Photo:  Norman Thorpe

Catwick is a small village in Holderness, about seven miles north-west of Beverley. Most of the older houses are on Main Street, but there are some new ones towards the church. This is St. Michael's, mentioned in the Domesday Book, but rebuilt in 1862 except for the fifteenth century tower. The population of Catwick in the 1911 Census was 213 persons in 48 households. There were 102 males of all ages.

There is no Roll of Honour or War Memorial in the village, but there is an unusual commemoration of the thirty men of Catwick who served in the Great War. The village blacksmith, John Hugill, fixed a lucky horseshoe to the wooden doorpost of his forge. Then for each man who went to the war he nailed a coin near the horseshoe. The coins are mostly pennies and halfpennies, but there are also a German and a Swiss coin. The door of the forge opened outwards, as can be seen in the photograph where blacksmith John Hugill is pointing at the coins. They were protected when the door was closed.

All thirty men returned from the Great War, though Joseph Grantham, who served in the East Yorkshire Regiment, lost his arm. In the Second World War, another thirty men from Catwick served in the forces. A coin was added near the lucky horseshoe for each of them, and they all returned. Catwick was doubly Thankful.

Photo by kind permission of John Hugill

The horseshoe and all the coins have been removed from the doorpost and mounted on a wooden plaque, which is in the possession of the blacksmith's grandson, also called John.

We thank churchwarden Mrs Phyllis Brumpton (whose husband Bill was one of the second thirty) for her interest and help when we visited Catwick. We also thank John Hugill for his help and information, and for his kind permission to reproduce the photograph of his grandfather.

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