RYEDALE Family History Group is celebrating the publication of the 20th book in the popular War Memorial series.

The latest book, Gate Helmsley, upper Helmsley and Warthill War Memorials, was researched and written by volunteers Martin Knight and Peter Braithwaite.

It includes one of only two women on the memorials. Sarah Ann Jennings of Warthill was one of the many women who worked in the munitions factories across the country during the First World War at Barnbow in Leeds.

On Tuesday, December 5, 1916, a late shift came onto work filling shells with explosives, when there was a huge explosion, killing 42 people, 35 of whom were women, injuring many more. Sarah Ann was one of those killed that night aged 38.

Janice Wood, group chairman, said: “Our research has shown the number of families who tragically lost more than one person to war. The latest book is no exception with two brothers killed from two families in Warthill.”

In January 2011 the group was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £47,400 for its project, Looking Back But Moving Forward. Included in this project was the war memorial research project, which has produced 20 books to date.

Peter Braithwaite, project leader said: “We would like to thank all the many volunteers who have enthusiastically researched nearly 450 men and women on Ryedale War Memorials.

“We are also grateful to the many descendants of these men and women who were killed in both world wars for contributing their precious photographs, memories and mementos that have added so much more to the project.”

The project officially ended in 2014, however the war memorial project has continued and is self funding with the sale of books going back into supporting research for other war memorials in Ryedale.

If you are interested in getting involved, email secretay@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.

The war memorial books are available from local bookshops and through ryedalefamilyhistory.org