Tragic First World War stories to be told at Mansfield library

Underage soldiers will be remembered at a special event in Mansfield.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:35 am

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

The event will tell the story of the thousands of underage volunteers who signed up during the early stages of the First World War.

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

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Mansfield Library, West Gate, Mansfield town centre.

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

Alison Hirst, principal librarian, said: “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 the efforts of Mansfield Liberal MP Sir Arthur Markham, who worked to stop their recruitment and bring them home to their families.

Jo 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 cost £3 and are available from

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