1940 - People at war

Wilcot people have always been affected by war.

In the First and Second World Wars, the war effort engaged nearly everybody in one capacity or another. A Lovelock and a Stagg are listed on the War Memorial among those from Wilcot who died in the First (as also did William Collins whose family moved to Wilcot in 1917); Albert Bezzant, who won a medal, was from a Wilcot family. Peter Gilbert enlisted for the Second, like Alan Pearce, while Bill Coles taught landgirls how to thatch, and Jean Cope served as a nurse:

Alan Pearce 1940s

The Home Guard enlisted older men in the village.

The Montagus who owned the village for hundreds of years had a tradition of being admirals: here are Montagus from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The last Montagu to own property in in Wilcot was a soldier, Captain GES Montagu:

Two of his sons were RAF heroes, both killed in action in 1940:

George Montagu

Charles Montagu with DFC

The War Memorial was erected by 1923, and Sid Williams added railings in 1927.

After WWII the village celebrated VE Day, and then the names of the dead of that war were added to the Memorial.

During the war there were German and Italian prisoners of war in the area, often working on local farms. Some stayed on ater the war, still working (often at Swanton’s farm at Draycot), some marrying local girls, bringing up families, making friends and drinking in the Golden Swan. Some are buried in the churchyard.