First World War centenary
From now until 2018 communities are coming together to commemorate and remember the lives of those who lived, fought and died in the First World War.
August 2014 marked the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, a turning point in world history. The First World War claimed the lives of millions of people across the globe and has shaped the society we live in today. We are all connected to the First World War through our own family history and the heritage of our local communities.
Remembering those who fought and died
The names on War memorials across the borough have been captured in a memorial booklet. The result of working with town and parish councils in the borough, the booklet appears below.
Basingstoke and Deane’s First World War heroes are also being commemorated by the public exhibition of a Roll of Honour drawn up in 1916 – attached below.
A copy of the original is on show at the Willis Museum (opening times Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm).
The original Roll of Honour is held at the Hampshire Record Office, in Sussex Street, Winchester, where it is available for public viewing.
More than 1,200 local service men who fought in the Great War are named on the document, which has been digitally enhanced and preserved by Hampshire Records Office in special packaging for future generations to view.
The Basingstoke Roll of Honour carries the inscription ‘Lest we Forget’ Men of the Borough of Basingstoke who served in H M Forces in the European War 1914 to1919.
According to local historian David Stewart, Miss Alice Fisher of Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke, presented the Mayor and Basingstoke Town Council with a Roll of Honour in June 1916, This was a large scroll naming local men who were serving in or who had been serving in the Forces up to that time.
The list of 1,036 names had been inscribed by Mr Ernest Henry George Bolley, of Winchester Road, Basingstoke, and it was agreed by the Mayor and Miss Fisher that Mr Bolley would further inscribe the names of men joining up afterwards following the conclusion of the war.
Ernest, aged 36, had not been called up but volunteered for Military Service and joined the Royal Engineers in July 1916. He survived the war and added a number of names to the Roll of Honour afterwards.
The names listed on the Roll of Honour are only of those serving in the Military, namely the Army, Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force, along with Basingstoke men who have emigrated to parts of the Commonwealth and served in the Forces of Canada and Australia. English members of the French Red Cross and Merchant Marine who served during the Great War were not added to the Roll of Honour.