|To me, it was always, simply, 'the book'. A blue bound volume of yellowing pages containing newspaper
clippings and photographs covering the life and times of my grandfather, William Alfred James. I never knew
him but through those pages, and through the stories told to me by my father, he was made real to me.
His was a life of public service, from serving in the trenches at Ypres during the first world war (where he
was horrifically injured and became subject to ground-breaking surgery) to his terms in office as Mayor of
Godmanchester - a tenure which saw great changes in the town and in the country at large; 'the death of a
sovereign, the proclamation of a sovereign, the coronation of a sovereign and the silver jubilee of a
sovereign in three consecutive years.'
As I grew up, my interest in 'the book', never waned, perhaps because there was more to be found in its
fading pages than mere historical records. It serves as a testament to a man and his life.
There is far too much in 'the book' to present here but a little of this historical record, including
photographs, newspaper clippings and telegrams from Buckingham Palace can be seen in these few pages.
Simply click the links above to learn more about William Alfred James, a Godmanchester man.
|William Alfred James - A Godmanchester Man
|This website tells the story of
my Grandfather, William Alfred
James, of Godmanchester,
1891 - 1966
|“If you look deeply into
the palm of your hand, you
will see your parents and
all generations of your
ancestors. All of them are
alive in this moment. Each
is present in your body.
You are the continuation
of each of these people.”
|These pages are dedicated to my Dad, William 'Bill' James, 1934 - 2006
who was also proud to be a Godmanchester man.