Saturday, 22 March 2014

Help Wanted.

It's been all quiet on the Day in History front for a couple of weeks and I apologise for that. In part it has been due to a family bereavement.

However, that's also given me an opportunity to rethink what I want to do with this whole concept. Looming on the horizon we have the centenary of the First World War.

I have the great fortune to own a complete set of The War Illustrated . One of the most moving elements of this magazine set was that each issue would include a page of photographs of the fallen and that got me to thinking.

In my journeys about the country I can often be found wandering around random churchyards. The architecture and history interests me a bit but I'm usually also keeping a weather eye out for individual Commonwealth War Graves. A good proportion of UK churchyards can boast a few. I always pause to read the names and the service branch or unit and reflect a little on who is buried there, and why. And that got me to thinking.

Most towns and villages have a war memorial tucked away somewhere. Again I tend to pause by these and take a look at the names. And again, that got me thinking.

And finally, many families like my own, do have some individuals who were actively involved in either of the world wars (and sometimes both). There are plenty of stories of one form or another. And that also got me thinking.

Going forward, each day, I'd like to take and an individual name, or unit or memorial and delve a little into the circumstances in which these forebears of ours died. And for that I am going to ask people to help. Send me photographs of graves or memorials or else details of individuals and units and I'll endeavour to do a little digging. I can't promise complete histories but I'd like to do something to commemorate the sacrifices that have gone before. And with your help I think we can do something quite special.

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