Appeal launched to trace families of war memorial fallen

Published Tuesday, 12 April 2022
Photo of Hinckley war memorial

Local historians and the Royal British Legion are trying to trace the relatives of two Hinckley mothers who each lost three sons in World War One.

Historian Greg Drozdz is hoping to trace descendants of Mary Ann Sharpe and Mary Ann Dixon to invite them to take part in a special ceremony being organised by the Royal British Legion and the Borough Council next month to commemorate the centenary of the war memorial in Hinckley.

In November 1921 five Hinckley mothers who had each lost three sons in WWI were invited to be part of a service to lay the foundation stone for the war memorial in Argents Mead. The memorial was officially unveiled and dedicated in May 1922, 100 years ago next month.

Mr Drozdz has already traced the descendants of Eliza Attenborough, Maria Dalby and Jane Bolesworth, all of whom still live locally, and invited them to take part in the centenary commemoration. Now he's appealing for any descendants of the two remaining bereaved mothers to come forward after no trace of them could be found.

Mary Ann Dixon's family lived in Upper Bond Street before moving to Coventry Road in the town. Three of her six sons Joseph, Herbert and William Dixon were killed in action in France in 1917 and 1918, leaving three remaining siblings, James, Charles, and George.

Mary Ann Sharpe's family lived in Tan Yard on Druid Street which no longer exists. Brothers Joseph, Walter and William were killed in action between 1915 and 1917 and left four remaining siblings, Libby, Florence, Sidney and Arthur. 

Mr Drozdz said:

If we are extremely lucky, someone will know someone, or have a parent, uncle, aunt, grandfather or grandmother who knows someone who knows the families we are searching for. 

We would love to come in contact with them, so we can invite them to take part in this special commemoration to honour their fallen ancestors.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Danny Findlay added:

For the purposes of both local historical significance and paying the appropriate respects to these servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council supports the search for the relatives of the serviceman. I would encourage anyone who knows the families to come forward so that we can help make a connection and allow them the opportunity to partake in the centenary in May.

There is a great deal of information about the fallen remembered on Hinckley's war memorial on an archive published on Hinckley and District museum's website, called 'Nobody Told Us'. The archive represents 25 years research by Mr Drozdz using archive information as it became available, and it is illustrated with photographs and historical news reports to show the lost life that each fallen soldier represents. The archive is open to all to view at  

Anyone who can help Mr Drozdz piece together information about the families is asked to contact the Borough Council's Communications team on 01455 238141 or complete our communications contact form