WW1 Soldiers London

London's fallen in WW1 - The London War Memorial


Many of the men on the London War Memorial  have no known grave and are commemorated on Memorials to the Missing, such as that at Thiepval on the Somme and the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli. Royal Naval personnel rarely have graves and have their own memorials at either, Chatham, Portsmouth or Plymouth. Visits to cemeteries along the Western Front and in other arenas where the war was fought have provided photographs of the headstones of those who do have a grave and these are gradually being added to the individual profile pages. Eventually it is hoped to have a photograph of all the headstones where they exist but this will be very difficult in those more remote and often inaccessible cemeteries. A trip to the Gaza War Cemetery or the North Gate War Cemetery in Baghdad is not envisaged in the near future. Some of the photographs of the headstones are difficult to read and this reflects the state of the actual headstones themselves. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a programme of re-etching the names into the stone, but with so many to do this inevitably takes a long time. The other information comes from a variety of sources and a bibliography has been included.

Something that needed careful consideration was how to define London. One hundred years ago the population of London was approximately 5 million and the boundaries of the city were quite different. To the south, Surrey and Kent came right up to the river as did Middlesex in the north. Most of the East End was contained in the county of Essex and it was only the City of London that had its own identity.

To resolve this problem it was decided to refer to a map of the city at the time and to include areas of unbroken development and, apart from parks, no open countryside. Maps published by Casini provide this information and one showing London in 1920 has been used to create this memorial.

Many places that are now part of Greater London, such as Bromley, Sutton, Bexley, Romford, Chingford, Enfield, Mill Hill, Harrow and Kingston have been excluded from the main lists but it is hoped that they will be added at a later date.

Use the location area list to find WW1 Soldiers records in London boroughs such as Hounslow, Enfield, Camden, Hammersmith, Greenwich and Chelsea.

Another problem was to determine the criteria to use when deciding what was meant by being a Londoner. As it stands at the moment all people who were listed as being resident in London have been included, even if they were born elsewhere. Those who were born in London but were resident elsewhere have not yet been included. However, the vast majority included on this memorial, over 80%, are people who were born and lived in London This of course has presented many problems and no doubt there are a number of men and women included on the memorial who do not strictly belong and similarly, there are those who should be included but have not been. Any information about such discrepancies would be welcomed. All those listed on the memorial have been linked to a particular area of the city but one thing to bear in mind is that records from 100 years ago are far from comprehensive and sometimes the area refers to where the individual was born, that being the only information available. A search of more than one area is often advisable. For example a person from Barnsbury might be included in that list, or they may well be in the Islington list.


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