During the First World War local newspapers were a vital means of keeping abreast of the news of the war. This included not only reports on the War’s progress through movements or battles, but also following the names of men who were casualties named in the War Office lists, or men who had been mentioned in the London Gazette as a recipient of Gallantry Award. Further to this local papers such as the Cumberland News were often able to draw information from their own sources to add additional details. Further to this there are also plenty of names, drawn from these sources which will not appear in anywhere else. It is this fact – and the detail of the records that made it so valuable at the time and even more so nowadays.
This collection was compiled by Sue Yardley and Sue Gallagher. They spent nearly two years going through the archived editions of the Westmorland Gazette to create this database of a little over 10,000 names. As stated above it is particularly detailed, with up to 16 fields of information on the record – including the exact location in the paper of the mention in the paper (as well as whether or not there is a portrait of the man). There can be several mentions of the same men – which can represent an eventful war for the individual – or can show the distressing way information was often misreported or initially vague and only confirmed or corrected later on, the most common of this is when someone was reported missing before this being updated to either killed or prisoner of war – these records show that often more than a week passed between these mentions.
Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.
Original Source: Transcribed from the Westmorland Gazette archives.
The archives of the Westmorland Gazette are currently held at Kendal Library.