Little Ness, Shropshire: The Soldier Who Returned

Maurice Darby was a soldier of the Great War who came home.

He was 20 when he joined the Grenadier Guards in 1914. His family came from Shropshire, part of the Darby family of Coalbrookdale. In October 1914, he went to France with the 7th Division of the Expeditionary Force. He served in the trenches that winter.

As with so many young men he seemed excited to go to do his duty. In January 1915, he wrote on a few sheets of paper “One day in the Trenches” complaining he was too lazy to write a diary, and the story of one day would have to do.

But on 11 March 1915, Maurice Darby was killed in action. His uncle, Sir George Arthur, spent four days looking for his body on the battlefield.

Maurice’s body was brought home and buried at St Martin’s Little Ness.

Location: Little Ness, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 2LG
Image: Studio portrait of Maurice Darby, courtesy of IGMT

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