Early in 2014, I set about the task of identifying all the men on the Roll of Honour in St John the Baptist’s Church, Caversham, my church. I aimed to complete this by 11th November 2018 – but I have failed. There are 56 names on this Roll of Honour.
My daughter joined me in the search and at first, it was easy. Using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, we found that many had their parents’ names and addresses on their CWCG Roll of Honour page, but others did not. Some were even wrongly spelt on the CWCG Roll of Honour and had the wrong initials.
After using the census, Free BMD, the GRO index and other online sites, I headed to the Local Studies Library in Reading Central Library. I was shown the Reading Mercury books of soldiers photos which were a great help, as were the Electoral Rolls of 1914 and 1918.
We returned to the computer to find other sites, for example, Soldiers’ Effects, which gave us more family information, such as leaving money to a brother or to a married sister. Our aim was to find their connection to Caversham.
We also explored the Hemdean Road, Caversham cemetery and took photos of the relevant headstones.
Family illness and bereavement then stopped our search.
The information we have found, for almost 50 of the 56 soldiers is at present unchecked and not yet in the book we hoped to produce.
The following is a list of those who have completely stumped us:
Nash (or Naish?), W T
Reeves, A C
Sheppard, J G
Simmonds, W H
When we get back to it, we may yet find them – I do hope so. Those we think we have identified may, of course, not be correct.
If you have any information on any of the above names (even with different initials) or indeed any connection to Caversham in the early 1900s, I would be delighted to hear from you.