Birth Places of WW2 & subsequent dead

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Robbeaus, Nov 14, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Not sure if I am in the right place for this, but here goes.
    Doing my bit on Sunday last, and being the only ex-mob on 'parade' I was asked if I knew how to find out if anybody from our village, was killed in any of the subsequent conflicts? We only have 5 names on our memorial for WW1 and nothing since [4 in France and 1 in Palestine]. Now this might mean that nobody who served was killed in service after WW1.
    So how do I go about tracking down the names of those born in our village/parish [we don't have a church in the village] who were killed in later conflicts? The memorial itself needs a bit of TLC, and it is thought that this might be an opportunity to add any names missing from the memorial.
    Any help would be appreciated and I can visit Kew if necessary?
     
  2. With "only" 5 names of the fallen from WW1 and none from WW2, it may be as you say that the village is fortunate enough not to have lost anyone in conflict since.

    I may be wrong but would be surprised if official records were much help in identifying the names, although they might be helpful in verifying names put forward.

    I have seen this done in a larger community, where the local RBL Scotland got publicity inviting families to put names forward. No doubt they also approached local regimental home headquarters and associations.

    Local newspaper records may help.

    Thought needs to be given as to what qualifies a name to be included. I have heard it argued that "only those killed in action should qualify". Personally I disagree with that. The qualifying factor, in my view, should be death on operations. I don't know whether the RBL and RBL Scotland have standard advice on such issues. Ultimately it should be a local decision.

    Local Councils are the relevant public bodies and should be consulted and got on board from the outset.
     
  3. Local newspapers as per Hackle.

    Look up the electoral roles for 1939 and 1946 in your local records office, if the village is small you'll be able to plot the surnames and look for differences. Some will have moved away and some died. Check the CWGC website for each.
     
  4. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    If it's a small village I'm sure someone who has lived there a long time will know something.
    As Hackle says a paper, especially a parish freesheet, would be good.
     
  5. Its a valid point.How many communities maintain their war memorials to record post 1945 war dead? Perhaos this should become an ARRSE campaign?
     
  6. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Some towns/villages have made additions but only because of pressure from the families & as far as I'm aware only in recent years.
    If people did take it on it would have to be on an individual memorial basis where one person took the lead and others assisted.
     
  7. Being uncharacteristically optimistic and hazarding wild guesses...

    Somewhere, probably deep in the bowels of the MoD or maybe the Post Office, I'd expect there to be records of the "We regret to inform you.." telegrams that were sent out - which would have included the recipient's address. Given the trend to convert paper records to electronic ones, there's just a chance that somebody in one of the organisations has compiled a database that would greatly ease the search process.

    Not a definitive answer, just a suggestion of where you might start looking.
     
  8. New post-1945 plaques have been added to the main city war memorial in Inverness, and unveiled recently by an Elizabeth Cross holder and her young daughter. According to this story, the local branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland and Highland Council have been working together on this and have asked families in the area to supply details:

    BBC News - New Inverness war memorial names are unveiled
     
  9. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    That's good Hackle. Generally though anything has been driven by a particular family and then having to find out who to approach, generally the local council who very often ask the local RBL, I seem to remember as well some resistance previously to having names added by those RBLs, although I think things may well have changed now.
     
  10. This should be a national campaign. Where are the media lurkers when you need them.
     
  11. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Surely the main problem is that people rarely stay in the same communities all through their life. WW1 and WW2 memorials are mainly about soldiers born there and gone off to war without coming back, being buried overseas. Life was much more communal - villages, enormous factories, pits and mills or estates, widespread church attendance.

    Today it's probably mainly families, Regtl HQs and RBL etc doing the running.

    .. and of course, this place:

    http://www.thenma.org.uk/
     
  12. A good start would be to go to the CWGC 'Finding War Dead' search page and enter your home town under 'Additional Information'. I've just tried it with my home town and it's given me four pages of results - only one of which was not from my town:

    CWGC - Find War Dead