The lives of many Northamptonshire villagers who went off to war and never returned will be explored with the help of a new grant.
Spratton Local History Society has received £25,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to commemorate the 133 Spratton men who served in World War One.
Part of the project will focus on William Rhodes-Moorhouse, who lived in Spratton until the start of the war. He died as a result of a heroic flight over enemy lines and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the first airman to receive the highest military decoration awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy”.
His story will be told in a book written by society members. They will also research all the 133 men who went to war, and this information will be made available on a website.
A commemoration event will take place on April 26, 2015, the exact centenary of Mr Rhodes-Moorhouse’s daring flight.
Pat Parish, of the history society, said: “The society sees this heritage as of importance to people of all ages, and has worked closely with the two schools in the village. The primary school will be studying local history and the period of the Great War in the term before the commemoration event, and speakers will visit the school to talk about the bravery of William Rhodes-Moorhouse and the importance of the Victoria Cross.”
The event in April 2015 will include a replica of Mr Rhodes Moorhouse’s aorcraft and other World War One vehicles.
Enid Jarvis, chairman of the society, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable us to write this important history and acknowledge all the men from Spratton who fought for their country.
“By supporting the cost of bringing the only full-scale replica of his aeroplane to our event in April 2015, people will be able to see the flimsy nature of the plane in which he undertook his heroic deed.”