Southbourne Online
                              Southbourne, West Sussex


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he 100th Anniversary of WW1

To 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.

Ruth Heelan


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