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The War Memorial Project A research project about:


Course Overview This unit takes you through the process of researching your local war memorial. Working with the University of Stirling you will use online archives, a local World War One memorial, and local records to research some of the people who lost their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918. Knowledge


By the end of this unit you will: 

By the end of this unit you will:

Learn about the lives of a soldier of the

Know how to conduct research.

First World War from your local area.

Know how to use the internet to gather information.

Researching War Memorials Using your chosen memorial as a starting point we are going to look into the lives of individuals named on it and start to build a picture of the person behind the name. To do this we are going to use:

Local War Memorial to select an individual to research.

Rolls of Honour to find out the rank and regiment.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission Website to research the date and place in which the individual fell and their official forces number.

Local Newspaper Archives to find out more detail about the individual’s life and family.

The ScotlandsPeople Website to research the census and official data collected by the authorities. 2

War Memorials War Memorials list the names of those who died. How they are organised varies from memorial to memorial. They usually have the family name and initials of those who died. Key Information Name of the person you are going to research:

Additional Information Location on the memorial:

The Roll of Honour Rolls of Honour were usually complied between 1920 and 1939. They contains the name, rank, unit, casualty information, honours/decorations and the field(s) of services for each of the person who fought from a local area, work place, club or society.

Key Information Rank: Unit: Decorations: Additional Information Date of Death: Place of Death: Title of Roll: Roll Page No.:


The Commonwealth War Grave Commission Website (CWGC) The CWGC’s ‘Debt of Honour’ records the date and place in which the individual fell, their grave and their official forces number. Use this link: to search for your individual. Enter the details asked for in the ‘Search for

Casualty’, choose the relevant service and First World War from the drop down menus then left-click on ’Search’. The next page will display the search results. Left-click the name of person you are searching for to be given more details. You may need to work through a number of entries before finding the person you are looking for.

When you have found the correct person left-click on their name to be given more information. Use this information to complete the research over page.


Key Information Date of Death: Cemetery: Grave Reference: Service Number:

Additional Information Place of Death: Age: Other important information:

On the left-hand side of the ‘Casualty Details’ page you will

find a ‘View certificate’ link. You can save this document if you wish.


Local Newspaper Archives If you have the date of death it is possible to search the local press with a good degree of likely success. Given that no official information was provided by the army and other services we cannot assume that details of all casualties were carried in the newspapers, but we know that the local papers did try and provide as wide a coverage as possible and photographs whenever they could get them. You will need to search the newspapers for a number of weeks or a month after the date of death to find any information. From the press much more detail about the individual’s life and family relations can be gathered. The National Library of Scotland’s ‘Guide to Scottish Newspaper Indexes’ records the type of index, the dates covered, and the libraries where you can locate the copies. Use this link: to search for newspapers that would have been active in the local area during the First World War. You can search for newspaper by title or browse by area. When you have found a newspaper left-click on the name. From this page you will find out the location of the archive, its opening hours and who to contact. You can then contact the archive and make arrangements to visit the



ScotlandsPeople Website ScotlandsPeople contains all of the census and civil registration data on an individual, i.e. official data collected by the authorities. The website should contain the basic life story of a person. It is an expensive website to use so think carefully before going beyond any of the free searches. Use this link: to search for your individual. Step 1 Log into the website: You can purchase credits from local libraries or online. Step 2 1911 Census Search: On the left-hand side of the homepage you are given a selection of links. Left-click on 1911 under the ‘Census Records’ heading. Step 3 Search the 1911 Census: Enter as much detail as you can in the search

categories. You will be able to work out their age range by using their age and year of death and counting back to 1911. When you are ready left-click ‘Do the search’ and on the next page select ‘Yes’.

Searching Records: All records at the time were hand written. This means that a person’s name can have different spellings in different sources. So the more detail you can put into searches the more accurate the results should be.


Step 4 Viewing the records:

A new box will appear above the search details telling you how many records match your search. If you are happy with this select ’View (1 credit)’. This does cost money so only view the records if you are sure you have not made a mistake entering the details. Step 5 Viewing the Original

To view the original left-click on the ‘View (5 Credits)’ box in the ‘Image’ column. If you are sure on the next page select ‘Yes’. You will now be shown a high resolution photograph of the original document. The documents can be difficult to read - take your time and zoom in to help you.

1911 Census

Key Information Parents and age: Brothers and Sisters and ages:

Occupation: Gaelic Speakers: Disability:

Additional Information Age in 1911: Address: Number of Rooms with windows: Relationship Status: Married ~ Widowed ~ Single Industry: Birthplace: 8

Birth Certificate: Step 1 Left-click ‘Births’ on the left-hand side of the page. Now repeat Step 3 to 5 to locate and view your person’s Birth Certificate. Now record the results below.

Key Information Place of Birth: Name and Ages of Parents:

Additional Information Date of Birth: Occupation of Father: Place of Parents Marriage:

Date of Parents Marriage:

Marriage Certificate: If your person was married or widowed then you can search for their marriage certificate. Repeat the steps above to find their certificate.

Key Information

Occupation: Names of Parents:

Additional Information Date of Marriage: Location of Marriage: Denomination of Religion:

Address: Occupation of Father: 9

The Final Report Name: Date of Death: Place of Birth: Parents’ names and occupations: Address in 1911: Size of house: Occupation: Family: Gaelic speaking: Disability: Rank: Service Number: Unit: Location of Grave: Grave Reference: Picture [if available]:


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