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2009 "End of Term" Report

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David McNay

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 11425
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: 2009 "End of Term" Report Reply with quote

I've been planning to make a post detailing some of our plans for 2010, but before I do that, I thought it would be a useful exercise to go back over the year just passed, and highlight some of the events and success stories connected with the forum.

The year has seen us continue the work we have carried out so successfully in previous, and further memorials have been added to the forum. Obviously the quantity has been less as we've gradually covered the length and breadth of the country. There are still memorials out there for us to find and photograph, and it's pleasing to see quite how many we have now. I believe we now have around 90% of all the civic memorials in Scotland, and that's a figure I believe we can be justly proud of.

Churches, schools and other memorials also continue to be added, and this is an area we plan to highlight next year in order to increase our coverage of these types of memorials - more on that in my "2010 Action Plan" post which will follow soon.

We've also been successful in adding "meat to the bones" for a number of memorials. By adding information from sources such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Scottish National War Memorial, and the Armed Forces Memorial Roll of Honour, we have been able to add more detail than that which is seen on most memorials. Add to that the information added by individuals such as photographs and newspaper reports etc and the amount of information available here is, I think, unique for Scotland.

Again, this is an area I'm keen to develop further and again, this is something planned for 2010.

We've also branched out into the public sphere, with me, Adam and Paul attending several Family History Fairs at Aberdeen, Dumfries and Glenrothes. These fairs proved a useful guide to finding out what areas of military genealogy people are looking into, and highlighted some areas that I personally could perhaps "swot up" on for future reference! It was also very enjoyable to put faces to some of the names of forum members, with Anne Park and Roxy meeting us at Aberdeen, and Stuart Wilson attending the fair at Dumfries. It's always good for members of the forum to get together and share stories and viewpoints. And yet again, this is something I hope to see more of next year.

Many people put a lot of hard work into our attendance at these fairs, and Id like to single some of them out: Anne Anderson for designing our fantastic flyers, Mark Duffy and John Burnett for arranging for us to sell copies of their publications, and also to Adam and Paul for helping me out at the fairs. Thanks guys, without you wouldn't have been possible.

Another area we branched out into was highlighting some "memorials in danger". Fortunately these have been few in number, but it is an invaluable service we provide in highlighting the issue of these endangered memorials.

The prime example of this was the memorial at Mains in Dundee. This was a prime example of the work we can do in highlighting these issues: within days this memorial had been discussed at large on both the Great War Forum and the Western Front Association forum, and was the subject of several newspaper articles, a BBC News online article, and at least one TV report. The issue of this memorial is now in the hands of concerned local individuals who I am confident will not let the issue slip. I have been kept informed of developments and while things appear to have gone quiet I can assure you that things are happening in the background.

A smaller item was the launch of the Scottish Military Research Group blog -

This has been a slow burner but one which I hope will develop in the future. Again, this will be covered in my 2010 action plan.

Finally, this year has seen us make contact with a number of groups and organisations, and while none of these have been on a formal basis, it's good to make a connection with like-minded groups. Who knows where these ties may lead in the future? Certainly, discussions with one museum in Scotland have led to some of us volunteering to transcribe documents from their research library with a view to making them available online. This has been something I've been keen to do for some time, and this may lead to an opportunity for us to publish some of our hard work and research. Who knows what the future may hold?

Finally, I'd like to thank all of you for your continued support, not only of this forum but also the Scottish War Graves Project. This is a group effort, and without all of you this project would be a fraction of the size and nothing like the success I think it is. From the people who post information on a regular basis, to the individual who posts once and is never seen again, you all make this project what it is. I have nothing but praise for you all, and I thank you for your continued input and support.

I'd like to wish you all a very prosperous and happy New Year.

Kind Regards,

David McNay
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Adam Brown

Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7312
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Based on the number of post and making adjustments for duplicates and stickies etc I think this is the total number of war memorials we have now have posted on this site:

1400 Civic memorials
600 Church memorials
575 memorials to individuals
415 'other' memorials
315 Regimental and unit memorials, including 82 from outside Scotland
100 School memorials

I've rounded the figures up or down a little to allow for some errors in the way I've collected the numbers but that gives approximately 3400 war memorials recorded to date and we're still going strong. New memorials are still being posted every week.

As you can see from the figures it's no surprise that the memorials on our high streets are the most commonly recorded. If we go on the assumption that every Established, UF and Episcopal church in every Scottish parish had a memorial or roll then we've still a long way to go with the church memorials. Schools are another one where we've a long way to go in recording them all.

It just goes to show what the internet can do. I think it's probably safe to say no other country in the world has so many of its public and private memorials available online in one place. Not bad for a bunch of part-time volunteers. We've no funds, no costs, no committees, no AGMs, no forms, no central admin etc but we've still recorded well over half the estimated total of Scottish War memorials in three years and made them available to anyone in the world for free. I think we can give ourselves a collective (and virtual) pat on the back.

Thanks for all your help over the past three years and here's to many more interesting posts!

Kind regards

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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 4858
Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good work by all.

Are there any comparible projects in the world online?
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Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4991
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done to everyone. There are some great projects out there but with a much narrower scope but the only one I can think of with the scope and ambition of ours is the Roll of Honour project.

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anne park
Our first ever 2000 poster

Joined: 25 Sep 2007
Posts: 21200
Location: Aberdeen

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: I'm glad to be helping with this project Reply with quote

I am happy to do research and get info posted there are lots of people out there needing info and they need somewhere like this. Keep on posting.
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