Gransnet forums


WW1 remembering family members

(33 Posts)
suzied Sun 03-Aug-14 19:43:03

There is a new British Legion site where you can leave a memorial to any of your family members or anyone you may have heard of killed in WW1. You can add photos, family stories etc. link above. I have added my great uncle.

Pittcity Sun 03-Aug-14 20:17:48

Thanks suzied I will add my Great Uncle too.

Elegran Sun 03-Aug-14 20:43:17

And my two great-uncles, who died within a few weeks of each other. In civvy life, one was a sign-painter, the other a piano tuner, neither of them naturally soldier material.

MariClaire Sun 03-Aug-14 20:57:13

My great uncle as well, from the US. I have a handkerchief he presented to my grandmother upon his return from the theater, now framed and treasured. Sadly, I never met him; he never recovered from the war and committed suicide thereafter. sad

Annaries Sun 03-Aug-14 22:02:26

Have just tried to use it and found it quite a problem. It was difficult to find out whether it wanted you to search or input information. I tried both and got nowhere.
I find the Commonwealth Wargraves website very useful.
You can see photos of the cemeteries and which battles were fought close by. It's very sobering to look at, particularly the ones like Thiepval, with 72192 identified casualties buried there.

suzied Mon 04-Aug-14 06:48:19

I think you click on "commemorate someone you know" and fill in their name , but I found its better just to put the surname and not the forename as well, even if you know it, as sometimes they are registered in just an initial or initial and the computer won't recognise the full name, it will then search the database, which is from the Commonwealth War Graves commission , and you can hopefully then pick out your family member, it took me several attempts to find my Great Uncle, but I did find him and it had details of his parents, their address, his date of death and so on. Very moving. I managed to post some photos I have as well. Its not a very user friendly site, but I did manage to negotiate it.

ninathenana Mon 04-Aug-14 10:57:01

Have just looked at my maiden name on the cwgc site to see if there were any possible brothers of my paternal grandfather. Despite the name being fairly uncommon now there are 33 pages. With the law of averages that's a poignant reminder of the numbers involved. So not much hope of finding any.

suzied Mon 04-Aug-14 17:34:26

you can narrow the search down on the everyman remembered site by regiment , place etc, but the chances are someone on those 33 pages will be a relative . you can pick one who comes from part of the country your family lived and commemorate them. You can find the cemetery and take a tour round and see the names , ages, etc of the dead. its all very moving.

suzied Mon 04-Aug-14 17:39:23

The Thiepval memorial was built to remember those who were killed, but couldn't be identified, so were basically blown to bits, so there wasn't an identifiable body. There are 72,000 of them and this was just the battle of the Somme in 1916.

newist Tue 05-Aug-14 13:43:38

I have just bought one of those lovely ceramic poppies which are outside the Tower of London, its in honor of my Grandad, I have a photo of him in uniform 1916 when he was 16

Pittcity Tue 05-Aug-14 14:49:58

I have bought a poppy too. Looking forward to going to see them at the Tower soon.

newist Tue 05-Aug-14 14:54:41

I would love to see them, enjoy your visit

Pittcity Tue 05-Aug-14 15:04:18

We are lucky to live less than an hour from London.This week we are off to see the latest developments at Stratford. We may leave the Tower for a while as they are adding more poppies every day until 11th November.

Brendawymms Tue 05-Aug-14 15:44:12

I have also bought one of the ceramic poppies outside the Tower. I must go to London one day and see the poppy field.

newist Tue 05-Aug-14 16:14:24

When anyone goes to see the poppies, it would be lovely is some could take photos and share them with us smile

dustyangel Tue 05-Aug-14 17:54:39

I'm looking forward to seeing the poppies. Just trying to co-ordinate our visit to UK in October to include a couple of not too expensive days in London.

Brendawymms Tue 05-Aug-14 18:37:08

I have been looking at the cost of a visit to the Tower. £22 for adults £18.70 for students and over 60's and £11 for kids over 5. GOSH.

sparkygran Tue 05-Aug-14 18:45:27

I took my 6-year-old grandson to the Somme Heritage Centre last week and we both enjoyed the visit. My Grandfather (so the story in our family goes) lied about his age and joined up aged 16. He was a dispatch rider. following the death of my adorable aunt last October I inherited her jewellery and amongst it was a gold pin with Crown, Harp and female figure the symbol of the Royal Irish Rifles. We took it with us but would have to say volunteer didn`t really know much about it but confirmed that it was genuine.

The museum itself was interesting and Finn told me in his best 6-year-old voice that it was very interesting. Enough said

Pittcity Tue 05-Aug-14 22:28:45

There are always discounts in London Brenda If you go by train you can get 2 for one at the Tower and other places. Also check your Tesco vouchers.

You can see the poppies from outside so that is free.

POGS Tue 05-Aug-14 22:43:06

My hubby has just told me he has bought me a poppy. smile

I am shocked he is not that sort of a person.

I think the idea and composition of the 'Poppies Around the Moat' is both beautiful and unique.

I thought the whole tone of the remembrence in all of the countries involved in the war was just about right over the past few days.

Pittcity Sat 09-Aug-14 17:54:40

Spent a few hours on with my Mum and have discovered that she had an uncle who died in France in 1918, aged 19. She didn't know he had ever existed as her Mum and grandparents had never talked about him. We now hope to visit his grave in the near future.
We would never have found this out without the internet!!

Annaries Sat 09-Aug-14 18:18:12

I found out something similar, Pittcity.
My mother's great uncle was the city treasurer in Hull. He had 9 children, only two of them boys. The younger son was named after his father.
We never saw his name on the family tree. He died in 1918, aged 26. on 26 September. Unfortunately, my mother never knew this, as she died before I found it out. I have four nephews and nieces who were all born on 26th September.

pinkprincess Sat 09-Aug-14 19:57:47

My DH's maternal uncle was killed on active service in 1918 age 22. After my MIL died we found a photo of him among her possessions. He was in Army uniform with a young lady seated beside him. MIL had written on the back that this was the last photo of him as he was home on leave and was killed when he went back.The young lady was his girlfriend but we never found out her name.He was buried in France.
By a sad co-incidence my grandmother had a cousin who was also killed about the same time, he was age 18.

Culag Sat 09-Aug-14 20:09:09

One of my great uncles was killed in 1916, aged 21. We always knew he was artistic as we had a couple of his paintings and quite a few photos of him. He probably was what would have been described then as a 'dandy'. I found that his occupation on joining up was Fashion Artist. It makes me shudder to think that a sensitive person such as him was sent out to fight and suffer the fate he did. He is buried in a grave with another soldier, so presumably not much of him could be identified. So sad.

Maywalk Sun 17-Aug-14 10:36:15

My mothers brother ( my uncle ) was killed in WW1

Mother told me that she could remember the horseman dressed in red ( a guardsman ) coming to the house where they lived in London with a scroll tied up with red ribbon to hand to my grandmother.

I too saw that scroll which was signed by the king to say that one of his men had been killed in action and how brave he had been.
That was the only time I saw it because I believe it got destroyed during the bombing raids during the London Blitz of WW2 because we lost two houses during the Blitz.

Neither my grandmother nor my mother never did find out where Tommy was buried OR if he had a grave at all.

Many years later I got very curious about where my Uncle Tommy had died and I phoned the War Graves Commission.
I gave her a few details over the phone of what little I knew about him and where he lived when he was the Army not even hoping that she could help me.
I was absolutely astounded when she came back to me and told me his Army number and although there was no known grave his name was carved on sarcophagus in France.
She also told me the exact place to go to.

I was SO impressed with the way the young person had passed over the information.
I said it was marvellous to think that after all these years we had at last found out and I thanked her for how efficient she had been.

Her answer nearly floored me because she said “Actually it was very simple to find him Mrs Walker because he was the ONLY chap killed in WW1 with the name of THOMAS HUDDY.”

I was amazed to hear this and she told me there were some more Huddy’s killed but only the one with the name of THOMAS.

Of all the millions killed in WW1 it seemed incredible but it was perfectly true.

My biggest regret was that if I had done this sooner when my mother was alive she would have been more at peace with herself.
I now have a photo of the sarcophagus where Uncle Toms name is carved on that is in France.

I am an evacuee from the London Blitz and now aged 84. My WW2 website has been visited well over 23,000 times and I have had many e-mails from students thanking me for all the information that has helped them through their exams.