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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Memorial Criteria


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I can't find my great uncle's name on the Helensburgh War Memorial in Heritage Park.

His name was James Hay, a private in the RSF, and he died on 23rd October 1914 near Ypres.

According to the CWGC he is listed on the MENIN GATE, but I don't have an image of panel 19&33.

Can anyone tell me if it was normal for soldiers to me omitted from their local memorials because they were remembered elsewhere, ie overseas?

The CWGC lists James' next of kin as his Mother, Jane Hay, which surprises me, as he was married in 1913. He had moved from Townhead in Glasgow, to Helensburgh that year. Perhaps he is on a Glasgow memorial?

Any help will be much appreciated.


ps Someone mentioned on the site that the names on the Helensburgh Memorial were fading. I noticed yesterday that the names had been refurbished and IMO the memorial looks excellent.

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You have to differentiate between a man's official commemoration and that of the local community.

CWGC provides the official commemoration - either over a grave or on a memorial to the missing.

Local communities raised unofficial memorials all over the country. The criteria for inclusion varied fom locality to locality according to the rules drawn up by the organising committees - usually a collection of local worthies, clergy and local authority representatives. Most included only those who died but a few included all those who served.

They collected names by a variety of methods - most inviting name submissions from relatives. Therefore, many names were not included. There was no 'standard' for these memorials nationwide. Some relatives did not want their loved ones to be included - other casualties had nobody in the area to submit their name - or they had moved away.

So, many men are missing from local memorials but it is nothing to do with having an official commemoration elsewhere - as, in theory, they all should have an official commemoration somewhere.

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Soldiers names were ommitted from local memorials for many reasons.

No one put their name forward.

Some relatives just did not like the idea.

The soldier was a git.

No one knew he was local.

It was how people felt at the time. How they remembered the dead. The names are of those who the people in Helensburgh wanted to commemorate at that moment.

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Thanks to Terry, Peter and HTB.

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