Bideford’s wartime dead honoured in new memorial book by local authors.

A NEW book has unearthed a treasure of secrets about Bideford’s wartime dead.

The First World War Memorial Book of Bideford has been pieced together by local authors Ian Arnold and Richard Morris over the last 15 years.

Mr Arnold, 76, has been collecting and selling medals in the town since he was 26, and Mr Morris bought his first medal from him when he was 10.

The pair have used Mr Arnold’s extensive collection of medals and worked through a number of roles of honour to come up with the book.

It details the history of soldiers from the town who went to war and Bidefordians may see many names they recognise among the collection.

“There were two brothers I found who were fighting on totally different fronts, but they were both killed within three days of each other,” said Mr Arnold.

“Another man was killed when he was tying down a balloon in a storm and it carried him away.”

Mr Arnold said the book was all the more poignant as the town is currently consulting on a new memorial for Victoria Park.

“Last time they decided upon a memorial – the one over East-the-Water – it was absolute chaos among councillors,” he said.

The First World War Memorial Book of Bideford is available for sale from Bideford Antiques in Mill Street.