Author Topic: Names on war memorials  (Read 1500 times)

Offline Rowana

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Names on war memorials
« on: Tuesday 24 November 09 19:57 GMT (UK) »
How does one find out more about the names on war memorials?

Who compiled the lists of names, and can they still be found?

Let's say I go to some village where I think one of my ancestors may be commerated, but there are 2 (or more) A. Smith's, or whatever. How do I find out which, or indeed if any, of them are mine?

Any help much appreciated.

Jim
Irvine Gove Watt Stronner

Offline neil1821

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 24 November 09 21:31 GMT (UK) »
If you're lucky the war memorial may include extra information (like which service, which regiment etc).

But whether it does or doesn't, your first task is to go to the CWGC database and try to match the names. With a common name like A.Smith, obviously you'll get many hits. It's worth taking your time to go through the list, as many CWGC entries will include some personal details such as next-of-kin, address etc. Either you'll be able to eliminate several and narrow down your list, or you may be lucky and be able to confirm the right man this way.
http://www.cwgc.org/debt_of_honour.asp?menuid=14

If you still have a list of possibles after that, you can go to SDGW (Soldiers Died Great War). People on the forum here may have access and be able to help you out. SDGW often includes place of residence for example, which can be useful.

Any possible matches that are Royal Navy rather than Army, you can look for service papers online at TNA's site. Full name, place or birth and date of birth are given.

You can also cross-refer Medal Index Cards to possible CWGC matches. Can be useful for confirming full names.

Finally of course, approach it from the other direction and focus on finding out all you can about your ancestor from non-military sources.
Name interests: Boulton, Murrell, Lock, Croxton, Skinner, Blewett, Tonkin, Trathen.
Military History & Medals

Offline forester

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 24 November 09 21:32 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jim,

If I knew the answer I would have finished researching my home village memorial years ago.  ;D

It's a question of putting every resource together: CWGC, SDGW, Census info, local newspaper reports, Parish Council minutes, Parish magazines, etc.

At the end of the day, there are still some you can't say are 100% right. Sometimes the link is so tenuous.

Phil
Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

Census information is Crown Copyright  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 24 November 09 21:37 GMT (UK) »
There are several ways to get details of local soldiers.
Many churches and schools will have Roll of Honour which often list those who served as well as those killed.
Go through local newspapers. Soldiers killed as well as wounded, home on leave, etc. will be listed (sometimes in Local News column, sometimes during war separate section of news from those serving.
Many places published details in local paper when trying to draw up ;list of names for war memorial. So, in addition for checking paper throughout the war (as above) check after the war (until memorial was unveiled).
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!


Offline forester

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 24 November 09 21:55 GMT (UK) »
Google it......... many memorials have been researched and put on the individual researcher's website or the Roll of Honour site etc.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/

Phil
Sussex: Satcher (Hamsey) and Gatton (East Grinstead)
Leicestershire: Pratt
South Wales: Evans (Neath)
Poland: Gonet, Deren

Forest Row: War Memorial and Camp WW1
Lewisham War Memorials & WW1 Graves

Census information is Crown Copyright  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline spof

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 24 November 09 22:37 GMT (UK) »
Google it......... many memorials have been researched and put on the individual researcher's website or the Roll of Honour site etc.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/

Phil

Or to add to Phil's post, the UK National Inventory of War Memorials http://www.ukniwm.org.uk/

It is far from complete but if the village is listed, it should at least say which war e.g. Boer War, Great War or WW2.

Otherwise, the advice already given is the best wy to go.

Glen
Bezant (London/Suffolk), West (London/Essex), Walker (Yorkshire), Phillips (West Country - believed Bristol area), Tibbetts (Warwickshire), Armstrong (Co Fermanagh), Harvison (Co Wexford), Neeb (Germany), Becker (Germany), Jakobsson (Finland). Kanneworff (Germany and Denmark)

Offline old rowley

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 25 November 09 10:40 GMT (UK) »
Another avenue to think of is to find out if there is a local historical group or local historian who may have already studied the village and men on the memorial and would have their findings to hand. You could also contact the nearest main library to the location of the memorial and seek out the local histories librarian (if they have one) to see what the library hold on the memorial.

OR
Claxton- East London & Essex<br />Cuthbert- Mile End East London <br />Edwards - East London & Essex<br />Goll- Norfolk<br />Harris-Mile End East London<br />Hurr - Suffolk<br />Law- Bethnal Green East London<br />Moll- East London<br />Robinson- Bethnal Green East London<br />Tait- Argyll & Glasgow<br />Thompson Shoreditch East london<br />Watson- Glasgow<br />Wood- Bethnal Green East London<br /><br />Local history interest; Noak Hill & Harold Hill Essex<br /><br />census information crown cop

Offline Scarletwoman

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Re: Names on war memorials
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 25 November 09 16:54 GMT (UK) »
Some towns/villages did retain the submission slips that were completed by relatives who wanted a name to appear on a memorial.  If they survive they will be found at the local archive/county records office, so always worth asking.  They are more likely to have been kept in larger towns where the memorial was raised as a civic tribute and submissions invited officially from a broad area.  Less likely in small towns and villages where submissions were often made by word of mouth or informal suggestions.

Sue
Scarletfinders - Researching British Military Nurses from 1880, mainly Great War period