Ken Howe, Convenor of the History Strand of the Teddington Society, explains why he and many others are working to uncover the stories of Teddington men who died during the First World War….
“One of our members in the Teddington Society was involved in several different groups. Her family asked her to find out what had happened to their uncle, a victim of the First World War. Despite being stonewalled at nearly every point of inquiry, she persevered with her investigations until she had uncovered the full story of the uncle’s death.
“Having achieved this, she then considered the difficulties and impracticalities of conducting such an investigation. For those less familiar with the resources available, it was a formidable and difficult task. She then set about simplifying the process and recording what had happened to the 337 men listed on the Teddington Hospital War Memorial. In the course of her researches, it became clear that not every soldier killed in that war had their name added on to the memorial. And so her next step was to investigate all other sources and draw up a full list of Teddington fatalities from WW1, with a view to have the extra names added to the memorial.
“Her name was Valerie Sullivan and she died unexpectedly in March 2013. Her family were going to pass her work on to the Imperial War Museum. But we were able to take it over with a view to completing the task. We may never be able to say that we have a 100% accurate list of causalities – but it will be a greatly expanded list to the existing 337 already recorded.
“We have already come across some memorials that have been discarded and we are now showing the number of fallen Teddington men as 470. We are still cross checking.”
Ken Howe, Teddington Society WWI Memorial Project
Are you, or your organisation conducting research into Richmond’s experience of the First World War? Do you have stories of your ancestors to share? If so, we’d love to hear from you! To feature your story in the Village Stories project, contact Daniella Hadley at Daniella.Hadley@richmond.gov.uk