A 21st century memorial to Lincolnshire’s war dead will be launched online, 100 years after the start of the First World War.
The searchable database and interactive map will contain detailed information of every casualty and memorial across the area, as part of the Lincolnshire Remembrance project, made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Armed Forces Community Covenant grant programme.
Currently containing around 22,000 names and 2,700 memorials, thanks to local volunteer Charles Anderson, the web-based archive needs the support of volunteers to become as comprehensive as possible.
It is hoped people will fill in the gaps by submitting their own information, family stories, photos, and research.
This will uncover previously unknown facts and memorials, some of which are hidden away inside private buildings, as well as help create a database of importance to society.
As well as holding the basic details of every memorial, including location, conflict commemorated, inscriptions and state of repair, the archive will contain more personal details of those who lost their lives.
This could include when and where someone died, their regiment and service number, place of birth, where they were buried, photos, next of kin, obituaries and other specifics, all uncovered through research or added by the public.
It aims to be the most comprehensive list of Lincolnshire’s war dead and will also reveal the stories and memories behind the names.
Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for culture and heritage, said: “Almost every community in Lincolnshire has a war memorial of some kind, for conflicts ranging from the 19th century to the modern day.
“Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way of finding out and recording what is out there, who is remembered and what their personal story is.
“This new database brings together Lincolnshire’s complete story of sacrifice – and it is fitting that it should launch 100 years after the world’s first global conflict, which still resounds to this day.”
Cath Pike, war memorials officer for the Lincolnshire Remembrance project added: “This will be incredibly valuable not only as a resource for historians and those researching their family, but also to society as a whole.
“For the first time, everyone can see the human tragedies behind war and the impact conflict has had on our local communities.
“We’ll be working hard over the next few weeks on the database to improve the links between the memorials and the people commemorated on them.”
It is estimated that there are 3,000 war memorials in Lincolnshire, including the north and north east counties. These cover conflicts from the Crimea to Afghanistan. The new database aims to eventually feature every one.
The Lincolnshire Remembrance database launches on 8 August, in the week that marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. It will be available at www.lincstothepast.co.uk/warmemorials.
To get involved in the Lincolnshire Remembrance project, visit the website or contact Cath Pike at [email protected] or on 01522 554959.