Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Forgotten for 90 years

Our first guest writer today, as forum member Jim Grant tells us a little about a worthwhile project to commemorate the "missing" fallen.

There are many men missing from the official roll of world war dead maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The In From The Cold Project (IFCP) was launched in 2007 to help rectify this situation.

IFCP devised a plan to undertake a systematic search for in-service British casualties who appeared to have been missed and therefore had no official commemoration.

The basic plan was to set up a group of volunteers and to compare systematically the many extant casualty lists with the CWGC online database. Unfortunately, it is not within CWGC’s remit to search for missing names. In short, if the public does not undertake this task, nobody will and these casualties will forever remain out in the cold.

Funding was the big issue as obtaining hundreds of records and the necessary death certificates would be expensive. However, after protracted negotiations, IFCP obtained a grant from the MoD’s Veterans Challenge Fund and the Project’s future was secured.

In May 2008 the first missing names were accepted by MoD for commemoration by CWGC. Now, at the beginning of 2011, IFCP has had 1018 men and women accepted with over eight hundred further cases awaiting adjudication by the authorities. These are all casualties who paid the ultimate price and whose names are now rightly appearing on CWGC headstones or memorials to the missing.

The work is time consuming, repetitive, tedious and hard on the eyes but the end result is worth it.

If you wish to know more about IFCP’s work, please contact Terry Denham or visit the Project’s website.

Enquiries of a Scottish nature can also be forwarded to Jim Grant in his capacity as the Scottish representative of the project - contact him via the SMRG website.

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