This beautiful and thriving village some three and a half miles North East of Ilminster dates back to medieval times. Today, it is a 1931 amalgamation of the parishes of Stocklinch Ottersey and Stocklinch Magdalen and enjoys not one, but two picturesque churches to prove it.
Stocklinch has a most comprehensive website providing everything you would wish to know about the village and its history - www.stocklinch.org.uk - but this does not yet (December 2007) cover its "Thankful Village" status. Not only thankful for being spared any fatalities in the Great War of 1914 - 1918 but actually doubly thankful for repeating this in the 1939 - 1935 World War (one of two Somerset Thankful Villages to have been so blessed - the other being Woolley). In November 2007 the Parish Council unveiled a commemorative, stone plaque outside the Village Hall in recognition of past mercies.
The village remembers its good fortune in the smaller of the two parish churches, the Church of Mary Magdalene, close to and on the other side of the road from the Village Hall on Owl Street. Inside the church is a brass plaque listing the names of the 19 villagers who went to the Great War and returned to their loved ones.
|Major P. H. Bancroft E.S.R||Engr. E. G. Gummer R.N.|
|Pte. C. Bailey S.L.I.||Pte. E. R. Gummer W.R.|
|Pte. A. V. Baker D.R. (wounded)||Cpl J. Hext M.G.C.|
|Pte. P. J. Dinham D.R.||Gnr. E. Hext R.F.A.|
|Pte. J. England E.S.R.||Spr. A. Lenton R.E.|
|Pte. R. Faulkner W.S.Y. (wounded)||Pte. H. Parsons M.T.|
|Pte. H. H. H. Faulkner S.L.I.||Pte. E. Palterman W.S.Y. (wounded)|
|Pte. P. Freestone R.A.M.C.||Pte. H. Priddle S. L.I.|
|Pte. W. M. Gummer W.S.Y.||Spr. J. C. Riches R.E.|
|Gnr V. H. J. Woodland R.F.A. (wounded)|
We will never know the horrors that they witnessed but we can still savour today the tranquil beauty of the Thankful Village that they returned to.
Text and photographs - Rod Morris
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