Book on life as a Pledger

PUBLISHED: 16:11 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:21 31 May 2010

Megan Ridgewell with copies of her book entitled The Pledger Family Archives – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Megan Ridgewell with copies of her book entitled The Pledger Family Archives - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

A FASCINATING account of the history of a Strethall family is to be launched on Sunday. The 960-word tome is the fruit of six years research and writing by 58-year-old Megan Ridgewell, who has been in touch with hundreds of individuals to help learn the

A FASCINATING account of the history of a Strethall family is to be launched on Sunday.

The 960-word tome is the fruit of six years' research and writing by 58-year-old Megan Ridgewell, who has been in touch with hundreds of individuals to help learn the history of her maiden name, Pledger.

Megan, who lives in Dawsons Close, Saffron Walden, said: "I have met so many wonderful people through my research, who have generously given or sent me their family information and said how glad they were to have their history written down, as many had no descendants to pass it on to.

"It is from their response I was inspired to write this book."

Megan's husband Gordon, who assisted her with the project, said the project really had begun from scratch.

"I bought her a laptop and set up a database to enable her to input the information she was starting to collect - this was a very steep learning curve but after about a year she was well underway," he said.

"Not being able to type, being even less interested in paperwork, and having never touched a computer, I said that she would never be able to do it.

"Well, she set out to prove me wrong, again!"

Grandmother-of-five Megan made extensive use of Saffron Walden's archives to carry out her early research, as well as meeting people connected to the Pledger name from all over the country and even as far afield as Australia.

The book begins in the mid-1500s in Thaxted and tells the intriguing stories of many people who have born the Pledger name.

Gordon said: "The highlight must be the two war diaries, one written from the First World War, being a day by day account of a soldier's time in the trenches.

"The other was written by Tom Pledger, which is his account of being in a Japanese prison of war camp.

"During Megan's research she found Tom's great grandfather had been deported to Australia in 1841 - all the details of the trial are in the book."

The book's launch is taking place in Strethall Church.

The venue is an appropriate choice of location, as the Pledger history is intertwined with the building. Megan's four-times great-grandfather was married in the church in 1751 and her great-uncle was buried there in 1969.

The A4 book, packed with accounts, photographs and illustrations drawn by Megan, entitled The Pledger Family Archives is available for the price it cost to produce: £35. For more details call Megan on 01799 523833.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter