There are many memorials to those who died during the Great War. One of the most notable ones in Liverpool is the First World War Memorial Roll of Honour of Liverpool’s Military War Dead. This is located in the Hall of Remembrance at Liverpool Town Hall in the city centre.
The original list was started during the war itself, when the names of locals who had been killed in combat were posted in a window overlooking Exchange Flags. As relatives were notified of their lost loved ones, they queued to add their names to ensure they were remembered for their sacrifice. Many served as members of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool), although there are also men with local connections who died in service in the armed forces of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and beyond.
The roll now stands at well over 13,000 names, all of which have been added to a searchable database here.
Among the names listed are many of Liverpool’s brave VC winners, such as:
- Captain Noel Chavasse, the only man to be awarded the VC twice in WWI and who died from wounds sustained on the battlefield while rescuing wounded comrades at Passchendaele;
- Lieutenant Edward Felix Baxter of the Royal Engineers, The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, a former Isle of Man TT rider who lost his life at Arras, but not before he had won a VC for cutting barbed wire in front of German trenches for two nights running and leading a raiding party on the third; and
- Sergeant Thomas Neely, who won a posthumous VC for rushing several enemy machine gun positions, single-handedly killing or capturing their operators and silencing their fire. He was killed four days later in the field while advancing on German positions at Rumilly.
Sadly, the list is by no means complete. Because entry onto it depended on relatives making the notification, there are of course many who have been missed, for various reasons However, year on year, people continue to add their ancestors’ names, making it a living memorial to those who died so that we could live in peace. This year alone, at least a further 37 names have been added as keen historians and genealogists discover more about their forefathers and seek to get them recognised for paying the ultimate sacrifice.
You can have the name of your relative added by applying to the Town Hall with evidence of his connection with Liverpool.
Louise McTigue is a freelance writer and researcher, writing on behalf of Sarsfield Memorials.