British Military & Criminal History:
1900 to 1999.
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This section of the web site deals with some of the war memorials that I have studied. They are all indicative of the huge social impact of the two world wars; especially of the Great War or First World War.
For an excellent series of articles about the CWGC, its history and the architects involved in the original designing of the monuments and cemeteries please visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's web site.
For each of the featured memorials I have endeavoured to examine the names in one of two ways depending upon whether the person is assumed to have been in the Army or the Navy and Air Force.
Firstly I examined the WWI or WWII soldiers' who died publication, now both available on CD-ROM, and then to examine the corresponding entry in the CWGC's Debt of Honour facility. Hopefully the surname, plus any initials, together with any birthplace or residence information, is unique enough to provide a reasonable certainty that a particular casualty is indeed the person listed on the war memorial.
If there does not appear to have been a match in the first stage, then I assume that the casualty was not in the Army. In which case, I went straight to examining the entries in the CWGC's Debt of Honour facility. Hopefully the entry has either birth or residency information, which has led me to the conclusion that this is probably the correct person. However, not all Debt of Honour entries have such geographic information.
However, in either case I can't be definitely certain beyond any doubt whatsoever that the information presented on these pages is absolutely correct; unless the surname and initials are so unique that a positive entry can be presented. Also a relatively common set of initials and name, such as "Smith, Arthur", can be so common that I am unable to say which "Smith, Arthur" corresponds to the memorial entry.
Please contact me if you feel an entry is indeed incorrect. I do intend to continue my research and to complete as much information as I can on the people commemorated on these memorials.
The cemeteries contain headstones of a standard pattern. At the top of each headstone is engraved the national emblem or the service or regimental badge, followed by the rank, name, unit, date of death, age and the appropriate religious emblem. At the foot of the headstone there is, in many cases, an inscription chosen by the relatives. This standard pattern is observed regardless of the rank or former position of the commemorated person.
In certain cemeteries, stone or bronze plaques on low pedestals are used. This is due to the local climate making the use of headstones impractical.