It's only four years ago since I first set up what was then the Scottish War Memorial Discussion Forum but I couldn't have believed at the time how successful it was going to be.
For a year or so before it was set up three of us on the Great War Forum had been swapping e-mails and ideas trying to share our knowledge and pictures of Scottish war memorials. Jim McGinlay, Adam Brown and I had looked into websites as a solution but that was too expensive and time consuming.
We seemed to be going round in circles until two things came along. Free forum hosting and free photograph hosting. By combining the two we were able to easily share our photographs and any other information we had. At first it was a slow process uploading photographs to Photobucket, but luckily good broadband and bulk uploader tools on Photobucket have come along and now multiple photographs can be uploaded very quickly.
Within months of setting up the forum I realised we had some very keen members and we could set ourselves an achievable goal - to record every war memorial in Scotland. We rebranded as the Scottish War Memorials Project and at the time the goal seemed a long way away but over the years we have been slowly but steadily adding more and more memorials to the project.
We pretty much have every civic memorial recorded now and what we are now getting are the church, school, work and individual memorials. It is surprising just how many are out there and luckily just how many have survived.
At the start of it all we came up with an estimated figure of 5,000 - 6,000 memorials to record. That was based on roughly one tenth of the UK National Inventory of War Memorials's estimated total number of war memorials across the UK. By the end of November this year we had recorded over three thousand seven hundred memorials. That means we probably have recorded between 60 - 75% of all Scottish war memorials. That's not bad going for a group who have no official status or any sort of funding. Just shows you what can be done in this digital age if a group of like minded folk get together.