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Tragic First World War stories to be told at library

Posted onPosted on 1st Nov

Mansfield Library is hosting a ‘Recruitment to Remembrance’ talk about underage soldiers during the First
World War on 9th November at 2pm.

The event will tell the tragic story of thousands of underage volunteers who signed up during the early stages of the

More than 11,000 underage volunteers signed up in Nottinghamshire alone, all under 16 and many only 12 or 13.

Many of the soldiers also gave false names making it hard for parents to discover what happened to their sons.

Mansfield Liberal MP Sir Arthur Markham worked tirelessly to stop their recruitment and bring underage soldiers
back home to their families.

Alison Hirst, principal librarian Local Studies for Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries, said: “I think people should come to discover just how many children were involved and how young some of them actually were. The link to Mansfield is very strong but local people may not be aware of that.”

The talk will be run by Jo Riley, a Mansfield resident who decided to research the topic after hearing about Sir Arthur Markham’s work in 2007.

Since then Jo has become dedicated to sharing her research and regularly visits local schools to talk to students
about underage soldiers during the war.

Jo Riley said: “I am keen for as many people as possible to come and hear the talk – young and old alike. This is such
an emotional and poignant story, but I was not aware of it at all until quite recently and I don’t think many other
people know about it either.”

Tickets for the event cost £3 and are available from Eventbrite: