Two volumes containing the names of every Lincolnshire soldier killed in the First World War are now in the safe and respectful hands of Lincoln Cathedral.
The books of remembrance are the result of extensive research by Lincolnshire Remembrance volunteer Charles Anderson, who painstakingly compiled a register of every WW1 soldier listed on known war memorials across the county. It is the first time the 18,124 names are listed in one public place.
The rolls of honour were presented to the Dean of Lincoln at a special service marking the outbreak of the conflict almost 100 years ago. They are now stored in the cathedral’s Wren Library and available to view on request.
Dean of Lincoln, The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, said: “These beautifully presented books contain a shocking reminder of just how very many Lincolnshire people gave their lives in the First World War. Each page contains lists of names illustrating the devastating effect of the war upon many of our local communities. I am glad that, 100 years on, we still remember them, and that their names are now held in honour here at Lincoln Cathedral”.
The tomes were ceremonially handed over by the winners of an art competition involving children from 15 of the county’s primary and secondary schools. Created to provoke thought on the nature of memorials, the winning artworks were from Eagle Primary, Ayscoughfee Hall Primary and South Axholme Academy.
The books were the brainchild of The Very Revered Philip Buckler and the county’s Lord Lieutenant Tony Worth. But it’s the research of Lincolnshire Remembrance volunteer Charles Anderson and his fieldworkers, the behind-the-scenes efforts of cathedral volunteer John Taylor, and a grant from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund that made the books reality.
The project was facilitated by Lincolnshire Remembrance, which is working with volunteers to create a searchable online database and interactive map of every war memorial in Lincolnshire.
This list of locations, names and stories of sacrifice will be there for all to see, a new kind of memorial for the 21st century – and beyond.
War memorials officer Cathryn Pike said:“We need people to research and tell us about the memorials they see. These monuments come in all shapes and sizes and we’d like to hear about any type and for any conflict. If you’re interested in helping, please get in touch.”
Charles Anderson, a volunteer with Lincolnshire Remembrance, the UK National Inventory of War Memorials and the Family History Society, researched the information used in the new books of remembrance.
He said: “Besides myself, a number of people were involved – without their efforts these two books would not be in existence. It’s the result of 13 years of recording and photographing all known war-related memorials in Lincolnshire for the War Memorial Archive. But I’m sure there are still some out there waiting to be found and recorded.”
To help discover them, people are invited to join the Lincolnshire Remembrance project, which is financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund and Lincolnshire County Council. For more information or to find out about volunteering opportunities, visit www.lincstothepast.com/warmemorials or call 01522 554959.
To arrange to see the new books of remembrance, contact Lincoln Cathedral’s Wren Library on 01522 561640.