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The lives of our WWI heroes

Carol Malone pictured in front of the Yeoman Park War Memorial, Mansfield Woodhouse.

Carol Malone pictured in front of the Yeoman Park War Memorial, Mansfield Woodhouse.

The descendants of fallen heroes from World War One can now find out more about their relatives thanks to an online initiative.

Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC)’s website Roll of Honour allows people to track down information about the people whose names are engraved on the county’s war memorials.

Carol Malone, of Mansfield, is one of a team of volunteer researchers, led by Major John Cotterill, who have devoted their spare hours to investigating the lives behind the names of soldiers.

She said: “The whole point is to make sure this is not just a list of names on a plaque or a stone memorial. We want to remember them for who they were.

“Initially it was just something to do but you do get drawn in - the stories grab you.

“My great uncle Edwin was killed in Gallipoli at the age of 21. He had only worked in the pit and joined up within days of the war starting. He was shipped out on February 28th 1915, he landed there on April 28th and was killed on May 9th. His active war was only two weeks. His photograph was on my grandparents’ wall as I was growing up. They named their eldest son, my uncle, after him.

“You become a bit of an expert. I have got a lot of books now. It’s a huge subject.”

She has unearthed a trove of local stories which all end tragically.

The Cudworth brothers signed up on the same day and died within a week of each other: Thomas died while saving lives in Gallipoli while Samuel died of typhus. The three Lilliman brothers died over the course of three years, a death for every year. Elias Orton had been wounded at Ypres, and was returning home on the HMS Anglia when it was sunk by a mine. His death was closely followed by the death of his infant son. Polly Jepson was working with the Queen Mary Auxillary when she got meningitis and died one week before the end of the war.

People can log and contribute to The Nottinghamshire Great War Roll of Honour at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/rollofhonour.

 

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