ABC of the Website – simple instructions for the newcomer

This website is really a blog. It has two components – Pages and Posts.

Pages contain more or less unchanging background information about the site as a whole. You can open them by “clicking” the links which appear just above the picture of the soldier at the top of your screen.

Posts are the active part of the site. In this case, they are the biographies of the people whose names either appear on the Grange Hill War Memorial, on the list which appeared in the Deeside Advertiser of 22nd December 1922 or have been discovered in other sources. The biographies are being written and posted roughly in alphabetical order. You are encouraged to comment on posts. To this extent, they are “live”: it is hoped that they will constantly expand and grow in accuracy as more people contribute.

How to find a particular biography: Due to the fact that the biographies are not being written and posted consistently in alphabetical order, the starting point for finding a particular biography is the page called NamesHere you will find three groups of names:

1) The 334 names which appear on the First World War Section of the Grange Hill War Memorial.

2) The 37 names which were published in the article describing the unveiling of the Grange Hill Memorial in the Deeside Advertiser of 22nd December 1922. For unknown reasons, these names were not inscribed on the Memorial, even though some of them appear either on the Hoylake Holy Trinity and St. Hildeburgh’s Church Memorials or on the West Kirby St. Bridget’s Memorial.

3) The growing number of names found in other sources. Research is constantly revealing names of people from the area who died during the Great War who were not recorded in the above two lists. In each case, the source in which they were discovered is listed beside the name.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know whether someone’s biography has been written up? His or her name will be highlighted; “click” on the name and you will be taken straight to it.

Why is there not a biography for every single person? Because they have not all been written up yet. Most of the primary sources have been collected and I and my helpers are writing biographies as quickly as we can. However, it is important to make the biographies as thorough and as accurate as possible. This takes time.

How can I comment on a biography? “Click” on the “Reply” button which appears at the bottom of each post and write your comment in the box. I will reply as soon as I can.

When do you think all the names will be covered? It is not possible to answer this question accurately, but probably within the next four years. In other words (completely coincidentally) within the period of the Centenary of the Great War. However, the work will proceed more quickly if more people contribute.

Can I help with the project? You certainly can: as I said above, I have collected most of the primary sources relating to the people on the list of names. If you would like to write biographies, I will send this material to you. You don’t need any special qualifications or experience, just a willingness to try to make people from the past come to life. Get in touch with me if you are interested.

What sources have you used to write the biographies? The staple sources are as follows:

  • The Book of Remembrance which is kept at West Kirby Library
  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website, which has facilities for searching both cemeteries and individual casualties
  • Soldiers Died in the Great War, a database which is available on CD Rom from here or by subscribing to Ancestry.co.uk
  • Soldiers’ individual records including Medal Cards and Service Records. These are available on a pay to view basis on the National Archives Website or at Ancestry.co.uk
  • Genealogical sources also available at Ancestry.co.uk, including birth, marriage and death certificates, baptism, marriage and burial records, probate records, censuses and members’ public family trees.
  • Memorial inscriptions in local church yards and cemeteries.
  • Local Directories such as the Hoylake and West Kirby Green Book of 1911
  • Secondary sources including regimental histories such as Arthur Crookenden’s history of the Cheshire Regiment during the Great War.
  • Local Newspapers, especially the Deeside Advertiser and Birkenhead News held at Wirral Archives and the Liverpool Echo held at the British Newspaper Archive

Other one-off sources often emerge during the research process and family members are sometimes kind enough to share memorabilia.

What about the many local people who did not die during the Great War? Many of these are mentioned in the biographies of the war dead, but it is hoped at some point to begin posting biographies of local people who served and came home. But for the moment, the casualties are our priority.

 

 

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