From 2014—2018 we mark the centenary the First World War, which began on . The next four years will see a high level of interest in that conflict as each battle and significant event is remembered by historians, churches, schools and the public at large.
St Anne’s makes its own contribution to our collective memory of WW1 in the shape of the plaque at the top of the stairs in our church, which originally came from the old St Anne’s Church. It commemorates 31 men from our parish who died in, or as a result of, the First World War.
We would like to use this plaque as the basis for our own four-year commemoration of WW1, commemorating the lives and deaths of those 31 men both as an act of remembrance and as a way of illustrating St Anne’s unique position in the community then and now.
From March 2015 we are inviting individuals, families or small groups to take a name and research the person. It is hoped that our research will be collected together in the book. Our target is to have the book completed by June 2016 when we hope to invite relatives of those men listed to attended a special event commemorating the project.
What we would like to know
There are lots of things you might find out. The depth of your research is really up to you. We would like to have between 1 and 2 A4 pages about each person if possible. It would also be great to have some photos. Some of the things we would like to know are:
- Day and date of death (name of battle)
- What unit they were in
- Where they are buried
- Where were they born
- What was there connection with the parish of St Anne’s
- Where did they live before the war
- Did they have a family
- Where are there descendants now
- Who were they
- What did they do before the war
- Are there stories about the person
- Are there letters from them
- Are there photo’s of them or family members
- Were they baptised at St Anne’s
- Are there family members still living locally
- Is the house they lived in locally still here—how has it changed since 1914.
We hope this gives you the general idea of questions you might ask.
Where can you find information
There are lots of good resources available online and from the Imperial War Museum.
We suggest you try:
- Imperial War Museum online archive
- National censuses for 1901 and 1911 will allow us to establish exactly where they lived, who they lived with, and their occupations
- St Anne’s Baptism and Marriage registers which are held by the Metropolitan Archive
- Registry of births and deaths
- There are also a number of ‘ancestry’ online search engines which allow a 14 day free trail.
- There may be press cuttings available which would shed further light on their lives. They may have written letters to local papers, or their deaths may have reported. And they may have living relatives still in the area who might be interested in coming to a memorial service.
- You can also use http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1
There are also some records in the local library.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have also expressed interest, and have records about where a large number of people are now buried. They are particularly interested in making links between plagues and existing local graves.
What to do now.
- Tell Mo C you would like to be involved.
- There will be an information session on Sunday 10th May for all those who would like to be involved. At this session we can discuss possible resources.
We will also have a sample of one of the 31 who has been researched so that you can see the type of thing you might like to do.
- If you have a particular person you really want to research please let Mo C know, otherwise we will give you a name at the session.
- If you have any questions about the process please speak to Mo C or Steve Crabb.
You can download a copy of the flyer which includes a list of the names to be research here.