The families of thousands of soldiers who were missed off official World War One memorials will finally have a place to commemorate their relatives after The Commonwealth War Graves Commission revealed plans to find new memorial sites in the Somme.
Thousands of men slipped off official lists of the dead as bureaucracy failed to keep up with events following the war.
Many soldiers who died of injury or illness after they were discharged from the Army were not included.
Now The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is trying to find a place in the Somme for a new memorial with thousands of names that have not yet been commemorated.
Terry Denham, co-founder of the In From The Cold project, which tries to identify all servicemen and women missing from the official war graves, said it was "a shock" to the families of the soldiers that people still cared about their loved ones.
He began his research after noticing a man from his local village memorial was not listed by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The majority of soldiers missing were British with around one quarter coming from Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada. Mr Denham said: "The families did know [that they went to war] and many of them have their names on their local war memorials but unfortunately the bureaucracy of the day didn't quite keep up with events – names slipped off lists and people got forgotten. "Some of the men died of injury or illness after they were discharged from the forces and there was no mechanism in place for the authorities to be informed of these deaths." "There were no computers, no internet and everything was on paper and no doubt maintained by clerks who didn't want to be there. Names got forgotten." He said that for many people, the project had renewed interest in their family history. "It becomes a shock to them [the family] initially that people still care and that things can still be done about their forgotten relative," he said. "They become desperate to know when their headstone will be erected and when their name will appear on a memorial and it renews an interest in their family history. "Their gratitude knows no bounds. It's quite embarrassing on occasion. We do it because we think these men ought to be remembered and we can sometimes forget the soldiers have families still. It may now only be great-great-grandchildren left but they still want to see their relatives remembered." In France there are eight or nine sites for memorials but they are full up with names. The War Graves Commission is seeking a new site somewhere in the Somme area for a new memorial and for any future names that are uncovered. It is hoped it will be finished by August next year – the centenary of the First World War. Source: Telegraph.