There is a brass plaque on our wall with twenty names on it, all men, all from this village, and of course all of them died in ‘The Great War’ – 1914-1918, a century ago. There were others too who for whatever reason, are not mentioned on the plaque.
A century ago the chapel here was in it’s heyday, 185 members in a village which at that time was probably only 500. Close knit, a semi-rural community on the outskirts of the working town of Trowbridge – then everything changed. the loss of 20-30 young men represents a massive blow. A blow to community, family, and yes, to faith. A decline in Church membership began after WW1 that only began to reverse after it hit it’s low point after WW2 at around 19 members left. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that any kind of upward curve began. New house in the area, new people, a new manse to home a Pastor and gradually the chapel has enjoyed a return towards better health.
A century is a long time, but on November 9th (10:30) we will be looking back, and looking forward in the light of these events. A new memorial has been constructed to mark the centenary 2014-2018. So do come along to the service, even if you are not a regular here at NBBC, and let’s pay our respects.
The photo at the top is of men of the Wiltshire Regiment waving their helmets as they march along the Acheux road to the trenches during the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Four of the men from North Bradley who died, died during the five months of that battle, including William Wilkins from this congregation.