Barbara Colley from Ludlow remembers her father who served in the First World War

Barbara Colley from Ludlow remembers her father who served in the First World War

Barbara Colley with a photograph of her father Wilfred.

Wilfred Drew on horse back.

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Wilfred Drew as a soldier and with one of his haulage lorries.

First published in News
Last updated

THE centenary of the start of the First World War is approaching.

For most people it is a war that is synonymous with the killing fields of the Western front.

But it was truly a global conflict which is not forgotten by Barbara Colley as she sits in her Ludlow home looking at a precious photograph of her father Wilfred Drew.

It was taken shortly before he went to war in 1914 where he served in Palestine.

The family were farmers from Knighton-on-Teme when war came and Wilfred enlisted in Ludlow. He was a Sergeant Major in the Shropshire Yeomanry who spent the war in the Middle East.

“He was based in Palestine during the First World War and was lucky because he did not have a very spectacular war,” said Barbara, who is 90.

After the war a key element of the family business collapsed and the family had a very tough time.

“Things were so difficult at one time that my father had to sell a sliver plate that he had been awarded as the best turned out horseman in his regiment and I remember feeling for him,” said Mrs Colley.

However, life improved and Wilfred went on to set up a highly successful national road haulage business based upon transporting fruit from Tenbury and the Teme Valley to different parts of the country.

There were also other business opportunities including a clothes shop in Tenbury. Barbara had two brothers, one of whom (Harold) was heavily involved in the family business.

Both brothers served in the Second World War, one of them with Coastal Command and the other with the RAF in Burma.

It was also an interesting and different war for Barbara who worked for the Minister of Armament Production as an inspector of aircraft engine components.

After the war Barbara, who has a daughter and a son, lived in Surrey but she decided to come back after her husband died in 1998.

“I decided that I wanted to return to my roots but could not find anywhere suitable in Tenbury so we came to Ludlow,” added Mrs Colley.

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