A dedicated group of self-taught military historians who document all those who served their country - and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice - is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The Scottish Military Research Group is an informal group who, in a variety of ways, seek to research and record the memories of service personnel.
Their flagship ‘Commemorations Project’ was first launched in December 2006 and contains a wealth of information about War Memorials and the men and women commemorated on them. No day goes by without new information being added about a newly uncovered memorial or research notes about those who died.
The Commemorations Project was the first project anywhere in the world to attempt to record all of its nation’s war memorials and allow for the inclusion of research notes about the individuals but some other countries have now followed this lead.
The information recorded by the volunteers of the SMRG is widely used (free of charge) by people researching their military ancestors, by local and central government departments responsible for the upkeep of memorials, by schools, and by individuals and groups researching books for publication about their local war memorial.
The preceding 10 years has seen the SMRG work on a number of diverse projects, from recording military burials, transcribing and digitising the Roll of Honour for the city of Glasgow, to locating and identifying men and women who were initially not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. This last work has seen a large number of names added to the national Debt of Honour register thanks to the Scottish Military Research Group.
The work of the Scottish Military Research Group has earned some rewarding feedback. The Scottish Parliament congratulated the Scottish Military Research Group on what it considered its important Scottish War Memorial Project and Scottish War Graves Project.
Tony Pollard, professor of Conflict History and Archaeology at Glasgow University, said: “The SMRG provide an invaluable service. So many people, including me, want to know about their military ancestors, but don’t know where to start looking. Well, the simple answer is try the SMRG. They have done sterling service for years on promoting military heritage, but never more so than during this centenary of the First World War. We have worked closely with them through the Digging In project, and look forward to growing that relationship over the two years still to go.”
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