Canadian Soldiers in Market Lavington

Soldiers from British Empire /Commonwealth countries were of crucial importance to the First World War effort.

Market Lavington, the village under the Salisbury Plain military training area, saw many of these visiting soldiers as they prepared to go to the war. Local photographers, members of the Burgess family, made sure they captured images of some of these soldiers.

This photo, of Canadian soldiers by St Mary’s Church in the village, is held by Market Lavington Museum.

Canadia Soldiers by St Mary's Church, Market Lavington in 1915

The picture, taken in 1915, shows what is largely a horse-powered group of soldiers in ‘The Grove’, just outside the churchyard. Nowadays, this area is built on, being part of the Grove Farm housing built at the end of the twentieth century. The Community Hall stands close to where the old farmhouse once stood.

Following the visit of these soldiers, an area of Market Lavington came to be called ‘Canada’. We still have an area of woodland known as Canada Woods and the road, which goes up the hill near these woods is called Canada Rise.

Our Canadian visitors are, thus, remembered in the parish. Of course some soldiers married local girls as well.

If you had ancestors who fought in the first war and they had any Market Lavington or Easterton memories or memorabilia, we’d love to hear from you.

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