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The Great War in Leicestershire

Poppies
Michael's project is a memorial to the Leicestershire soldiers who died in WWI

By John Florance
Presenter, BBC Leicester

The first Remembrance Day commemorated the end of World War I.

That was supposed to be "the war to end all wars".

Sadly it proved to be nothing of the sort.

And this, perhaps, is what makes the annual festivals of remembrance held all over the country so poignant.

Locally, we remember the people whose names are inscribed on memorials in parish churches and other places across the city, county and Rutland.

But what state are these memorials in?

For many years Michael Doyle has been compiling his own memorial in the shape of five hefty reference books that list all the casualties of the Great War who had a connection with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

He started this massive project in collaboration with his father who, sadly, has since died.

I get the feeling that for Michael the books are as much a memorial to his father as to the countless local war dead.

Searching memorials

His research has taken him to many parish churches, factories and other buildings containing memorials.

Some of these memorials are, happily, in good condition.

I have gone some way to address the lack of any dedicated account of Leicestershire's part in the Great War
Michael Doyle, Author

But, he told me, when a church or building falls out of use, it is very difficult to ensure that any memorial it contains is stored and preserved properly.

Michael said, "For some casualties the information is quite sparse, however for many others it will be found that the entry can be considerably comprehensive and detailed.

"I hope that in the compilation of this work I have gone some way to address the lack of any dedicated account of Leicestershire's part in the Great War."

Michael is working on the sixth and final volume of the series which is called "Their Name Liveth for Evermore".

If you would like to purchase a copy of one of the volumes published so far contact Michael by email: michael@moretti.me.uk

The books cost £12.00 each and the price for a full set is £55.00 plus postage. Proceeds are donated to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.




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