During the First World War men and boys from more than 16,000 parishes in England and Wales joinedt the Army. Of all these villages there were only 53 so called “Thankful Villages” – places to which everyone returned alive. The village of Skelsmergh (Cumbria, England, UK) was sadly not one: 25 men with links links to the tightknit community died .
Photograph of Jona George Thompson shared by a relative for the exhibition “Men on the Memorial”, Skelsmergh, October 2014. CC BY-SA
In our new online exhibition The Men on the Memorial you can now read the stories behind the names of these 25 men from Skelsmergh who did not return. This virtual exhibition is based on the physical original one of the same name that has been displayed in Skelsmergh in October 2014.The Men on the Mmeorial has been made entirely by the people from Skelsmergh and surrounding villages. With help from local researchers and relatives of those who died they dived into the lives of the men behind the names on the WW1 monument in the parrish church.
It is an inspiring example of a great initiative to honour and commemorate the local men who gave their lives during the First World War. Perhaps you can do this too and tell the stories behind the names of the men on the memorial near you.