Search for Cheltenham's unsung war heroes
Published on 19th May 2015
Cheltenham Borough Council is appealing for details of service men and women whose names have not been included in the Promenade war memorial.
There are 1284 names of soldiers who fell in World War One currently on the memorial.
With support from a number of local historians, the research aims to identify those who fit the criteria so that they can be added during the memorial’s on-going restoration.
The names of those on the memorial were collated after the war by the Gloucestershire Echo, using the paper’s fatality announcements and information from the public. This list was carefully checked against the war office list.
Since these lists were made, further information has been uncovered, which reveals several omissions. Now, volunteers are trawling through documents to confirm the names of those who could rightfully be added to the memorial, 100 years after they died.
Hannah Wright, Cheltenham Borough Council, lead officer for the ‘Cheltenham Remembers’ project, said: “Names were omitted at the time for a number of reasons, including inaccurate documents, having no next of kin, or bereaved family members feeling convinced that loved ones missing in action would return some day. In some instances, the medals of the deceased were actually returned to the war office by their next of kin. In these cases we have tried to contact living relatives.”
The following names have been identified as missing from the war memorial: Private Thomas Henry Baker; Private Alfred Belcher; Private John George Cox; Private Richard Fox; Member Elizabeth Hannah Jane Roberts; Private William Alfred Gill; and Private Leonard (born Francis Leonard).
Anybody with any information on those listed, or any other person they believe should be on the memorial, can email Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01242 775156. The criteria is men or women who were born in, or were residing in Cheltenham (under its present day boundary) at the time they joined up, and who died during active service, or of wounds or illness before 31st August 1921.
For press enquiries contact: Katie Sandey, communications team leader, 01242 775050, email@example.com
Marking the centenary of the First World War, the war memorial is currently in phase 2 of a restoration project.
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