Since 2004, The Derby and Derbyshire War Memorials Project has been working to preserve and record war memorials across the County. This project was founded by Chris Preston and Richard Clarke, not only to preserve the memorials themselves for posterity, but also to record the fascinating stories behind the names on those memorials. They are also working closely with the Imperial War Museum, and anything they record is being contributed to the National Inventory of War Memorials.
Cllr Amo Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture & Tourism said:
This is an important project which recognises the service and sacrifice of local people during wartime. By preserving and recording our cultural heritage this project aims to capture and share valuable research and memories from the past. It will chronicle and honour the contribution of those named for generations to come.”
The project is sponsored by the Midlands (East) Branch of the Western Front Association and there are photographs of war memorials, war graves and family headstones from around the County on their website. The site also contains touching tributes to Derbyshire servicemen and women who were killed in action and stories about wartime incidents along with useful links to websites for military and family history research. The research is ongoing and a Facebook group has also been set up for people to connect and share their memories, photos and support for the project.
Mark Young, Local and Family History Services Manager said:
The library is delighted to receive this valuable research and help ensure its long-term preservation and accessibility. Chris and Richard are doing a fantastic job of gathering this information together for the county and I would encourage anyone with an interest or information to share to join the project.”
The accumulated research from the project will be presented to Derby Local Studies and Family History Library at 11am on Saturday 11 November. These records will then be added to the library’s online archive, Derby’s History to ensure their long-term preservation and enable public access to the memorials and associated research. This content will be regularly updated as the project research continues.