Poppy field image

Welcome To I Don't Want To Be A Sunbeam title

The book was compiled and published in 1999.The book has been out of print for over ten years and is very scare nowadays if not impossible to find. In the book there are 818 short but extremely interesting potted histories, each listing showing where each man was born, enlisted and resided. Full service details and place and date of death and burial or commemoration both worldwide and locally are included.

There are details relating to each man`s education, employment and family details. In most entries there is as much as can be researched as to how each man met his end. Amongst those commemorated is a unique RFC pilot who was awarded the Victoria Cross and the DCM.

At least three men, who although they are on the memorial, actually survived the war... Men who are listed at least twice, merchant seamen who have been include on the memorial as Royal Naval seamen and to illustrate one of the darker sides of this conflict there are two men who were "Shot at dawn".

There are a few mysteries, some anomalies and a couple of unknowns amongst the men listed. They are buried or commemorated in over 150 locations throughout the world and their ages ranged from a boy of fifteen to an old soldier of nearly fifty years of age. They came from all areas of the town and all walks of life, tradesmen, labourers, process workers, teachers, shop assistants, regular soldiers and many more. There were educated men, but most only possessed the basic three R`s from an education in the town`s national, council and church schools.

Some were heroes, but none were cowards and most went readily to fight for King and Country in an age when patriotism was held to be more important than perhaps it is today.

No doubt some were attracted by the thought of a regular wage, three meals a day and an escape from their day to day toil in a Widnes chemical works. But whatever the motive, over ten thousand men from the town enlisted and approximately one thousand perished in the four years of the war, the vast majority are commemorated on this memorial. These thirty panels list fathers, sons, brothers and friends, who died by whatever means at home or abroad, in the "War to end all War`s".

Harry Jones

The Website text

The purpose of this website is to give people the chance to contact the author as the book was popular and only released in a small number of 700 copies in 1999 the book is now very scarce.

Poppies image used with kind permission from Antony Spencer. You can see more of Antony's stunning work and purchase prints at his website www.antonyspencer.com