Response to the 'Centenary Chronicles' published quarterly in Parish News revealed a widespread interest in the local history of our villages. As a result a small group set ourselves the task of developing these pages for anyone interested in the history of Birch, Layer Breton and Layer Marney.
If you are seeking information about a local personality or event we will help where we can. However we do ask you to bear in mind that the small team providing these pages are unpaid volunteers with many other commitments. We do not have the resources to undertake detailed research for you. Our aim is to point you in the direction of available information and resources so that you can do your own research.
We hope you find the pages interesting and enjoyable. They will become even more so if you have further information to contribute about the people and events which have shaped the villages as they are today.
Geoff Russell Grant, Editor
There are now well over 60 web pages in this Local History section of the BretonHeath website, covering a wide range of local history topics. If you are looking for information, for example about a particular individual, place or incident, you may find it helpful to use the site search facility below.
Simple Search: Enter the name, word or phrase (enclose phrase in quotes) to be matched in the blank box below, then click on the 'Search' button to the right. Searching on a single name or word is often better than using a phrase.
Advanced Search: Use the 'advanced search' link below to access the available options. Enter the desired search keywords, select the desired options, and click on the 'Search' button.
HANDY TIP: The site search tool only targets the pages where the query is matched, not the places on pages where there is a match. Some pages are lengthy. To find where on a page there is a match (once you are on the page), hold down the Ctrl key and press F. Enter the name or word in the search box which appears and click on the 'Next' button to go to the first match and subsequent matches. This handy tip works on any page of text, such as a Word document or web page, even when you are off-line.
The 'Centenary Chronicles' is a series of local history articles written mostly by Eric Hall of Layer Breton with contributions from others living in our villages. Packed with a wealth of fascinating detail, the first appeared in the November 1995 issue of Parish News. There are 67 'Chronicles' and the text of each is available to view on this website.
Parish News is the monthly newsletter, published on behalf of our Parochial Church Councils, and delivered free to every home in Birch, Layer Breton and Layer Marney.
The Centenary Chronicles index page has an introduction to the Chronicles and links to each article.
Books and Documents - a list of local history books and papers.
Download Page - some out of print local history booklets available for downloading onto your own computer.
Family History Resources - information on local, county, national, and Internet sources and resources for researching your family history, including notes on family tree software.
A miscellany of local history articles and notes:
'Millennium Map' Text - reproduces the text printed on the back of the local 'Millennium Map' prepared and published to celebrate the new millennium. On this page you can view the text and/or download it as a text file. For a description of the map go to the 'Millennium Map' page.
The Churches of Birch and Layer Breton - the full text of the late Tom Millatt's history of the Churches - old and new - of Birch and Layer Breton. The author was sometime Headmaster of Birch School and his booklet has been out of print for many years. To make it accessible to a wider audience it is being made available here for the purposes of private study and research.
The Fallen in Two World Wars - the names of parishioners commemorated on the village war memorials of Birch and Layer Breton, Layer Marney, and Layer de la Haye are to be found on this page. Also an article published in the parish magazine of January 1919 giving details about the number of parishioners who served in the Great War, the names of casualities, and those who received military honours.
Birch Airfield - the story of the airfield built here at the end of the Second World War.
Managing Editor: Geoff Russell Grant
Consultant Historian and Researcher: Eric Hall
Web Services: Richard Carr
Feedback on Content: Comments, suggestions, queries, and contributions regarding the content of these pages should be addressed to the editor, Geoff Russell Grant - see contact page.
Feedback on technical issues: If you experience problems viewing any of the pages, spot 'bugs', dead links, or any other technical faults, please report these in the first instance to Geoff Russel Grant (see above) who will forward them to Richard Carr.
Disclaimer of Legal Liability: the BretonHeath website Disclaimer applies to all these pages.
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Page updated: 23 Jul 2020 at 15:01