Noyelles, May 1918

21st November 2017

It is one hundred years ago today that Edward Horner was fatally shot by a sniper close to this barn, at Noyelles, during the battle of Cambrai. Edward was the second and final son lost to the Horner family. The photo of the barn was taken 6 months later by his mother and sister, who visited France to see the very place where their beloved son and brother was lost to them.

Less privileged families would not have been able to make that pilgrimage; something Frances was well aware of. Through the war years she frequently sought information via the family’s political and military connections on behalf of village families desperate for news of their boys and men at the front.

Frances Horner penned the following Epilogue in ‘Time Remembered’ sixteen years later in 1933, which seems fitting for our final post:

“When I came to part with Edward and Mark in these pages I thought there was nothing more to be said. The shattering years of the war had come and gone and left us maimed and broken as surely as if we had been ex-service men instead of mothers and widows.

But I feel it is not fair to all I have loved, and love now, to end on this note. Since then a new generation has sprung up, with new hopes and gifts – young life is all round us with its wonderful freedom and energy, and all the possibilities the future holds for its children. The village I have lived in and loved has kept its loyalty to me and mine, and Mells itself is as beautiful as ever.”

Thinking of the next generation, and trying to build the best world we can for them, is something we should all remember.

Read more about Edward and the other Mells men lost during the First World War here.

Edward Horner with his niece Helen Asquith as a baby sitting on his knee
Edward Horner and Helen Asquith c. 1910



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