Forces War Records: aiding the search for war heroes

Blogger: GemSen

The Forces War Records website has come in very handy for some pupils who have been researching the names they discovered on a local war memorial in Herne Bay, Kent.        

The 27 students went to research the town's war memorial and noted down three names to investigate further.  As well as Forces War Records they also used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to help them find out more for their project that aims to commemorate the First World War.

They’re also looking to fill in some gaps about the town’s memorial itself by looking at the Imperial War Museum website. The interest in war memorials across the country has risen because of the special 100-year anniversary.

As part of the commemoration the government launched a £5 million centenary programme last year which would include helping to conserve, protect and repair First World War memorials and burial sites across the UK and overseas where British and Commonwealth service men and women are buried.

At the time this programme was announced, Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who leads the First World War Centenary programme said:

“This new funding to repair First World War memorials all over the country is an appropriate way to honour those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our programme is all about remembering the significance and sheer scale of what happened one hundred years ago, and the tens of thousands of war memorials in our towns and villages are an evocative symbol of that.

This funding, combined with the drive and determination of the communities that each memorial represents, should help to create a legacy that will last for generations to come.”

Herne Bay High School is part of the ‘Football and Peace’ project, inspired by the game of football played on Christmas Day in no man's land between German and British troops in 1914. This scheme aims to bring people from different generations together while learning about the role of sport in promoting peace, reported the Canterbury Times.

Pupil Reuben Skeats told the publication: "I found visiting my local memorial interesting. I learnt about different types of memorials, how they were funded and I was surprised at how many local men lost their lives in this war."

The government are also providing funding for two children and one teacher from every maintained school in Britain to visit battlefields on the western front.

These visits will teach children the scale of the suffering inflicted by the war. No community was untouched by a family tragedy during the First World War and the children will also be asked to research people from their communities who fought in the war, emphasising that all of us have some connection with the conflict.

Source: Canterbury Times &

Do you know enough about your ancestors who fought in the First World War?
Log on to Forces War Records and find out more  - there could be a war hero in your family just waiting to be discovered, and remembered… Delve into our ‘historic documents’ library and read some of the interesting War diaries that we get sent – there’s nothing quite like reading a personal account of war, as history unfolds itself through the eyes of somebody who was actually there. Discover interesting facts about your ancestors, become more knowledgeable about history, and reveal some of the fantastic characters involved in war…What are you waiting for?
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