A Bangor man has launched a website as part of his quest to chronicle the personal stories of servicemen from North Down and Ards who lost their lives during the two world wars.
Barry Niblock, with the support of Ards and North Down borough councils, created the site alongside his current labour of love — compiling Books of Honour for all the local war heroes who died in the line of duty.
Mr Niblock said: “Every death in war is a tragic loss of life and in the Great War more than 1,200 people from the Ards and North Down areas made the supreme sacrifice.
“Reading the long lists of names on war memorials is profoundly moving but I want to bring identity to the individuals concerned by including photographs and biographical details in the Books of Honour.
“At the same time I want to acknowledge the impact that their deaths had on bereaved families — parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, spouses and children. Writing these Books of Honour is a labour of love and I want them to be fitting tributes to those who died.”
Mayor of Ards, councillor David Smyth, said: “Almost a century has elapsed since the ‘war to end all wars’, but what happened during the Great War and the sacrifices made by the people who fought in it still resonate and are still relevant today. Perhaps that is why the Books of Honour project has generated such a strong response from members of the public who recall the stories handed down through generations and have treasured photographs, letters, medals and other memorabilia. They are happy to share these memories to ensure their relative is remembered and honoured.
“This new web site is another way for people to contribute information and enhance the project, ensuring that the final Books of Honour are a fitting tribute to all those who died on active service in the Great War.”
The project, still in its first stage, is gathering information on those who fell during the First World War only. The website encourages people to log on to view the names gathered so far, submit information about them and suggest additional names for inclusion.
Submissions for the Second World War will be taken later’.
In relation to the First World War, the Books Of Honour will not only list those who died but also, where possible, provide biographical details and photographs of soldiers, seamen, airmen and nurses who died on active service between 1914 and 1918. Those who died up to the end of August 1921 from causes attributable to service will also be included.
To access the website go to www.barryniblock.co.uk.