Names Familiar To All

The stories of the East Ilsley War Memorial

Many people have helped with this project, and I would first like to thank the relatives of those named on the memorial who have so kindly shared information and photographs; and also all the local people who have searched their memories for me. Of course, no one remembered the First World War, but knowledge of families often yielded useful background, just as it did for research into our Second World War casualties. Small details can often be vital clues which can shine a light into the mist, and are often more important than they may seem.

Secondly I thank the members of the Great War Forum who have been so generous with their knowledge. Whatever the question, you are sure to find someone there who knows the answer, or can tell you where to find it. Many of them have also shared documents and provided photographs for the project. While researching our men, I have learnt a great deal more about the Great War, and this is largely due to the GWF and the website from which it sprang, The Long Long Trail. Special thanks to Chris Baker for founding both.

Thanks also to:

Tracing the footsteps of these men has been a fascinating and moving journey, and a privilege. I have found information in various sources including parish registers, censuses, school records, and local newspapers. In most cases it was not possible to refer to individual service records, as unfortunately the majority of WWI soldiers' records were destroyed by bombing in 1940, while WWII records are not yet available to the general public. However, stories can be pieced together using other resources such as war diaries, medal rolls, and regimental histories. Sometimes I have fallen back on speculation, but hope that I have not got anything wildly wrong. Any errors are my own, and any corrections will be welcomed.