One hundred years ago, on 11th November 1918, the guns fell silent on the world’s first truly global war. This is a significant and poignant anniversary, which is to be marked at world, national and local levels.
Everyone is touched in some way by the First World War and the generation who lived through it. Military records reveal that 8.5 million people lost their lives between 1914 and 1918, and 21.2 million soldiers were wounded. In our Shaw and Crompton community, 347 brave young men were killed, or died of their injuries, during the conflict. Many others contributed massively towards the war effort with their hard work, whether in factories and coal mines, munition works or in medical, nursing or voluntary services.
As part of our Remembrance commemorations, History students will be taking part in lessons to encourage them to think about all those who lived through this tragic and remarkable time. We would ask that all students attempt some research into the lives of their ancestors who were alive at the time of the First World War, to find out more about what they were doing at the time in support of the war effort. If anyone has an ancestor who was killed in the war, then the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a website where a register of deaths can be searched: www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead.
For those students who find it difficult to research an ancestor, then they could choose to find out about a name listed on a war memorial – either on our local memorial in Shaw town centre or on one of the many of local war memorials found in every city, town or village, and often in local churches.
All we ask pupils to do is to produce one page of A4 (maximum) which contains details of one named individual together with a brief description of what they did, either at home or on the Front, during the First World War. If possible, also attach a photograph. We will be creating a display of poppies to mark the Remembrance celebrations and it would be lovely to be able to include the name of your chosen soldier, especially if they are related to you in some way.
As part of the ‘Thank you’ campaign, the British Legion is encouraging everyone to share their research or join in the commemorations by tweeting #Thankyou100
We thank you in advance for your time taken in research, and believe it is a fitting way to remember our ancestors and mark whatever their contribution was during the First World War. Please do visit the British Legion website for more information about the campaign; rbl.org.uk/thankyou.
Ms K Heywood and the History Department.