ONE hundred years ago, the First World War transformed the lives of people living in the village of Frampton-on-Severn.

Ordinary citizens found themselves thrust into war, women left for the battlefield to tend to the wounded and those left behind had to resolutely keep the home fires burning.

Now for the first time a history project and book have recorded the impact of the Great War on village life.

One day before the outbreak of war in 1914 villagers flocked to the Berkeley Show, one of the most popular events amongst the farming community in Frampton.

The show went ahead despite the looming war.

Rose Hewlett, author of Frampton Remembers World War I, said this reflected the resolute spirit which characterised Frampton throughout the four-year conflict.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise has been the collective responsibility which people showed and their determination to try and get on with things,” said Rose.

“There was one serviceman from the village who was shot three times, had trench fever and the flu but he still went back every time.

“Then he was gassed but he still went back again.”

It was in 1916 when Cadbury’s opened a factory in Frampton and conscription was introduced that the village started to really feel the effects of the war.

Women took up factory work that men had traditionally undertaken and people from areas outside of the village came to fill labour shortages.

The factory produced condensed milk for the soldiers, while German prisoners of war extracted gravel which was used in the construction of government shipyards and munitions depots.

“The resilience that people showed did surprise me,” said Rose. “The role of the servicemen is often remembered, but the women in the village were incredible.

“They took up new work as well as bringing up their families and keeping everything together. Everybody seemed to have looked out for each other and there were lots of fundraising activities connected with the war too.”

The Frampton Remembers WWI project, funded by a £24,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was launched in 2015 to coincide with the centenary of the opening of the village’s Cadbury factory in 2016.

Volunteers piecing together a picture of life in Frampton have also spoken to the descendants of those who fought during the conflict.

In some cases, their research has helped families find out more about their ancestors.

“The greatest pleasure has been working with the families,” said Rose, a freelance local historian.

“In one case we helped the daughter of a serviceman from Frampton find out where her father was born and that he had been in the army before the war.

“Finding the photographs from the period has also been a great pleasure. They are so important, because otherwise things can easily be forgotten.”

Around 130 soldiers from Frampton served in the war, with 17 deaths.

Two nurses served in France and men also served in the Navy, Merchant Navy and Royal Flying Corps.

The project and book records the long-lasting effects of the war on the village, particularly as Frampton’s lord of the manor died in the conflict.

Frampton Remembers World War I is available from all good book shops, priced at £20, and via the project’s website,

It is also available from

There will be an opportunity to see some of the project’s work at Frampton Country Fair on Monday, September 11.