St Boswells remembers war dead with new website

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A web page paying tribute to the men named on St Boswells’ war memorial is being unveiled on Sunday.

The town’s community council, in particular Eleanor and Allan Drummond and Earlston historian John D Smith, gathered background on each of the men’s military actions as part of its ‘More Than Just a Name’ project.

The group has studied census records, valuation rolls and military documents and invited descendants to add to and correct their biographies before uploading them to the new website.

“They were more than just names on a plaque – real people with real lives, loves, careers and dreams, and it seems fitting to remember and honour that, as well as the enormity of the loss to their immediate families and friends, and to their community,” community council chairman John Pollock said.

“By providing a short personal profile of each individual, as well as contemporaneous accounts from war diaries and similar documents, it is hoped that visitors to the website will discover a more rounded picture of each man.

“The biographies have been researched as respectfully and carefully as possible. We have tried to avoid making assumptions, and where there are doubts about the identity of the soldier, we have said so.

“The loss of military records during the Blitz in the Second World War means that there are gaps in available information.”

The website is at www.st-boswells-war-memorial.org.uk, and it will be officially launched on Sunday with signage featuring its web address and a scan code being unveiled next to the village war memorial. Anyone wishing to add information to it can email memorialnames@outlook.com

The commmunity council has also erected a silhouette next to the war memorial as part of the national There But Not There campaign.

On Sunday, a service will be held in St Boswells Church at 10am, followed by a parade to the war memorial for a ceremony at 11am.

A presentation of a cheque for £100 will be made afterwards, on behalf of the village, to PoppyScotland.

“This is in recognition of the debt we owe our armed forces community for the past, the present and the present,” John added.