Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Additional info - Matthew Jones

The entry for Matthew Jones has been updated today with a photograph, newspaper article giving information about his occupation and family notices from the Liverpool Echo.

Click here to go to the updated post.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Private Joseph Morris identified!

Up until now I have only been able to say that Joseph Morris was the brother of Frank Morris (also on the memorial) that he had pre-war military experience and that he was with Frank on the 1911 census but their mother did not include Joseph on a list of family members on an army form in 1919. This circumstantial evidence led me to say that Frank's brother was a possible ID for the Joseph on the memorial. I had no way of knowing which Joseph Morris he was on the CWGC though.

With the release of the Army Register of Soldier's Effects on Ancestry has come a breakthrough, the entry for Frank Morris's effects shows that some of his money went to his brother, S/13973 Pte Joseph (Morris). Elated at finding this clue I quickly went to the CWGC website and searched for this soldier... he wasn't there. Could it be that Frank's brother had survived and this was an unrelated Morris on the memorial? I just didn't think so, after all the hard work that had gone into identifying Frank I just knew that there had to be something else to find.

Enter the Medal Rolls, also on Ancestry. The Medal Index Cards have been available for some time but the rolls have recently been released and they have the added bonus of giving the previous regiments and regimental numbers for soldiers, and sometimes their enlistment and discharge dates too. So I searched for Joseph Morris S/13973 and got nothing again, until I looked more closely at the results and saw that Pte Joseph Morris S/43185 had a previous regimental number of S/13973, this was the brother of Frank! He served with the Seaforth Highlanders, previously with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Why these Scottish Regiments when his previous service was with The King's (Liverpool Regiment?) who can say, the necessities of war perhaps.

Taking this regimental information back to the CWGC website I found his entry, showing that Private Joseph Morris of 2nd Battalion the Seaforth Highlanders died on 11 April 1917, his name is engraved on Bay 8 of the Arras Memorial.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Raising Money

It's all gone a bit quiet on the blogging front as there are few things to add to the researched information. I'm still busy with the project though, visiting schools and leading remembrance assemblies, teaching children about the meaning and importance of war memorials and hopefully inspiring them to take an interest in their local memorials.

There is also the fundraising, not much has been said about this yet as I'm waiting to see how much money is available from grants first, then we will have a target amount to fundraise.

We will have to raise a total of about £10,000 though, I will be applying for money from the War Memorials Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund but if you can think of any other grants or associations who might contribute, please let me know !


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Remembrance Sunday

Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday and I will be attending the 4pm Remembrance Service at St James, Toxteth. I will also be bringing a display of children's work - just a small display!

Windsor Community Primary School, very close to St James's Church, have been very busy since September learning about the First World War, visiting the Museum of Liverpool and holding their own WW1 day. They have kindly lent some of the children's work which has been chosen and arranged by a group of their children. I had a lovely time working with a group of 9 children from across the school and was impressed with the work they have been doing.

I have also managed to work with a small group of children in Woolton, looking at the sources of information I have researched for the men of the memorial. They have created collage posters presenting information about 3 of the men from the memorial so far.

Next week I will also be taking the story of the memorial and some of my WW1 resource to a school in Garston for two days of special WW1 Remembrance activities.

The centenary of WW1 has only just begun, it will continue until the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, but schools have certainly embraced the topic and I hope to be spending more time with local children spreading the story of our memorial and sharing the message of remembrance that goes with it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Thank you to everyone who came to say hello and find out more about the War Memorial Project on the recent open day at the church and at the Museum of Liverpool - the image on the left is my stand at the Museum WW1 family history day.

For those who couldn't make it, here's a bit of an update on how things are going:

The research of the men of the St James's  war memorial continues; I am waiting to receive some copies of birth and marriage certificates to fill in some dates and have recently been contacted by relative of another one of the men.

I will be going in to some Liverpool schools to share the story of the memorial and produce some work with the children about the memorial and remembrance day.

The recent open days have raised £175 for the memorial fund and forms are almost complete for a grant from the War Memorials Trust.

This week I have been ascertaining the legal status of the memorial, as I believe it was stolen from the church before 1985 (when the church was listed) the memorial itself is not a part of the listed building.  Because the church has been returned to the diocese, we will need a faculty for installing the memorial in it's original place, not listed building consent. With these preliminary enquiries out of the way I can now complete the application forms for the grant.