New website will shed light on Oswestry's fallen soldiers

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A new website site telling the tales of Oswestry’s fallen soldiers is due to launch.

‘Men on the Gates’ shines a light on the lives of the local men whose names are listed on the Oswestry War Memorial Gates who died during the First World War.

It has been led by Qube with funding from the Heritage Lottery.

Project co-ordinator, John Davies, said: “It has been fascinating, humbling and a privilege to work on this research. We have discovered some extraordinary stories and have also made the Commonwealth War Graves Commission aware of the identities of four men who are not currently registered with them.

“The men listed on the gates came from many different walks of life and we’ve discovered many connections between them. They were relatives, school chums, neighbours, work colleagues and members of the same church.

“It has given us a real appreciation of the devastating effect these loses must have had for the town.”

The project has involved local history organisations and groups including Oswestry Town Museum, the Cambrian Heritage Railway, Oswestry Family History Society and local groups in Llanymynech, Trefonen and Gobowen.

Volunteers have spent the last two years researching information from the internet, archive records, local churches and from speaking directly to relatives.

As part of the project Qube will be posting out a number of special created commemorative postcards to the former addresses of listed men.

Local history volunteer, Janis Menage added: “The streets have changed so much since 1911, so finding these places has actually been quite a challenge.

“Large areas have disappeared altogether and we’ve had to rely on old maps of Oswestry to find addresses.”

It is hoped more people will come forward with information after the website is launched in the next couple of weeks which can been added to the stories.

John said: “This is an important historical resource and we want to provide an accurate legacy for current and future generations.”

To find out more about Men on the Gates project visit the Qube website at www.qube-oca.org.uk

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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