A TOWN’S single female casualty during the First World War has been remembered, over 100 years after her death.

Lucy Harris, from Witney, a former member of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF), died in November 1918.

Mrs Harris, who was born in Cogges, has been remembered on the Witney War Memorial after efforts by a local historian and the town council.

She left the town after getting married in 1917.

The following year, she volunteered with the newly formed WRAF.

Unfortunately, Mrs Harris contracted the Spanish flu, which swept across the world in a similar vein to the way coronavirus has in recent months.

Mrs Harris’ body was brought back to Witney, and she was buried alongside her mother in St Mary’s church, Cogges.

Jeff Clements, a local historian, has campaigned for Mrs Harris’ name to be added to the town’s war memorial.

In 2013, Mrs Harris’s story was told in the first volume of Mr Clements’s book, Remembered: The men on the war memorials of Witney, Crawley and Hailey, 1914-1919.

It wasn’t until last year however that Mr Clements began to actively campaign for Mrs Harris’ name to be put on the town’s war memorial.

He said: “I felt it was important to honour her in this way.

“The grave, originally marked by low iron railings, fell into disrepair, and by the late 1970s, with the railings removed, remained unmarked.”

The town council agreed with Mr Clements and unanimously voted to remember its only female casualty.

Unfortunately, the current nationwide lockdown in place due to Covid-19 means that Mrs Harris’ name has been added to the memorial without the ceremony it warranted.

Fortunately, town mayor Duncan Enright was on hand to mark the occasion.

He said: “It’s absolutely right that Lucy Harris has been added to our memorial, and very fitting that a young Witney woman who died in the last pandemic one hundred years ago is honoured in this latest time of trial.”

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Councillor Mel Jones has been at the forefront of the council’s mission to remember Mrs Harris.

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She said: “I am so pleased that as a town council we were able to assist local historian Jeff Clements in getting Lucy Harris added to the Witney war memorial.

"I think it’s ironic that she lost her life during a pandemic and was added to the memorial during this current one.

“It was very important she was added as she had had no other recognition.”