At the end of the First World War the village did the right thing and publicly commemorated its war dead so the names of the fallen were there to see as memories faded and life moved on. However, the village appeared not to have left a record of any other men from the village that served and returned to resume life here in rural Leicestershire. We know that a recruitment fair came through the village in December 1915, the men were billeted at The Elms farm (officers in the house, other ranks in the barns), so we assume that some of the village lads would have responded to the call to arms and joined up, but we had no idea how many.
Then in the late 1990s an old wooden shutter turned up under the village hall stage and when the dust and grime were cleaned away we saw that it listed the names of forty two men from Hoby who went to war. It seemed a lot for such a small village but it transpired that there had been many more. A second roll of honour kept by the Rector and found in 2012, together with research into the absent voters list revealed that 67 men from Hoby went to war, of these 54 returned.
Quite a lot is known about the men who died but there was very little information about the ones who returned: Charles Bailey, who sent enthusiastic letters from the front that were published in the Melton Times, was gassed; Gilbert Beresford died in 1926 in a mental institution, it’s not clear if his mental health problems were a consequence of his war service but it seems likely; Arthur Padmore was wounded as was his brother Percy; Wilfred Elton died in 1922 aged 33; Edward Woodford became sexton of All Saints Church; Christopher Shelton married Irene Boulter (sister of Frank and George) in 1922; as a result of his ability to type, Eddie Garner spent the war in The Pay Corps in Scarborough, Eddie was born and died at Hillcrest; Tom Jeffs lived to the age of 65 and is buried in the Church yard extension.
We honour the 67 men from Hoby who served in the First World War by recording all their names together for the first time.