War memorials

You can research war memorials from various angles. As military, social, and family history, and as artistic objects. Before the 20th century, memorials were generally to individuals. This was apart from a handful of Crimean war memorials. Communal war memorials arrived after the Boer War. But it was with the First World War that they became more common. A decision was made early in the war not to repatriate the bodies of the fallen. So the communal memorials provided a focus for grief and remembrance.

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies is happy to support activity around this theme. This can be:

  • facilitation
  • advice on sources
  • links with local military museums
  • military ancestors
  • local history workshops, etc.

But, we don't have expertise on conservation or preservation of war memorials.

If you would like to investigate the history of a war memorial or the names on it, Hampshire Archives and Local Studies may hold useful sources.

Other projects which may help

Where is it?

Is it out of doors?

Is it in the parish church or churchyard

  • Newspapers
  • Parochial Church Council minutes
  • Faculties
  • Parish/deanery magazines
  • Other parish records
  • War memorial committee minutes
  • Search HALS catalogue

Look elsewhere in the church for

  • Paper roll of honour
  • Memorials to individuals
  • Plaques

Is it the only one? Where else should I look?

  • Civil cemetery
  • Local chapel
  • School (or ex-school)
  • Village hall (inside or hall itself)
  • Local employers’ premises and archives
  • Local clubs or organisations’ premises
  • Friendly societies
  • Local museum
  • Civic buildings
  • Public facilities (almshouses, benches, fountains, gates, parks)
  • Trees (plaques at base)
  • County rolls of honour

Tracing the names

Tracing their military careers

Tracing their family and local background

  • Newspapers
  • Accounts of funerals
  • Parish/deanery magazines
  • Other war memorials which might give more information
  • Rolls of honour
  • School magazines and other records
  • Parish and chapel registers
  • 1891/1901/1911 census
  • Electoral registers
  • Directories
  • Records of local employers, societies, organisations
  • Gravestones of widows, parents.