The stories of the 600 people in Rutland who gave their lives in the First World War are set to be told on a new website.
Thanks to an £8,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with help from individuals and Rutland County Council, www.rutlandremembers.org gives a comprehensive record the 597 men and three men who died during the Great War.
The website, which is launching on Thursday, has been set up by First World War commemoration group Rutland Remembers and draws on new and previously drawing on new and previously unpublished records as well as established sources.
It tells the remarkable stories of boys who joined up at 15; many sets of brothers and cousins; the high price paid by the smallest Rutland villages; as well as tales of extraordinary courage and heroism.
William Clifton from Barrowden was killed just past his 16th birthday in the Battle of the Somme. John Woodward from Great Casterton was shot, blown up and twice torpedoed while on ships bringing him to hospital in England. And Bertie Tyler from Preston was awarded the Military Medal for rescuing wounded comrades under fire. He was one of four brothers who joined up, two of them being killed.
Col Robert Boyle, Deputy Lieutenant for Rutland, said: “The website provides an extraordinary resource for schools and those who want to learn more about Rutland’s role in the First World War.
“The challenge now is to build on this knowledge and find out even more about the lives of these young men and make sure their sacrifice is never forgotten.”
One of the website’s authors, James Buchanan, said: “The site provides an opportunity to upload new information and photographs about our soldiers as well as recording visits to their graves and memorials, wherever they happen to be.
“This is really only the start. We want people to go out there and visit these men, wherever they are. Some of them lie buried in Rutland, most are on the Western Front but there are Rutland graves in sixteen countries.
“We want people to visit them all and show we do remember.”
The website is set to go live on Thursday when there will be a public launch at Rutland County Museum at 2.30pm.
You can follow Rutland Remembers on Twitter by searching @ww1rutlanders