We had no idea, when we started this project, just how complicated it would become. The idea of taking the names from the War Memorial, filling out with details from the Commonwealth War Graves Commision website and getting photos and family details from relatives or friends seemed simple enough. How wrong we were!
The names on the memorial are not always correct. (The biggest mistake being Moore-Kennedy instead of Kennedy. "Moore" was the father's middle name)
The Commonwealth War Graves Commision site is not consistantly informative, and we now understand it is not fully comprehensive. (We have been able to get Percy Webster added with the help of Terry Denham.) We are not helped by the fact that not all of the soldiers joined local regiments. (One was found in the West Yorks, for no apparent reason.)
Asking for information at our annual village reunion, together with interrogating our own relatives, has only given us a handful of connections.
To compensate for these shortcomings we have been using websites normally visited by family historians which has helped to identify the correct person in some cases, but by no means all of them.
Also, in some cases, we have even been able to identify the individual fatal action, from entries on the internet.
We will need to request help in the local press. And possibly trawl through the archives of the local papers of the time.
Another question we need to ask is - was anyone left off of the lists? For example Capt. Arthur Frederick Sutton, MSM, who is buried in Biggin Hill Cemetery has his wife, Gertie, given as living in Biggin Hill. He was born in Peckham, so is he commemerated there?
The 1939-45 list is nearly complete but, as it is to be expected, the 1914-18 one gives more problems. We hope that we haven't already left it too late.
There are two names on 1939-45 list were we have gone for South African entries. These are possibilities as we know of cases of young men working overseas, who enlisted without returning home, and who therefore were not listed as 'United Kingdom'.
Do contact us if you know anything about these people. Or if you have spotted any errors. Or just to give us some idea of how much interest there is out there.
This work is expected to be on going for quite some time but, once it is as complete as possible, we may print a version (if there is sufficient interest).