Behind every name on the Warwick War Memorial in Church Street is a human story, which brings home to succeeding generations the sacrifices made by individuals and their families who lived in the town one hundred years ago.
During the course of my research I realised that many families lost more than one son and several small streets, churches and schools lost a significant number of their community.
Many of the men were in their late twenties and thirties, some were husbands and fathers whilst others never had the opportunity to get married or have children.
Some came from wealthy families, others were the sons of tradesmen, whilst many came from poor backgrounds. No one was exempt. They were surveyors and solicitors, clerks and labourers, railwaymen and career soldiers, butchers and bakers – and one nursing sister. Some enlisted or were called up straight from school or university, others had emigrated but came back to serve their country of birth.
They all deserve to be remembered and this is why we at Unlocking Warwick – the Court House community volunteers – have set up this website. We want people to discover what happened to their own relatives, or people who lived in their house or street or attended their church or school. We want to gather together information from a variety of sources into one place so that anyone can delve into the story of each one of Warwick’s fallen.
A key source of information is the Warwickshire County Record Office in Priory Park. They hold back copies of the Warwick Advertiser newspaper and Warwick ‘Shrine Slips’. Our research has been carried out using original documents and British Newspapers Online.
But for more personal information we would like you to tell us what you know about each individual, be it a photo of them, their house or memorial, or a snippet of information about their achievements and activities, so that we can build up a more comprehensive profile and reveal the person behind the statistic. Send us your stories.
We have included some articles which give a flavour of what life in Warwick was like during the war as well as highlighting the Regiments, Churches, Schools and other community groups who were, and are, part of the fabric of Warwick.
If you have an article or story that you would like to contribute, please contact us.
Several organisations have plans in place to mark the Centenary – we would be delighted to include a mention of your plans on this website. We can also include your events in Unlocking Warwick’s regular “What’s On in Warwick” guide.
Unlocking Warwick’s research group will continue to seek as much information as we can about the individuals named on the memorial before the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice in November 2018, but we will continue with this work indefinitely. And we aim to include the Warwick fallen of World War II; this project will follow in 2019, the eightieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.
SPECIAL THANKS to…
- The Town Clerk and members of the Warwick Town Council’s Community and Cultural Committee for providing funding for the launch of this website.
- Rick Thompson, Secretary of Unlocking Warwick, who has worked alongside me for countless hours setting up this website and writing many of the articles and features.
- The members of Unlocking Warwick Research group who are spending many hours finding information from a variety of sources, including the County Record Office whose staff have been most helpful.
Christine Shaw Warwick War Memorial Project, Unlocking Warwick