in rural Nottinghamshire  

The Thankful Village of Maplebeck
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On the 1st August 2013, Maplebeck had a visit from Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft and a large group of Bikers who are riding to each Thankful Village in the United Kingdom, raising money for the charity.... The Royal British Legion.
They were greeted on the Village Green in front of the Church. Medwyn presented a Welsh slate plaque to Mrs Lily Johnson, who had kindly agreed to accept a plaque and certificate on behalf of Maplebeck village. Lily has lived in the village since her marriage to a local farmers son, Brian in 1955. Her daughters Carol and Deana were present as were a number of other present residents and one or two of those who had left the village after their marriages.

Lily Johnson accepting the Slate plaque from Medwyn Parry on 1st August 2013.
Medwyn requested that the plaque be unveiled where ever it is to be placed, on the anniversary of the start of WW1 in August next year, 2014
'we will remember'...

The plaque blessing 2014......

Photograph by Keith Richardson

Lily & Medwyn
Brendan and Lilly with the Trumph motorbike Villagers were invited to sit astride one of the bikes, Brendan steped up to the challenge and Lily was pleased to be photographed with him as he held the newly presented plaque.
This particular bike is to go to the Imperial War Museum.

Dougie Bancroft and Phil ...Phil has offered to auction his spledid beard, if they raise the £51,000...he says it will be splendidly plaited and with a fresh dye job!

Well done Phil, just as long as your roots are aren't showing!

Dougie and Phil
all the bikes in the tiny Beehive car park

All the bikes in the tiny Beehive Public House car park...the villagers are following the bikers for refreshments (donated by Waitrose) in the pub.


The two special tour bikes

the two special Tour bikes.
BBC camera man, as the convoy leaves the village

BBC camera man, as the convoy leaves the village. The BBC is following the tour.

BBC Midlands Today program televised the visit to Maplebeck on on Thursday night in the 6:30 show. You can catch it again on iplayer.

All the villagers who attended, unfortunately as it was mid week so many were at work, and others were on holiday.
Bikers leaving

The bikers filed out of the village waving and hooting as they went, a splendid sight after a very enjoyable gathering.
Good luck to them and may they with your help, raise the £51,000 and more.




Photograph by Keith Richardson

'These are villages with no traditional war memorial because all who went off to fight in the Great War were lucky enough to return home. Many had been scarred physically and/or mentally by their horrific ordeal – 14 of these are “Double Thankful”, where they also returned from the Second World War.

The Thankful Village run is also a show of respect for past and on going conflicts that our guys and girls continue to put there lifes on the line for our well being'.

Fundraise for us using Virgin Money Giving

Please make all cheques payable to "Thankful Villages Run"
You can also donate by text, just enter the text number 70070, enter code THVR51, and then enter how much you would like to donate.


We were pleased to meet Raymond Wood, with his wife, who had spent his childhood in Maplebeck. Cyril Wood (Ray's father) was one of the service men who did return to the village after WW11.

The following is a clip from

(v)  Maplebeck, Nottinghamshire.  The CD-ROM names a soldier, 64933 Pte. Harold Thomas WRIGHT (King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) as born there but with no place of residence recorded. The birthplace is confirmed by the "Where Born" entry in the 1901 Census, which also shows the family to be living at 29 Whitfield Street, Newark, Notts.  This accords with the baptism entry in the Parish Register of Maplebeck:- "3 June 1900 bap Harold Thomas, son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Wright of Newark, Joiner. (Born 21 Sep 1899)".  Sarah Ann née Scott lived in Mapleback until married:- "31 Dec 1896... Spinster of Maplebeck... to Thomas Wright... Joiner of Blyth"  (Notts. SK 6287).  So it is probable that Harold Thomas was born at his grandparents' house in Maplebeck.  It appears that Harold Thomas Wright was never resident in Maplebeck even though he was born there.

Buried in Maplebeck churchyard is SE/21081 Pte. Arthur Ernest WILLIAMS (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) who died in 1917 in Manchester Royal Infirmary. According to the CD-ROM he was born at Stragglethorpe, Lincoln. This is 13 miles east-southeast of Maplebeck. Like Thomas Wright, he married a Maplebeck woman, Ada Louise née White, on 3 June 1914 at Maplebeck Parish Church, St. Radegund's. The CWGC entry recording his burial at Maplebeck states that he was "born at Harby, Lincoln" and was "the husband of Ada L. Williams of Ollerton, Newark". His burial is also recorded in the parish burial register. Williams enlisted at Newark, at 7 miles it is the nearest town to Stragglethorpe. (The CWGC birthplace, Harby, is possibly a postwar guess by Ada when completing the Final Verification Form. Arthur himself when he enlisted would give the information now in the CD-ROM.)

"Williams" is not a Maplebeck name and does not appear in any of the parish registers there from 1813 to the present day except for the entries for the marriage and the burial of Arthur Ernest Williams. This means that either Ada and Arthur did not have any children, or did not have them baptised in St. Radegund's, or had them baptised elsewhere. The latter implies LIVING elsewhere, and seems to be the most probable of the three options.

On our behalf, Catherine Duckworth of the Lancashire County Library has asked a number of librarians in Nottinghamshire, including Ollerton and Newark, to see if they could locate either of the above soldiers on their district Roll of Honour. Their names have not been found. We are most grateful to her, and also to Malcolm Dexter of Maplebeck who provided us with details of the 1901 Census and the Maplebeck Parish Records.  We conclude that Maplebeck is a Thankful Village.


Does anyone have any knowledge of these or any other war time residence of Maplebeck and their war time experiences? Please contact

Posted 2nd August 2013 .

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