commemorate the 100th Anniversary of WW1, I decided to identify the
individuals on our Southbourne War Memorial.
The memorial, a
plain cross in the corner of St. John's garden, contains no
inscriptions. The information is within the church and gives
initials, surname, rank and service. So with this minimal amount of
information, I have so far found 58 of the 68 names on our memorial.
Having searched Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Forces
War records, National Archives, Ancestry, Find My Past, Long Long
Trail the Battalion or Ship records and the 1901 and 1911 Census
it has been a much longer job than I had anticipated and took 5 weeks.
The official records are still being updated so there are
unfortunately some details missing or there is no address to link
them with this community, made more difficult due to addresses being
given as Emsworth, Hants or Sussex, or Westbourne which made
searching for Southbourne fruitless as it was such a new parish. I am
sure we will find them all, given time.
I have created four
files and copied and pasted the information onto individual sheets
so that the file contains the information on each person in
alphabetical order. I have put a display in the Library with a
folder and there are folders in St. John's Coffee Connect.
At the beginning of October, once I knew I would be able to identify
most of them, I bought the small crosses so that their names could
be written on them and took them into St. John's. A volunteer
offered to write the names on and so they will form part of the
wreath laying at the memorial in St. John's garden at 11am after the
memorial service at 10am on Sunday 9th November.