Even though we appear to have investigated almost
all Buckinghamshire’s WWI memorials, we see two benefits. Firstly, sorry
for depriving you of our ‘Progress’. No excuses really, except that
our focus of attention has turned on the increasing number of casualties’
photographs – which is now just the direction we would like to turn
Clint Lawson is revisiting his 40K ROH records,
checking individual entries. It may take him some time to complete this
Sorry for depriving you of our ‘Progress’. No excuses
really, except that our focus of attention has turned on the increasing
number of casualties’ photographs – which is now just the direction
we would like to turn to.
Clint Lawson is revisiting his 40K ROH records
checking individual entries. It may take him some time to complete this
You might imagine that now we have covered almost
all the War Memorials in Buckinghamshire our work is done. But far from
it, it seems!
Recently our co-worker Clint Lawson has included
his Roll of Honour as a separate database under the Buckinghamshire
Remembers ‘umbrella’. His database contains the details of source
references to about 44000 records – not only those Bucks casualties
who lost their lives but also those who survived. These
references are taken from reports in local Bucks newspapers. Clint is
now re-checking all his records. As he completes each section of records
his cumulative database will be re-published.
Even though the Buckinghamshire Remembers project
is almost complete in so far as almost every Buckinghamshire war memorial
has been studied in depth, the rate at which additional information
and photographs are being sent to us is accelerating. To date we have
received information from 440 enthusiastic site visitors and we mention
them under Acknowledgements. So if you visit our website but
cannot find what you expect then do come back at a later date to investigate
what changes have been made.
One of the most exciting aspects of our work has
been the rapidly growing collection of photographs of casualties. Please
contact us using the Contact Us menu button to let us know if you have
We also hope that we can help those groups who,
mindful of the centenary of the outbreak of war, are currently preparing
detailed studies of the casualties in their Bucks locality.
It is a shock to us to realise that we haven’t
written a Progress Report since August 2011!
Perhaps the most dramatic way of indicating our
progress is by showing you the parishes we have visited in Buckinghamshire
– illustrated in red.
We must now decide whether we follow through the
many casualties who are mentioned in local newspapers but for one reason
or another were left off the parish War Memorial. Even if casualties
were listed on the War Memorial, the newspaper report could provide
us with additional information.
As in previous years, we exhibited our work at
the Buckinghamshire Family History Society Open Day in July and we were
gratified by the number of visitors who approached us – either we could
help them, or they could help us by way of photographs, etc. We are
now working on the photos and information given to us by the many interesting
people that we met. On 1 October we will have a stand at the Annual
Conference of the Buckinghamshire Local History Network at RAF Halton.
This year the theme is a military one.
We would like to acknowledge with much thanks a
grant from The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust.
The grant from the Buckinghamshire County Council
(Community Leaders’ Fund) to support our work has almost come to an
end so we are most grateful to the Skipton Building Society (who have
just opened a new branch in Wendover) for coming to our aid with a generous
We have recently had an excellent collaboration
with Lesley Perry, exchanging information relating to the casualties
of Chesham and district.
Our attention has now turned to Milton Keynes and
points further to the north east. We have been delighted to discover
some of the old villages from which Milton Keynes grew – Great Linford,
We have just realised that it is half a year since
we told you of our progress.
But we have been beavering away, honest!
Last summer we completed most of the smaller townships
around Slough but we shied off Slough because it seemed so fraught with
traffic, locked churches and overwhelmingly large War Memorials. So
we diverted our attention to the far north east of the county – the
delightful countryside around Olney. As usual we have been helped by
our like-minded colleagues, particularly Clint Lawson.
But within the last few days (24 December 2010)
we have been approached by a kindred spirit who has promised to share
his War Memorial findings in Slough and district. Oh what joy if he
can help us over our final hurdle!
It has been a long time since we told you about
our progress. Much of the delay is the result of Peter’s involvement
with the National Burial Index. Nevertheless, we have now covered 350
We have been concentrating on the south of the
county – Langley, Chalvey, Iver, Colnbrook and other places in that
area. We have encountered many casualties who appear on several war
memorials and it has been a matter of deep concentration to make sure
that the correct reference links between such memorials are maintained.
At the Open Day of the Buckinghamshire Family History Society in July
we had a stand next to The Friends of the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
and the Western Front Association. This was ideal! We renewed contact
with many friends and contributors. The lower part of the photo on the
right shows a map of our coverage – the orange colour indicates the
parishes already complete and the green indicates the parishes more
We will also be demonstrating our Project at the
Bucks Local History Network Conference at RAF Halton on 2 October.
We are still catching up, mainly on parishes in
the Taplow, Eton, Burham, Cippenham, Datchet area.
We have also introduced another option key called
‘Local WM Books’. This is an accumulating list of books about Buckinghamshire
We have had a set-back this month because our ISP
has made some fundamental changes to the way it uses its servers. Those
who have saved http://fp.underw.f9.co.uk/bucksrems in their Favourites
will find that this address no longer works. But you can use
as before and make this your Favourite or Bookmark.
We have not been able to add new information to
the website for several weeks but now we are starting to catch up. Until
we have completed this task you may find that a few links do not work
and we apologise for this.
On 25 July we exhibited the Buckinghamshire Remembers
project at the Buckinghamshire Family History Society Open Day. We were
gratified that so many visitors took an interest in what we were doing
and we were particularly pleased to be able to put a face to a name
of those who have corresponded with us over the three years we have
been involved. A number of visitors promised us photographs and these
started to arrive by email almost as soon as we got back home! Among
the visitors were two families who were offering DNA samples to support
the Frumelles Project following an article in the Bucks Herald.
For some time now we have realised that there is
a population of Casualties whom we have been unable to locate on any
Buckinghamshire memorial. We have yet to start researching this particular
group, but when we do you will be able to access these Casualties by
clicking the ‘Non-Memorials’ button which produces an alphabetically
sorted list. Clicking on the surname provides more detail – or you can
locate them via the ‘Casualties’ button. If you attempt to access these
names at the moment, a few fictitious, test entries are displayed.
Our website is now becoming better known within
the Great War Forum and we are receiving an increased number of portraits
and other references from relatives of the casualties. A significant
breakthrough arises from the interest of Harriet Snookes, a Reporter
of the Bucks Herald, who has taken a particular interest in our
work. She has enabled us to browse the Bucks Herald archive of
their newspapers during the war years. We realise, of course, that all
this additional information is going to slow us down but we favour the
adage that “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.
We are currently helping to trace the relatives
of the men of the OBLI who were killed at Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916.
They are some of the 400 casualties buried in a mass grave which is
now being excavated. It is hoped that some of the relatives who come
forward may be willing to collaborate in DNA testing so that the fallen
may be identified and given a proper burial.
We record all Casualties displayed on war memorials,
commemorative plaques and on headstones even if this means that a casualty’s
name appears several times in the website. A recent analysis has shown
that of the 5641 names recorded:
- 1064 names appeared two times
- 215 names appeared three times
- 37 names appeared four times
- 9 names appeared five times
- 1 name appeared six times.
So far in our project we have found that, ignoring
the ‘duplicated’ names, 4315 (76 per cent of 5641) men from Buckinghamshire
were reported killed in the Great War.
We have now almost completed High Wycombe and Marlow.
Around the 11 November there was a wonderfully
informative series of television programmes which focussed on many aspects
of the Great War. It was illuminating to be reminded of how miscalculations
when setting up the Armistice set the seeds for World War II.
We have now produced numerous links to Canadian
and Australian sources which describe casualties’ war experiences in
We have completed Denham and as the weather improves
we hope to concentrate on the southern-most memorials of the county.
A few weeks of consolidation focusing mainly on
the Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross parishes. It has been a painstaking
time for June and Harvey Weiner because so many casualties are duplicated
on a number of different war memorials, and so many casualties appear
to have originated outside the area.
A new search feature has been added. By clicking
on the ‘Photograph’ box on the search-set-up screen you can identify
those casualties for whom we have a personal photograph. This feature
can be combined with any of the other search facilities, such as name,
Peter has been in hospital with pneumonia. So while
June has had opportunities to do some research in between hospital visits,
only now are were getting to work as a team again.
We would like to acknowledge the help of Harvey
Weiner during recent months. He and June have worked closely together
researching the High Wycombe records. We cross-check each other’s work
and his help has often given us confidence in the assumptions we sometimes
have to make about casualties with similar names. There are many memorials
in High Wycombe and sometimes we feel it may be some time before we
can ‘break out’.
Articles in the local press and an interview on
local High Wycombe radio have clearly increased awareness of our project
and this has resulted in a number of welcome contacts from people with
photographs and tales to tell!
After a 3-week holiday in our beloved Wensleydale
(where we gave Edward Nicholl a hand with his war memorial website)
we returned to tackle The Royal Grammar School at High Wycombe and the
High Wycombe Cemetery. As usual, we found individual casualties mentioned
on different memorials and we are gradually teasing out the correct
documentation. We were most impressed by the Royal Grammar School, the
extent of its archive, and the general tone of the school.
Research on the many individuals listed on the
High Wycombe (Hospital) War Memorial continues but in between times
we are now focussing on the Chesham area – the cemetery, the war memorial
and the church. Some of the villages in that area have also now been
We are now ‘filling in the gaps’ of our knowledge
of the many casualties from the High Wycombe area. Remember that the
site is continually being updated. If you cannot find information on
a particular casualty, look again in a few days/weeks – more information
may then be available.
The most recent memorials are in the Beaconsfield
– Stoke Poges area.
We have added numerous links from casualties in
Canadian Regiments to the comprehensive Canadian websites where, for
example, Attestation Papers can be read.
We are very pleased to receive significant grants
- Councillor Bill Chapple
- Councillor Lesley Clarke
- Councillor Pauline Wilkinson, MBE
on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council (Community
Leaders’ Fund). These grants are most welcome because they are the first
we have received for Buckinghamshire Remembers.
Progress slow – researching the hundreds of casualties
on the High Wycombe (Hospital) war memorial.
When you come to list the memorials, an asterisk
(*) against a war memorial indicates that
the research has been largely completed.
A tilde (~) denotes
a war memorial where the research is currently incomplete. It may also
denote that the relevant war memorial page has not yet been constructed.
By observing how visitors actually use our site,
we see that they often avoid using the Help link at the Casualty search
set up screen, and they sometimes forget that a link on the casualty’s
tabulation of results will display additional information such as photographs.
To avoid the first problem, instructions are now embedded in the search
setup screen. To avoid the second problem, clicking a thumbnail of a
soldier will take you to additional information, if available. If additional
information is not available, a poppy is displayed.
Well, all thoughts of summer holidays are behind
us and we now turn our gaze on High Wycombe. This is going to be a big
one. We have just scratched the surface so far with Downley and Wycombe
Marsh. The High Wycombe War Memorial at the hospital is
It has taken us longer than we thought to check
and recheck the memorials and the casualties from the north of the county
down to the area just south of Aylesbury. But during this summer we
have ventured into the Hambleden Valley area to the south of High Wycombe,
the Chalfonts, Holmer Green, Penn and other adjacent areas.
We are disappointed that our attempts to obtain
grants to offset our out-of-pocket expenses (which are considerable)
have come to nothing so far. But our enthusiasm is not diminished. We
have met some delightful people and their willingness to help by way
of stories and photographs has made it all worthwhile.
The first months of this year have been spent consolidating
what we have recorded – checking – particularly how we present casualties
that appear on more than one memorial. But we have also started to record
the memorials to the south west of High Wycombe. Among these we have
included the delightful villages of West Wycombe, Frieth, Fingest, Turville,
and Hambleden. Once again we encounter casualties that appear on more
than one memorial.
Having set up a casualty search, the search ‘keys’
are displayed at the top of the list of matches so you have more information
to enable you to refine the search if necessary. The number of matches
and the current total of records is now placed at the foot of the table
The most recent memorials investigated are marked
* in the Memorials List.
We have now started to display medals, for example,
CSM A. Brown of The Lee.
It is now possible to search on Cemeteries or
Memorials in the Casualties search. These are usually the cemeteries
abroad. As with searches on forenames, you need only type part of the
cemetery name – no wildcards are required. When you include a cemetery
in the search, the cemetery name is included in the List of Matches.
Without a cemetery included in the search, the Regiment is listed, as
before. Take care to refine your search if necessary by inspection of
the List of Matches. If you search for ‘tyn’ there are 176 matches (so
far). If you search for ‘zonnebeke’, there are 178 matches because there
are more cemeteries than ‘Tyne Cot’ in Zonnebeke. Please read the ‘Hints
on searching for casualties’.
We have now added nearly 130 Memorials and 3000
Casualties to Buckinghamshire Remembers, focussing on the parishes extending
from the Buckinghamshire county boundary in the north, to those just
south of Aylesbury. Some details of a number of records are still missing,
waiting until we can complete the research.
We are tending to avoid visiting major new Memorials
for the time being so that we can check and consolidate our existing
In the List of memorials, a red asterisk against
the name of a Memorial indicates that it has been added within the last
few weeks. When these ‘new’ Memorials have been listed for about a month,
the asterisk will be removed.
On the Home page we now give the date on which
the site was last updated. We usually try to upload the site every few
days as more detail is added.
We would like to thank those who have taken an
interest in our work and have sent photographs and additional information,
particularly after the recent article in the Bucks Herald.
A new ‘BR’ icon has been made which should appear
to the left hand side of your Favourites entry for Buckinghamshire Remembers.
If your Favourites for ‘BR’ is already present you should delete it
and make a new one.