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Lottery cash to fund war ‘heroes’ book project in Sandwich

By Eleanor Perkins

The Fallen from Sandwich will be remembered in a lasting display thanks to a £9,138 cash boost.

The grant is the second the town has received in weeks from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

It will enable the Toll Bridge Fund to pay for a memorial entitled Sandwich Servicemen – Researched, Recorded and Remembered.

Simon Leith at Sandwich War Memorial

Simon Leith at Sandwich War Memorial

This comes only a month after almost £100,000 was awarded to enable the recently rediscovered Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest to be on permanent display in the town’s Guildhall Museum.

The servicemen project is centred around researching the lives of those whose names are recorded on the various war memorials in Sandwich.

A team of genealogists and local historians will search the internet and archives for details of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“I think it’s important when we remember that these are not just names on a plaque to be reviewed once a year, these were people who lived and worked in our community. This amazing project will go a long way to make their memory real.” - Simon Leith

They will also investigate the families left behind and role they played in the life of the Cinque Port prior to the First World War.

The HLF money means death certificates and other documentation can be purchased and allow access to leading genealogy websites to enable a full history of each individual to be recorded.

Two display cabinets will be purchased so a memorial book, created by museum manager John Scollard, and other artefacts can be viewed permanently by the public. When the project is completed the results will be available for visitors to the museum as well as providing easy access to hsitorians.

The team will be headed by the museum’s honorary curator, Linda Elliott, who said: “I was informed of our success in obtaining funds to undertake this project just an hour before the Battle of Britain Commemoration took place in front of the war memorial in Market Street.

“The words ‘we will remember them’ were especially poignant as this project will ensure the men who left Sandwich never to return will be remembered in the special archive that will be created with this research.”

Simon Leith, of the Sandwich branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “As national custodian of Remembrance the British Legion works tirelessly to maintain the memory of those who fought and sacrificed in the British Armed Forces.

“I think it’s important when we remember that these are not just names on a plaque to be reviewed once a year, these were people who lived and worked in our community.

“This amazing project will go a long way to make their memory real.”

Volunteers interested in joining in with this project are invited to contact the archivist at the Sandwich Guildhall, or leave a message by telephoning 01304 617197.

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