Thursday 12 June 2014

LondonDerry's War Memorial records launch online

Derry's War Memorial portrays Peace
holding the laurel wreath of Victory aloft
Records of soldiers from Derry-Londonderry who fought and died during the First World War have been uploaded to  PRONI's website today. The official launch, by Carál Ní Chuilín, the Minister of Culture, will take place at the Tower Museum, Derry, on Thursday 19 June at 2:30pm.

Bernadette Walsh, Archivist from Derry City Council, gives some background to the Derry War Memorial Records: "For this project, four volumes have been digitised, providing additional information about the soldiers whose names appear on the memorial. The original volumes, which date from 1926, remain with the Derry City Council Archive collection.

“The volumes contain forms which were sent out by the Secretary of the City of Derry War Memorial Committee to the next of kin of the fallen soldiers. The forms were then returned to the Committee prior to the names being included on the War Memorial itself.

"The forms contain details about each soldier, including their rank, regimental number, any military honours they received, and the name and address of their next of kin”.

Next of kin could also provide details of the nature  and date of the soldier's death, their 'native place' if not originally from LondonDerry and any other information they wished to include.

The War Memorial Records are in the LondonDerry Corporation Records section of PRONI online. Researchers can view a series of pdfs ordered alphabetically by surname of soldier.  

Derry's War Memorial was erected in 1927 and stands in the Diamond, at the centre of the old walled city. Designed by Vernon March of Kent, England, it consists of a central column surmounted by a graceful female figure of Peace, holding aloft the laurel wreath of Victory. The central column is flanked by lower columns – one contains a soldier in the act of taking a trench and a sailor on the deck of a ship. Four panels contain the names of those who died.