Funding boost for Great War project

Not much is known about the names on the Boness War memorial
Not much is known about the names on the Boness War memorial

A project looking to discover more about the men who died in World War I has received a funding boost.

The Bo’ness Town Trust Association will get a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme, to undertake their project “Without Fear: tracing the Great War stories of the fallen on the Bo’ness War Memorial”.

Other than the name on the brass plate, The Trust says not much is known about the 398 men named on the town’s war memorial who died during or following active service in the Great War.

However, the project – named after the phrase on the town’s coat of arms – aims to address the knowledge gap, involving residents of all generations in shining a new light on the sacrifices made.

The stories of the fallen will be published in an illustrative book and an accompanying website, with exhibitions and talks held too.

Amateur researchers and members of the association Robert Jardine, Richard Hannah and Alan Gow have been tasked with undertaking the project on the Trust’s behalf.

School pupils will also participate and provide their own contributions.

It is hoped the project will enable the residents to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of those who lived through the Great War.

Robert Jardine said: “We’re delighted and grateful to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Where possible we hope to make contact with families or acquaintances of the casualties to record stories, facts and memories. Any surviving artefacts relating to the individual, particularly photographs, medals, memorial scrolls, service records and BMD certificates will be recorded. These will be included, with the permission of the owner, in our final book, website and exhibitions.

“The information obtained will help the community better understand that these men were ordinary townsfolk that went through extraordinary circumstances to ensure our current freedoms.”

Lucy Casot, head of HLF Scotland, said: “We are enabling even more communities like those involved in this project to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

If you have information on any of the names on the WW1 Bo’ness War Memorial, or would like further info, the project would like to hear from you either through the Bo’ness War Memorial – Without Fear Facebook group, Twitter account @bwmwithoutfear or email bwmwithoutfear@gmail.com.