When Westbourne Library manager Jenny Young was researching the names of fallen soldiers on the First World War memorial in Moordown St John’s Church she discovered that several of them were not listed in Bournemouth Council’s Book of Remembrance.
They were not the only names missing.
It seems that other parishes in Bournemouth also had names from their memorials not included in the book, as Richard Preston, who has been working on the memorial cross at St James Church in Pokesdown, found out.
At first Jenny was mystified, but then realised the possible reasons for their absence.
“Shortly after the war an appeal was sent out for Bournemouth residents to submit to the council the names of soldiers who had died in the conflict to create a permanent record.
“For various reasons not all families responded,” said Jenny, who has done extensive research on more than 1,000 soldiers’ names and is in the process of compiling the first complete roll of honour for Bournemouth.
Some families preferred to keep their grief private, others would have found applying too daunting because of literacy problems and another group could have been out of the area at the time and might not have been aware an appeal even existed.
Now Jenny Young and Moordown Local Historical Group have managed to find sufficient evidence on 14 of the missing soldiers to have their names added to the original Bournemouth’s Book of Remembrance by an official calligrapher.
Jenny will be placing flowers on some of the soldiers’ graves in France in September.