Springtime in the Thankful Village
It’s springtime in Shropshire, and here is a thatched cottage with daffodils and blossom beneath Wenlock Edge.
This is Harley, one of the so-called Thankful Villages, which saw all its men return home safely from the First World War.
The term Thankful Villages was first used by the writer Arthur Mee in the introductory volume to The King’s England.
This was a series of guidebooks to the counties of England which were published between 1936 and 1945.
Mee initially identified 32 villages - also known as Blessed Villages - but it is now thought there are more than 50.
Sadly, the good fortune enjoyed by these villages did not come without a price.
Many of their menfolk returned with mental or physical scars that burdened them and their families for a lifetime.
But the sacrifices that were made - by the dead as well as the living - have never been forgotten by the generations that followed.
Published by Shropshire and Beyond on
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