• A tremendous and sustained artillery bombardment commenced on June 24, 1916, lasting eight days and culminating in a crescendo of fire during the hour preceding the attack.  It was described by Sir Andrew Wright, who had served as a lieutenant with my father in the 11th Suffolks, as “the biggest bombardment of all history.” Wright further writes in his history of the 11th Suffolks:


  • David Eaton

    David Eaton, a former educator, Shelbyville City Council member and mayor, and current Simpsonville city administrator, went above and beyond this year in looking out for the best interest of the people of Simpsonville by spending a great deal of time and effort by doing all he could to promote new business and industry that came to his city in 2014.

  • No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891), known as “Moltke the Elder.”


  • “Some of my friends make fun of me, but I just love Christmas!” exclaimed Chrissy Critchfield, her glance taking in a huge tree in the living room.

  • In the spring of 1916 the 34th Division, of which my father’s 11th Suffolks battalion was a component, was relieved from the Armentières front lines and given an extended period of rest and special training. Wrote Lieutenant Wright, who served in the 11th Suffolks:

  • From experienced shoppers to novice beginners, shop owners and customers alike expressed delight in how Black Friday Sales went, which encompassed the entire weekend.

    Gina Slechta, vice president of marketing for Horizon Group Properties, said she does not have exact figures yet for sales for the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass’ first Black Friday experience, but that it went well.

  • The 11th Suffolks Battalion, as a component of the 34th Division, having completed its indoctrination in trench warfare, was pulled out of the front lines on February 7, 1916. An inspection by Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, followed, which was described in terms that are understandable to most military veterans. 


  • On January 7, 1916, the 34th Division left for France, crossing the English Channel from Southampton to Le Havre.

    Martin Middlebrook, in First Day on the Somme [July 1, 1916], a classic study of “one of the blackest days in the history of warfare,” describes a British Division as follows:

  • Not many people can say they have an 85-year-old vehicle that still runs and has only 38,000 miles on it.

    Not only that, but “Mater” as the pickup truck has been dubbed by its new owner’s kids, is a Shelby County icon, particularly in Simpsonville where it was formerly used by a towing service.

    Michael Stephens acquired his “new” truck in September, but he’s already repaired it all over.

  • Iquote from “11th Bn, The Suffolk Regiment (Cambridgeshire),” a definitive history of the 11th Suffolks by Andrew Wright, a lieutenant in Company D of that battalion. Later, as Sir Andrew Barkworth Wright, KCMG, CBE, MC, he was Governor of Cyprus from 1949 to 1954.

  • The silence on Cry Baby Bridge was broken only by chirping of crickets, the forlorn call of a lone owl echoing in the darkness and the gurgle of water underneath.

    Oh, and yes, also, a faintly, ghostly whispering.

    Was it the wind in the trees, or the spirit of a young mother that reputedly drove herself and her infant to their deaths off the bridge many years ago?

    A paranormal investigation at the bridge Thursday, located on Bellview Road in Shelby County, left ghost hunters uncertain.

  • On May 19, 1915, the 11th Suffolks, my father’s battalion left Cambridge, where most of its training had been conducted, and joined the 101st Infantry Brigade of the newly-formed 34th Division for training on the Yorkshire Moors in southern England.

    On June 24, 1915, his 21st Birthday, Sergeant Reginald George Bareham, on leave from his battalion, married Florence Rosetta Freestone, a beautiful, bright young lady whom he had met at a dancing class in Cambridge.

  • "I'm going to be an architect," said D'mauri Crowder, as he studied a pile of LEGO blocks while working on a project at the Shelby County Public Library.

    "He's not kidding, either," said his mother, Katrina Blackburn, as she watched Crowder, 7, and his little brother, Darrion, 4, arrange their blocks at the library's LEGO Night, which falls on the last Thursday of each month.

    "He is always sitting around drawing, sketching things he's says he's going to build someday," she said.

  • Reginald Bareham, now 18-years-old, continued correspondence with his mentor, Oscar Browning.  His letters, in the archives of King’s College, Cambridge, describe the encouragement being provided by Charles Waldstein, owner of beautiful Newton Hall Farm, operated by Reggie’s father, George Bareham.

  • Finchville Days 2014

  • After his family had moved from the Barton Farm to a comfortable cottage on Newton Hall Farm, Charles Waldstein’s beautiful estate, Reggie Bareham continued to write to his mentor Oscar Browning, who was a friend of Waldstein’s and a rival of his for influence in pre-World War I Britain. Newton is a small village with a population today of only 401 and a history of over 1,000 years.

    Waldstein had written to Browning:


  • Nestled like a sparkling jewel in a quiet neighborhood near Todds Point Road, the home of Bruce and Ruth Pearce exudes almost as much beauty and charm as its mistress, Ruth Pearce, who sits with her husband sipping ice-cold lemonade on the screened-in back porch of their Civil War-era Victorian style home. 

    "We love it here and I guess you could say this is our favorite place. We eat out here a lot and we just love the scenery," she said.

  • George Bareham, Reginald’s father, a capable farmer, was having difficulties working a farm in Barton for an owner, Mr. Warwick, who treated him shabbily and gave him no freedom to perform his tasks efficiently.

    Now Reginald Bareham’s letters to his mentor, Oscar Browning, from the archives of Kings College, Cambridge University in England, reflect a dramatic change in the farming operations of the Bareham family.


    Bareham, 16-years-old, to Browning, February 7, 1911:

  • Reginald (Reggie) Bareham was born on June 24, 1894 in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, England.

    An unusual word is very helpful in narrowing an Internet search, so I decided to enter the name of my father in association with the place of his birth. In doing so, I made a classic find. In the archives of Kings College, Cambridge University in England, I discovered this entry: “66 letters from members of the Bareham family to Oscar Browning... George and Winifred Bareham were the parents of Reginald, a schoolboy protégéof Oscar Browning.”

  • Ice cream sundaes are as timeless and entrenched in Americana as apple pie. For decades, children have begged for the cherry-topped treat first at the drug store, then the ice cream parlor and now even at fast food restaurants. When one thinks of sundaes, the classic hot fudge variety is the first to spring to mind. With or without nuts, with sprinkles or with jimmies, it’s the one that everyone falls back on.