In October 1919 Vera Waddington was commissioned by the vicar of Mapledurham, an ancient village on the Thames near Reading, to produce a Role of Honour for the church of St Margaret’s for those from this area of the Thames who died fighting in First World War.
To undertake this Vera took a correspondence course in calligraphy and studied illuminated manuscripts at the South Kensington Museum. In November she describes in her diary copying a beautiful 12th century manuscript at the museum. She finished the book in 1921.
Vera included all those from the surrounding area who served, inscribing the names of the ones who died for their country in gold and, where known, something of their military careers.
The front piece shows a miniature of the church of Mapledurham and illustrations of local wildlife. Inside are a number of Trees of Life based upon local trees and birds of the area.
The book covers are secured by clasps, which Vera designed.