As I’ve researched the past for my novel about a family in search of its roots, it has taken me to many interesting places, even some that I thought I knew quite well. As a child I remember seeing old men who had been damaged and disabled by the 1st World war, and I learnt about it at school, and as an adult read about the dreadful events 1914-18, and watched programmes and films.
I came across the National Roll of the Great War, in which the service of men and women is recorded. here are some moving samples I came across:
“He volunteered in February 1915, and proceeded to the Western Front in the course of the same year. He saw much severe fighting in various sectors of the line, Ypres, and on the Somme, at Albert, Thiepval, and Aveluy Wood in 1916. He took part in the capture of Bullecourt in April 1917, and being severely wounded, was sent to hospital in England, and was discharged as unfit for further service in the following November. He holds the 1914-15 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals.”
“He volunteered in December 1914, and proceeded to the Western Front in the following year. He saw very much heavy fighting in actions at Loos, in the neighbourhood of Ypres and at other points of the line. In the course of these engagements he was badly gassed, and sent to the base hospital in France. On recovery he rejoined his unit, and fought at Cambrai and in the British Retreat and Advance of 1918. Returning home after the Armistice, he was finally demobbed in 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.”
“He was called up from the Reserve in August 1914 and shortly afterwards was sent to the Western Front. Whilst in this theatre of war he took art in many engagements, including the Battles of La Bassée, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle and Hill 60, and was killed in action at Richebourg on May 16th, 1915. He was entitled to the 1914 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals.”