December 2nd, 2016
I have heard from Netta Christie, from Discover Buxton who’s told me about their latest podcast. November 18th 2016 marked the centenary of the end of the Battle of the Somme where, by the end of the battle more than 1 million men had been killed or wounded, including about 485,000 British and French troops. Fifteen of these brave lads to give their lives were employees at Buxton Lime Firms and Netta’s latest podcast is dedicated to them.
Unable to trace any of the relatives of the fifteen men, the Discover Buxton team were lucky enough to make contact with two sisters who told them a wonderful story of one of these men. Lance Corporal James Uriah Ferris was the sweetheart of a Tideswell woman named Mary Jane Longstone. Like countless others, when James went to the Front they kept in touch by letter and postcard. One of these postcards has survived having been kept by Mary throughout her life. After James’ death Mary, like so many other women, grieved for her lost love. Eventually she married in her early 30’s but she always remembered James. When her husband died in the 1970’s, Mary then in her 80’s, set off alone to find his grave in France.
You can hear this story and more about the 15 Buxton men who sacrificed their lives in this horrific battle by listening to the Discover Buxton podcast.