Mike Royden Books

Online publication catalogue for historian and writer Mike Royden. Details about all books and how to order. Signed copies available. Books include studies on the Home Front in both wars across Merseyside, Wirral and Chester. Plus the story of the Cheshire village of Farndon during WW1.
Cheshire Remembers

Stephen Benson's superb Cheshire County Memorial Project - compiled to honour all who fell in the Great War and World War Two across Cheshire. An immense undertaking, brilliantly presented. A fitting memorial.
The Liverpool Pals Memorial Pages

A website that is dedicated to the memory of all who served in the Liverpool Pals battalions of The King's Liverpool Regiment during the Great War and the service in Russia. Compiled by Tony Wainwright and a host of fellow researchers, an amazing memorial.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

On this site you can find out about the history and work of this organisation and the vital role they play in remembering the war dead.
IWM's War Memorials Archive

IWM's War Memorials Archive (formerly UK National Inventory of War Memorials) is working to compile a comprehensive record of all war memorials in the UK to promote their appreciation, use and preservation. Search the online database of UK war memorials.

Every Man Remembered

The Royal British Legion is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to keep alive the memory of those who fell in the First World War, for future generations. They would like every single man and woman from across the Commonwealth who fell to be individually commemorated by those alive today. This is your chance to take part in a truly historic and incredibly significant act of Remembrance.

London Gazette

The Gazette is famous for being the bearer of official War Office and Ministry of Defence events, including listing those 'Mentioned in Despatches' (MIDs), where notable individuals are recognised for their activities in the theatre of war. In fact, an individual is said to have been 'gazetted' when their name reached the pages of The Gazette.

Imperial War Museum - Lives of the First World War

Discover their stories - Remember their lives.
Imperial War Museums needs you to help piece together the Life Stories of more than 8 million men and women who made a contribution during the First World War.

Western Front Association

The Western Front Association was formed with the aim of furthering interest in the period 1914-1918. The object of the Association is to educate the public in the history of the Great War with particular reference to the Western Front.
The Long, Long Trail

A brilliant site for researchers of servicemen and women of the war and many other matters. The best WW1 forum on the net too.
In From the Cold

The In From The Cold Project (IFCP) was formed to research and identify all service men and women missing from the official Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, covering the First and Second World Wars, and to have such soldiers, sailors and airmen recognised on relevant memorials.
WW1 Battlefields Site

This website features touring the battlefields of the Western Front. Set up in 2004, there is information on how to visit and where to stay. There are also many photographs of the battlefields, information on useful books/guides to the battlefields, reviews of books relating to the First World War, plus many WW1 weblinks.

WW1 Battlefields Site

This site provides an overview of the First World War battlefields on the Western Front by showing you where they are and what you can see today.

BBC World War One History Pages

The causes, events and people of the conflict dubbed the 'war to end all wars'.

Carls Cam War Memorials

This site covers aspects of Cheshire Local History, plus an extensive record of local war memorials
War Memorials Online

War Memorials Online is an opportunity for the public to upload images of war memorials and log concerns for the conservation of these important community and historical sources for future generations. Through this cooperation a more complete picture is being built of the whereabouts, type and condition of all war memorials in the UK.
War Memorials Trust

War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK, providing advice and information as well as running grant schemes for the repair and conservation of war memorials. Upload photos, check location, contribute condition information and add links for your local war memorial.
Public Monuments and Sculpture Association

The PMSA aims to heighten public appreciation of Britain's public sculpture, and to contribute to its preservation, protection and promotion. It seeks to achieve this through several projects that include: the National Recording Project, the Sculpture Journal, Save our Sculpture and the Marsh Award for Public Sculpture.
Flintshire War Memorials

A virtual memorial for the war memorials of Flintshire, North Wales, UK. The aim of the project is to research and record the memorials in the whole of Flintshire, of which there are over sixty. With a team of researchers and Welsh Heritage Lottery funding it is on its way to becoming a reality. A very informative and well designed site.

Farndon During the First World War

The Farndon War Memorial in the churchyard of St.Chads, the parish church.

The aim of this project is to trace the men of the Farndon War Memorial and to research a brief biography of each man. The battlefields of Belgium and France are also visited regularly to discover more about where the men fought and where they are now remembered.

There is also a focus on how the war affected Farndon highlighting the hardships and experiences of those enduring life on the home front.

From 2014, this work has been extended to cover the whole of the parish, taking in the surrounding hamlets. Churton men have now been researched in the campaign to erect a village memorial, and Coddington men have also been researched by a small team who concentrated on the memorials within their village church. A commemorative book on Farndon and the area during the First World War has now been published - see below.

Farndon During the First World War

November 2016 saw publication of Village at War as part of the ongoing Farndon WW1 Project. Written by Mike Royden, with contributions from several Farndon villagers including Peter Gauterin, plus a foreword by the late Duke of Westminster, Village at War gives a fascinating insight into everyday life during the First World War. Mike Royden's highly readable account introduces readers to the both the national context and the local picture as the effects of the war began to take hold. In a series of short, information-packed chapters he describes, in vivid detail, what it was like for those living through those increasingly dark years of the war; the call for duty, the hardship of families left at home, attitudes towards 'aliens', rationing, the Defence of the Realm Act, conscientious objectors, prisoners of war, and, surprisingly, air raids. roughout, he concentrates on the lives of the local people - on their experience as the war dragged on over four years. 

The second half of the book details the individual stories of all the men who lost their lives from the local communities in the Farndon area of West Cheshire. This book is a useful tool for anyone researching the effects of the First World War on local communities at home, as well as the stories of the men who left them to fight abroad. 

For local residents the book is available in Farndon High Street outlets, such as the Newsagents, Farndon Post Office, Lewis's Cafe and Bellis' Garden Centre in Holt. For online orders, please click the cover to purchase a signed copy. But be quick! There are only a handful left - less than 15 - we have almost sold out our print run of 300 - an amazing effort - thanks to all who purchased a copy!

Farndon Roll of Honour Booklet

Mike Royden and Peter Gauterin have teamed up again to produce a twelve-page booklet in memory of the men of Farndon listed on the village war memorial, lost in both the First and Second World War. The aim was to produce a quality booklet with the names of the fallen, plus a short biography of each man who did not return, to give a brief insight into their lives, rather than just having a name on the memorial. The booklet is well produced and a fitting publication in their memory.

Copies will be available for Remembrance Day services at St Chads, and may be available in the church afterwards. Alternatively, a PDF copy can be downloaded here.

For Everton fans, Mike Royden was also asked by Everton FC to produce a similar booklet in memory of their players lost in both wars. You can download a copy here.

Village at War Book Launch

On 12 November 2016, Farndon Memorial Hall hosted the official book launch of Village at War. A fitting venue, considering it was erected in memory of the Farndon men who did not return a century ago, all of whom have their biographies included in the book. The evening began with an illustrated talk by author Mike Royden, while during the interval and afterwards there was a chance to view the excellent and fascinating exhibition of WW1 artefacts and photographic displays of the village and soldiers, followed by a raffle of various WW1 memorabilia and refreshments. At the end of the evening there was a chance to purchase a signed copy of the book. Overall, it was a hugely successful evening, it was a complete sell out with no room to spare, extremely well supported by the community which was also reflected in the book sales!

John and Roger Massie

Read about Allen Croft's epic account of the Massie Military dynasty - Admirals, Brigadiers, Major-Generals - all with links to the hamlet and chapel of Coddington near Farndon

Churton War Memorial Project

Churton Village, part of Farndon Parish, does not have its own war memorial. The initial idea for the local memorial in Farndon was to include all men in the greater parish, but in practice, although Charles Williamson of the Red Lion was included, it has been discovered that several Churton men were omitted. This was not intentional, but just part of the way names were gathered at the time,as the onus was often on the families to submit names of their relatives themselves, rather than relying on a kind of central database controlled by the government. Click here to read about the project and the appeal for more information from local residents past and present.

Men of Coddington

A small team of researchers has been hard at work to produce a number of biographies on the men recorded on the war memorials within the village church. The results are gradually being added to the site (see menu left) as they are completed, and will all be included in the forthcoming publication on Farndon During the First World War.

Henry Bowen of Farndon - fireman on the Lusitania

The sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915 remains one of the most controversial events of the First World War, or indeed any war. But did you know there was a Farndon man on board, helping to keep the engines going on her crossing from New York to Liverpool? Click here to read a full account of the events and the aftermath, and what became of Henry Bowen.

WW1 Lectures

Numerous events have been organised to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, many of which can be found on the Great War Stories Web Site. Mike Royden has been engaged to give several lectures on aspects of the war and how to go about carrying out your own research. Click here for further details.

Soldiers Records

Visit this page to see the current list of men that have been researched, plus a full listing of the men on the panels of the war memorial. There are also numerous men of Farndon that have not been recorded on the memorial and these men will also be featured once research is complete.

Private Arthur Parker
1st Auckland Battalion, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

The Parkers were a well known family in Farndon, having farmed in the village and at Kings Marsh for generations, and also running the local butchers on the High Street. Several brothers emigrated to New Zealand to try to earn their fortune sheep farming. When the war came Arthur Parker enlisted with the Auckland Battalion and fought at Gallipoli with the ANZACS in 1915, and on the Somme in 1916, two of the most famous actions in the war. Download a fully illustrated biography and the story of Parker family during the war.

Private John Gauterin
2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment

An epic, several years in the making - Peter Gauterin, great nephew of John Gauterin, has put together a fascinating family history concerning the origin of the Gauterin family in Farndon, and the Clubbes of Churton who John's brother Arthur married into. A great deal of oral testimony came from Peter's interviews with WW1 war veteran Bob Tilston, before he passed away, who was a close friend of John Gauterin and Chalie Williamson. Download a full biography and the story of this family through the Great War period.

Lance Corporal Frank E Moscate
4th Battalion Tank Corps

Frank Moscate had an eventful time in his tragically short life. He had risen from a difficult childhood to be a manager of a saddlers business in Liverpool, had been called up in the conscription of 1916, served in the Royal Field Artillery, the Royal Engineers and the Tank Corps, and had make quite a mark on those he had met, worked and served with, not least his fiancée back in Liverpool. Read about his tragic story here.

Private Charles Norman Williamson,
2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment

Charles Williamson came from Churton village, just to the north of Farndon. He was the son of local publican Samuel Holland Williamson who resided at The Red Lion Inn. He died on the Somme on 21 October 1916 aged twenty one. Download a full biography and the story of his war experience with local pals, John Gauterin and Bob Tilston, who all joined up together.

Farndon Memorial Hall

In Farndon, where eighteen men had been lost, some villagers subscribed to the erection of a Memorial Hall, while others supported the erection of a cross in the churchyard. In the end both were constructed, with the Memorial Hall completed for village use in 1922. Visit this page to see the war memorial, plus the original Memorial Hall before it was radically altered.

Return to the Battlefields

Several local residents have made recent visits to the WWI Battlefields, either for personal interest or to make pilgrimages to visit family memorials. Some of those experiences have been recounted for the website and to help in the research regarding the men of our local memorials. Several visits have been made to visit specific memorials and graves of local men to photograph and record information in contribution to the Farndon War Memorial Project. Click here to read about some of those experiences.


Visit the Royden History Index Page listing web sites designed and maintained by Mike Royden
No pages may be reproduced without permission
copyright Mike Royden
All rights reserved