course several months before the end of the war. This I feel is a shame as we hear so much through the actions of the village and to miss out on the feelings at the end of the war feels the story is left incomplete.
This isn’t the end of course, there are many other issues to transcribe when we were not at war and also through World War 2, but I felt that with the centenary of the War fast approaching it was fitting to start at the end rather than the beginning. I hope that this blog will give the insight into life that is long lost but is never really recreated for us, the life of an ordinary village in a turbulent and historic time.
Sarah Roe BA (Hons) History