A Family Pilgrimage to the Western Front

Back in May, we explored the story of Private Alec Reader, whose collection of war letters came to light twenty years ago. The discovery encouraged Alec’s family to conduct extensive research into his experience of war. On 15th September 2016, Doug Goodman and his family travelled to France to mark his passing on the Western Front.


Alec Reader seen standing with his family. Image Courtesy of Doug Goodman

‘Private Alec Reader is not forgotten. At 7:30am on 15th September in High Wood, near the still visible German Switch Trench, six relatives and two researchers made a pilgrimage to commemorate Alec’s life exactly 100 years after he became ‘missing presumed killed in action’.

‘A ceremony was held in the wood and a wreath placed on the nearby memorial to the 47th Division. Later that day the family attended a ceremony at the Thiepval Memorial, on which Alec’s name is carved.’

Cover image Thiepval Memorial (C) Amanda Slater 2006


Image Courtesy of Doug Goodman