Children in the P7 class at Burghead Primary School have just started a research project about their local war memorial. The memorial commemorates the First and the Second war.
P7 started their WW1 War memorial research with a list of names. All the names on the list were present on the Burghead War memorial, located on the main street of Burghead. Each child was given two names to find out about. They were also given some facts about the person to help them. Initially they used two sources of information to start their research.
This is the first website they used.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) ensures that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten caring for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. It is an invaluable source of information for those looking for information about people who served in the two world wars. There is a search option which facilitates this.
The second website they were used contained an online copy of the Moray Roll of Honour 1914-1918.
Morayshire roll of honour book 1914-1918
This book is available for loan from most of the public libraries in Moray. The book was published in 1921. The book features information about people from Moray, who settled in Moray before the war and those who have long connections with Moray but have left the county and enlisted elsewhere. The roll honour also included those who trained for service abroad, including labour battalions and Nurses.
Forms were sent out and collected by the local constabulary. Each member of the force divided his beat into small sub-areas and with the help of special constables they sent out and collected in the forms. This was done by the end of February 1919. In this way everyone in the county was reached. More than 7500 forms were handed in and the information was edited and then arranged alphabetically in the book.
Each website had its own information and some common to both sites so it was useful to study both.
After the research activity the children were asked to reflect on their experience of looking for information using an online database i.e Commonwealth War Graves website. They also thought about whether they had enjoyed finding out about the people listed on the memorial. The class generally said it had been fun. They were asked if it would have been more enjoyable if the searches had been easy (a few hands went in the air) Then they asked if it was fun because it was difficult (many more hands and the words “a challenge” was mentioned). It was the fact it was a challenge and that with perseverance they succeeded in finding the right person in the Commonwealth War graves site, which made it fun. The class was also rewarded with being able to print out a certificate (a major plus for them!).
The class are now looking into the places were people died and recording where the person came from in Burghead. Many of the records in the Morayshire Book of Honour record the place the person lived or their parents lived in Burghead (usually but not always).
Several useful links pages were added to this website to help the children find more information about the people on the memorial.