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Banstead Village

These Men of Banstead
The Banstead Image Library
These Men of Banstead

These Men of Banstead is a 256 page hardback in full colour with photographs on almost every page, and tells the stories of 34 of the 118 Banstead men listed on the War Memorial at the end of the High Street.

UPDATE from LNW : Since the book was published, Robert Monk, a World War II casualty has been added to the memorial which was rededicated in November 2011.

The Banstead History Research Group welcomes any comments you may have on this book or any new information about any of the men on the War Memorial.
Picture added on 10 September 2010 at 20:51
This picture is in the following groups
Remembrance day
I think it looks great and is an honour to all
Added by Kathy Barnard on 19 September 2010
Three weeks ago I knew nothing of Banstead or of the men commemorated on the War Memorial. Today, these Men of Banstead touch my heart. This book brings names chiseled into a memorial into flesh-and-blood people - young men from different backgrounds, with disparate interests and abilities - who should each have lived a long and satisfying life. And, each man does live again as his story is told. Yes, the reader is saddened at their manner of death and the views of their resting places but as a result of this book their memories and our gratitude live on. The research undertaken for these stories, the pictures and illustrations, the layout and readability of this book are top notch. This book is worthy of a place on the coffee table. Thank you Lewis Wood for a wonderful memorial to these men of Banstead as well as others we must not forget.
Added by Edith Murdoch, Surrey B.C. Canada on 26 September 2010
I have not read from cover to cover yet but have seen enough to appreciate what a professional job you and colleagues have done.
It is indeed another form of longlasting memorial to all those young men. A book which keeps so many memories alive and can be read and read again.
A credit to all concerned in the production.
Added by Roy N on 27 September 2010
I am SO impressed with your book and did not realise how big it would be. Many many congrats and thank you for using my Dads words.
I was always proud of dad and you have brought that back to me.

Added by Linda B. on 27 September 2010
The book is really interesting. My neighbour read it and was very pleased, their memories will live on in our thoughts. Thanks Lewis you have done us proud.
Added by Kathy Barnard on 28 September 2010
Well done Lewis and colleagues. A lovely book has been produced, the result of many hours of labour. My particular interest is James Watson, the Instructor who died with Robert Reeder. However, I have read and enjoyed the lives of These Men of Banstead who have left such voids in the lives of those living today, like all of us who have lost relatives due to conflicts.

Well done to everyone and I hope it brings forth even more tales for the sequel.

Added by Avalon Eastman on 30 September 2010
Lewis, I just wanted to tell you that I've received the book in perfect condition, and - more importantly than that - how wonderful it is. I think you've done a magnificent job, collecting not only the men's stories but also all the old photographs of Banstead, which are fascinating.
Hats off to you!
Thank you so much,
Added by Judy Forth on 07 October 2010
Thank you Lewis and the team for producing such a superb and beautifully illustrated book. I know how many hours have gone into getting it finished and published.

I have learnt a considerable amount about my father and I feel we are all indebted to Lewis for writing this brilliantly researched and sympathetically written book, a real labour of love and a fascinating record for us to pass down to our children and grandchildren.
So thank you Lewis
Added by Faith Bedford on 19 October 2010
"It is one of the Group's finest works and has been produced to high standards. It will surely be a publication which every home in Banstead will want to add to its bookshelves."
Mark Davison of the Surrey Mirror.

(page 31 of issue dated 21st October 2010).

Added by Lewis N Wood on 27 October 2010
Congratulations to you all on "These Men Of Banstead", it is a wonderful tribute. I am still finding out things about my father, William Hobden, who died six months before I was born. Now that I am one of the 'older' generation, there is no one to ask questions. As a child you don't realize how important it was.
Added by Wilma Ledward on 31 October 2010
Dear Lewis

I have a copy of your book, which was brought out to me here in Japan. I have now had time to examine it in detail.

Thank you for this immense amount of material, so sensitively presented. Quite apart from the quantity of detailed and at times not easily accessible research it must have entailed, it was surely difficult for you to prepare as people are so easily hurt where their lost loved ones are concerned. You plainly had to choose every word with great care. In spite of the inevitably sad end of every story you have managed to keep the tone firmly upbeat, with just the right balance between “Greater love hath no man than this...” and “Who dies if England lives?” There is earnest feeling without sentimentality, and I am sure this is just what everyone will welcome.

Eddie Bissett-Johnson, I’m sure would have appreciated your take on his story. Best wishes for your future researches into Banstead history and any further publications you undertake.

Christopher Powell
Added by Christopher Powell on 31 October 2010
As I scrolled down from the title of the book, the top of the trees came into view and then, all of a sudden, the magnificent sight of the field of poppies appeared, in reverence to the memories of the many who lost their lives.
Added by Don Zerafa on 28 November 2010
I cannot imagine the amount of hours of research you have put into this book. A very moving, touching account of so many men who gave their lives.
And still we fight and lose men and women to war.
Thank you Lewis.

Added by Ann Capon ( Remane) on 22 January 2011
Congratulations to Lewis Wood and his colleagues at the Banstead History Research Group for their recent publication, which has served to bring the Banstead War Memorial to life for me. The name of Eddie Peasley, previously a brief inscription in cold stone, has now become the lively young sailor who, in the months leading up to his tragic death, was one of my father’s shipmates in the R.N.’s “H” Commando.
Added by Michael Alderton, Katoomba, Australia on 17 March 2011
As the daughter of one of the men featured in 'These Men of Banstead' I can only thank Lewis and his colleagues for producing such a beautiful, professional and sensitive book. Not only is it a tribute to all those men, it is also a work of art.
I also want to thank Lewis for his painstaking research into how my father died. It has enabled me to lay him to rest after many years of wondering how he met his death.
My mother would have been so proud that her beloved husband is now 'in print'. It is a book i shall treasure forever.
Added by Monica Saunders (nee Lawrence) on 30 March 2011
How can I find out if one of my relatives is one of the men featured in the book? He is on the war memorial - he was 21 when KIA and was one of my mums beloved first cousins. She is nearly 80 and it would mean so much to her for me to get her the book if Cyril Duce is included in it - thanks very much

REPLY FROM LEWIS WOOD: Hi Susan, yes Cyril, who was one of an RAF crew whose Handley Page Hampden was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf109 is indeed mentioned in the book. His full story, now updated to include a photograph, is on our website. (15 June 2011) http://www.bansteadhistory.com/Memorial/2_D.html
Added by Susan Lamprey on 31 March 2011
I would be very interested to know if my Grandfather, Archie Stewart Buckle features in your book? Thank you

REPLY FROM LEWIS WOOD: Yes Tony, his full story is in the book along with his photo. The story has more detail than I have on the BHRG website.
Added by Tony Buckle on 07 October 2011
Dear Lewis,

I really must drop you a line to compliment you warmly on These Men of Banstead. I have enjoyed reading it from cover to cover these last three days or so - not only is it an absorbing account of the lives of a gallant group of (mostly) young men who died for our country, but it's also an important historical record of and for Banstead - now, and for all future generations.

I thought the book was exemplary in terms of intricate and detailed research, which shines out from every page. It's also beautifully written in a style that holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.

What's also important - especially for the surviving families of these men - is that by writing in the way you have, you've given them character; you've enabled the reader to know them as people with feelings, with loves and likes, with everyday worries and happinesses. Thanks to you, they've again become human beings, rather than mere names on a war memorial. You have done them a huge service, and I believe that Banstead is indebted to you.

There was one personal surprise for me - the story of Sub-Lieutenant Robert Reeder, which begins on page 143. His father, CE Reeder, was one of my teachers at Banstead County Secondary Boys School in Picquets Way, way back in the mid-fifties. He was a quiet and patient man, heading for retirement even then, and he taught a quiet subject - technical drawing. None of us kids had any idea of the awful tragedy that had hit him just 11 or 12 years earlier. I now have renewed respect for him. I note also that his son died just a few days before I was born, in 1944.

These Men of Banstead is a fine book, Lewis, and you have done them proud - each and every one of them.

All good wishes -

Added by Peter Denton on 10 November 2011
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