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Remembered Today:

The Herts At War Project – The Hertfordshire Related Men and Women of

Jonty Wild

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The Herts At War Project – The Hertfordshire Related Men and Women of the Great War

- Jonty Wild (Roll of Honour Research Coordinator – jontywild@hertsatwar.co.uk)

This is a community project run by volunteers. It will not only commemorate all the known men from Hertfordshire who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War and will also put their service into perspective using information on those who survived, those left behind, life ‘at home’, conscientious objectors and much more. We will achieve this through research and a programme of events, including battlefield tours and lively educational talks and out reach programmes for schools.

It is intended that a substantial part of the project will be completed over the next four years, during the centenary commemorations and it will become the definitive reference source for the men of Hertfordshire who died. However, it will not stop there and research will continue and information added in the years to come.

It is essential to the project and those involved that the information gathered is available to all and secured for the future. One key way that we are achieving that is through the project’s website www.hertsatwar.co.uk – a visit there will show how much has been done and give lots of detailed information on the project, its research, guidance and ideas to get you involved, but beware because, as many of our volunteers will testify, the detective work can become addictive!

This is an amazing and rewarding project to be involved in and one which will provide a lasting and appropriate tribute to these individuals. Those of us who already involved are really excited at how far we have managed to get in a relatively short space of time, but massive challenges remain. Numbers change all the time, but we need to research some 20,000 names (including duplications), 750 memorials and 790 UK burials.

Each and every identified man and woman who died, whether they are recorded on a Hertfordshire memorial or not, will be commemorated with an individual profile. These will be linked to the relevant locations in Hertfordshire, e.g. where they were born, lived or any memorial they appear on. The profiles will detail basic information about their lives, service and death and where they lie now. Then, over the coming months and years, information and photographs (where discovered) will be added to those sheets or to additional linked information sheets.

We are keen to work with volunteers, individuals, groups to add information to the project. Dozens are involved already, but we need more. We are also keen, to work with organisations and museums and with authors (past and future) to explore how we can share information to our mutual benefit. A number of existing researchers and authors (I am one) are already concerned that all the effort put in to research for their projects must not be allowed to become lost over time and having recognised that are sharing some or all with the project to secure its future and of course all information and help is be acknowledged.

What do we need?

  • Photographs, information, documents and artefacts – Originals, scans, copies or photographs. These will be used to add information to the relevant individuals or to support articles appearing on the website.
  • Photographs – especially of named and unnamed groups or individuals. These will researched and added to an individual’s information. Where they are unnamed we will publish them and invite help to see if they can be identified.
  • Family Knowledge – If you already have family research, stories or information or would like to research a relative. We would like to hear from you, help and to share the results.
  • Research – there is much work to do. This is the detective work and can be simple or hugely complicated depending on your interest and the time and effort you would like to commit. That help can be site based – visiting locations to photograph memorials or confirm names etc. or home based, e g. computer based research or transcribing names from photographs. You can work alone, with a friend or as part of a group. It is very pleasant to travel round on a nice day, taking photographs or perhaps sharing the research on a memorial with many names. You can choose what elements you would like to be involved in, where you research and how much you want to take on and do it at your own pace. Beginners will can get help and guidance and learn methods of research and develop those skills.

A promise was made: “Their Name Liveth For Evermore” and that is carved in stone in every major overseas cemetery. Those who become involved can honestly say that, for the men of Hertfordshire, they will have helped keep that promise.

If you would like to know more visit the project general information, guide and research pages at www.hertsatwar.co.uk. If you would like to offer general help contact the website. If you are interested in the research or have any information, photographs or existing research, please contact jontywild@hertsatwar.co.uk.

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