Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Herts at War Project

As part of the centenary commemorations for the First World War the project will commemorate all the men from Hertfordshire who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. At the current count they need to:
  • Research 21616 names (including identifying duplicates)
  • Establish the existence (or otherwise), research and photograph 697 memorials
  • Research 790 WW1 burials.

Much of the work is being done by local teams who are collecting data, and if you live in Hertfordshire why not find out what is happening in your own town or village and get involved. They will be unveiling a provision Roll of Honour on their web site on 13th November.

However if you live anywhere else in the world you may still be able to help, if you have information about your Hertfordshire ancestors who were involved, and may have been killed, in the war.
  • If your ancestor died, and is (or should be) remembered on a Hertfordshire memorial you may have photographs of him and the group researching that memorial would love to have a digital copy to commemorate his sacrifice.
  • If you have group photographs of, for example, the Hertfordshire Regiment, where people are named this may help provide portraits of other soldiers who died.
  • If you are a collector of military post cards you may well have pictures which could help in the project, and could be of far greater value in remembering the dead if shared.
There is one aspect of the War which is not currently covered in their plans (at least as revealed in their web site) and that concerns the vast numbers of soldiers who came to Hertfordshire for training during the First World War, and those who returned with injuries to the war time hospitals such as Napsbury, and the many convalescent homes all over the county. As the author of The London Gunners come to Town, which looks at life in Hemel Hempstead during the First World War, the training of RFA soldiers of the 2nd London Division (which was centred on St Albans), and the battles they fought in France, I am particularly interested in these soldiers.

Postcards, etc
Those of you who have been following my web site and newsletter will know that I originally planned to photograph many memorials - but in the circumstances this would mean unnecessary duplication. Instead I would like to concentrate on photographs by photographers of troops training in Hertfordshire, or as invalids in hospital in the county. Over the next few posts I will give some examples here. If you have such material that can be shared in digital form, and displayed on this site, please let me know.

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