AS the nation paused to remember its war dead this past weekend a new website was launched to remember those from the Craven district who laid down their lives in service of King and country during the Great War.
Officially launched on 11th November at 11am, Cravens Part in the Great War (CPGW) is based on a book originally published by the Craven Herald newspaper and details the 1, 800 men and women from Craven who lost their lives in the conflict between 1914 and 1918.
The website is the brainchild of Chris and Charlotte Foster. The pair are members of the Hebden based Craven Community Projects Group (CCPG) and the idea for the project was hatched in the early hours of the morning when neither could sleep.
Commenting on the launch at Cracoe Village Hall, Charlotte said: "We were overwhelmed with the number of people who attended our event on Saturday - it more than exceeded our expectations.
"Knowing that about a quarter of the people in the audience were existing relatives is fantastic. It demonstrates that the website is reaching out to people in the community."
Funding was secured from the Local Heritage Initiative, now managed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which enables people to explore, investigate and record their local heritage - from there the project snowballed in size and scope. Originally intended to include the 1,500 men listed in the book, the website now includes a further 300 men, whose details the team discovered through articles in the Craven Herald. The site highlights the sacrifice made by a region that saw many of its young men go off to fight and never return.
Finding a photograph of our relative means so much to my Nana and other members of the family
Relative of a fallen Craven soldier
Chris, Chairman of CCPG, added: "When the website went 'live', after twelve months of hard work and extremely long hours, it was very exciting - a genuine team effort, made possible by so many people and volunteers - we are grateful to each and every person for their help and support.
"People have been actively involved, encouraged us from the side lines and taken a keen interest in the development of the project."
Designed by Rylstone based QDK (Daelnet's parent company) the CPGW site holds thousands of pieces of information gathered from the book, relatives of the fallen soldiers and outside organisations such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Also to be included on the site in 2007 will be some 4,981 articles from the Craven Herald and a further 1,100 articles from the West Yorkshire Pioneer.
Each soldier has an individual entry on the site, accompanied by pictures of the memorial on which he is listed and often by plans of foreign cemeteries where the soldier was laid to rest. It is hoped the website will prove an invaluable tool for researchers and schools, as well as a means for family members to remember their fallen relatives.
'Craven's Part in the Great War' website is launched
Perhaps the site is best summed up by one relative who attended Saturday's launch; "The website is a credit to your group's hard work and effort, is beautifully set out and easy to use. Finding a photograph of our relative means so much to my Nana and other members of the family ... we can finally put a face to a name."
Pictured at the top of the page are Chris and Charlotte Foster (right) and members of the Craven Community Projects Group Trevor Croucher, John Richardson and Geoff Ryan, with the original Cravens part in the Great War book
Visit the Cravens part in the Great War website at www.cpgw.org.uk
There you will find contact details for the team behind the website who still want to hear from relatives, family history groups or teachers that would like to develop projects.