Sunday, December 31, 2006

Chailey 1914-1918 - One Year Old

Chailey 1914-1918 is one year old today. It was one of my resolutions in 2006 to publish the story of Chailey's Great War on-line and I made it with, I think, about an hour and a half to spare. In the intervening twelve months the website has been updated many times and will continue to be so.

I have been fortunate that a number of relatives have come forward with additional information that has enabled me to update biographies and, in a number of cases, add photographs of the participants. Having researched Chailey during the Great War for the past twenty five years, finally putting a face to a name, or identifying a previously unknown individual from a faded sepia photograph is particularly gratifying.

2007, the ninetieth anniversary of the Battles of Arras and Passchendaele, may well see the last of Britain's First World War veterans fading away. Nevertheless, the "war they called Great" still exercises a powerful hold on people. It's popularity as a research topic seems to increase with every week and will presumably reach a crescendo with the centenary commemorations in 2014, 2015 etc.

My own grandfather and his four brothers served during the Great War, as did a maternal great grandfather and numerous distantly related great uncles. The very least we can do is to acknowledge their sacrifices.

A very happy New Year to you all.

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