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Great War casualty revealed

06:02 20 August 2014

This picture of Garnett was part of an album with pictures of Sid Valley residents killed in the First World War. It was donated by the War Memorial club to Sidmouth Museum, although it is not known who put the album together.

This picture of Garnett was part of an album with pictures of Sid Valley residents killed in the First World War. It was donated by the War Memorial club to Sidmouth Museum, although it is not known who put the album together.


Relatives of a man believed to be the only Sidmothian missing from a set of memorial plaques in the parish church have expressed their delight after seeing his picture for the first time.

Ian Collins, 50, whose great uncle Garnett Oldrey was killed in action in 1917, was researching his family history when he realised his ancestor was not named alongside the 60 others from the town who died in the First World War.

And after reading a piece in last week’s Herald, staff at Sidmouth Museum realised they had a picture of Garnett - and passed it on to Ian.

The Plymouth resident said it was ‘amazing’ for the family to finally see a picture of his great uncle as an adult.

He added: “I showed the picture of her uncle to my mum last night and she was overjoyed, she said it meant the world to her to finally, after all these years, see a picture of him.

“The next step is now hopefully to get his name put on the tablets in the parish church.”

Part of the 1st/4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment, Garnett was killed while fighting the Ottoman Empire in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq.

But due to an administrative error, his name does not appear in Sidmouth – something that Ian is hoping to change.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Exeter said that Ian would have to formally apply for Garnett’s name to be added but it was ‘likely’ that they would be able to help.

“We have had people approach us in the past with similar requests which have been allowed,” the spokesperson said.


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