In January 2009, it was suggested that as an idea for the Family History Group, part of the newly formed Carterton U3A, (University of the Third Age), it would be a worthwhile project to research the names on the Carterton War Memorial. There are no records in the Town Hall archives to show who was responsible for the memorial, when it was erected, nor any information about the persons named on it. Nationally memorials were paid for by public subscription and erected via the British Legion. People submitted names of those they thought appropriate hence having three non-local men, who were working in Carterton, honoured for their sacrifice.

It was thought that this ought to be rectified and a record created of the "Local Heroes" of Carterton. But Carterton has only existed as a town since 1900 and most, but not all, of the original inhabitants and their families have either died or left the area. As today, a large number of the people came from other areas. Consequently tracing the names meant a countrywide search.

Meetings were arranged with the oldest residents to gather what information was available, but most of the initial research was done via the internet and quickly brought results for a number of the names. From there it was a case of looking for more personal details e.g. parental, birth and marriage records in order to put together a short history of the individuals.

Some searches were very successful and brought more information than was expected and even a few photographs.


But there were drawbacks too. Some of the names had been incorrectly recorded or the given initial is for their second name, which the person was known by, and a first initial had been omitted. Also there are records of a number of people with both the given initial and surname who were born and raised in the area. This obviously led to a number of searches being made only to find that they were incorrect and related to someone entirely different.


However within five months six of the eight names from the 1914 – 1918 War had been identified and a history built up about them.

Two however remain elusive.

We were invited to visit the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust at the Caversfield Army base and given a great deal of help and ideas to further our searches.


The 1939 – 1945 records proved much easier to find due to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission listings on the internet, that war being nearer in time and people having the ability to record and remember more data.


Of the seven names six were easily identified and records of their associated birth & marriage dates etc. created a brief history of their lives and how they died.

Despite extensive searches the seventh remained a mystery until it was discovered that the memorial gave his second name and not his first name initial.


2009 was the first year, in memory, that the names, rank and service of most of those on the memorial were able to be included in the Armistice Service in November. Previously only the names on the

memorial had been read out.


The main research was concluded by December 2009 and the results remind us of the sacrifice of so many young people in the First and Second World Wars, Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"For the Fallen "

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted:

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon 1869 - 1943