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Showing posts from June, 2016

Centenary of the Battle of the Somme

This week tributes are being paid across Europe and the world to those who served one hundred years ago at the Battle of the Somme. In this week's post, I look at two extraordinary men who survived both the battle and the First World War, and whose cremation records are found in the Deceased Online database.

The first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 1st of July 1916, remains the bloodiest 24 hours in British military history. Those soldiers of the British Empire who went "over the top" on this day a century ago had no idea how devastating this battle would be. Tens of thousands of men walked out of their trenches and straight into German machine-gun fire. On just this one day, 19,240 were killed and around 40,000 wounded.

Those that survived were left with lifelong turmoil. Musicians like Ralph Vaughan Williams and writers such as J.R.R. Tolkein would, famously, transmute their experiences through art. Others were left with "shell shock" or what we now und…

Calderdale Collection: last additions

Over the next few days, Deceased Online will be adding records for the final three sites in its Calderdale Collection. In my latest post, I look further at these West Yorkshire cemeteries and their extensive records.

As you may know from my first post on the Calderdale Collection and the recent update, so far records for the following cemeteries have been uploaded to the Deceased Online database:
Brighouse Cemetery, Lightcliffe Road, Brighouse HD6 2HH (1874-1996)Elland Cemetery, Exley Lane, Elland HX5 0SW (1861-1996)Halifax General/ Lister Lane Cemetery, Lister Lane, Halifax (1842-1962)Luddenden Cemetery, Stocks Lane, Luddenden HX2 6PR (1860-1996)Rastrick Cemetery, Carr Green Lane, Rastrick HD6 3LT (1884-1994) The last three sites to be added are: Park Wood Crematorium, Park Road, Elland HX5 9HZ (1956-1997)Sowerby Bridge Cemetery, Sowerby New Road, Sowerby HX6 1DY (1861-1992)Stoney Royd Cemetery, Water Lane, Halifax HX3 9HR (1861-1995) These large record sets comprise 137,000 records out…

72nd Anniversary of D-Day

In honour of the recent anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, this weeks post looks at some of those who died in its preparation - giving their lives for their country.

Last week, surviving veterans and the families of those who have died travelled to France for the annual D-Day commemorations. It is now 72 years since that fateful day, 6th June 1944, when Allied forces invaded Normandy in Operation Overlord - the allied invasion of north-west Europe. The assault phase of the operation, Operation Neptune, was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The successful attack on German-occupied western Europe would lead, eventually, to Allied victory in May 1945.
156,000 troops jumped from ships straight into enemy gunfire on the Norman beaches. Of these, 73,000 were American, 61,715 were British and 21,400 were Canadian. Supporting the troops in the air were thousands of aircraft and gliders. Although no official number of Allied casualties from D-Day has ever been confirmed, it…