If you would like to start researching Cheltenham soldiers from the Great War, here are a few local points of contact we can recommend as invaluable:
The website Remembering.org.uk should be your first port of call. Administrated by historian Jimmy James, it contains extensive information on the War from a Cheltenham proespective. It lists all of the war memorials in the borough, every soldier who died, the memorials they are named on, and which soldiers are as yet uncommemorated.
Leaving All That Was Dear- Cheltenham and the Great War by Joe Deveraux and Graham Sacker. This hefty, incredibly well researched book contains a mine of information and a biography of every soldier from World War One, as well as many other fascinating facts and stories. We use it several times a week whilst working on the Cheltenham Remembers Project. It is extremely hard to find a copy to purchase, but you can find it at Cheltenham Library, and also Up Hatherley, Hesters Way, Prestbury, Charlton Kings and Winchombe Libraries, and at Gloucestershire Archives. If you would like us to send you a scan of a particular page or soldier, please contact us and we would be happy to do so for you.
Gloucestershire Archives is a County Council department which gathers, keeps and shares historic archive collections relating to Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire – and local and family history resources relating to Gloucestershire. The archives are kept at the main Alvin Street site in Gloucester and you can use them in the public research room. The local and family history resources are spread across Gloucestershire. The core collection is kept at the main site and area-specific collections are kept at Local and Family History Centres based at libraries in Cheltenham, Cinderford, Cirencester, Stroud, Stow and Tewkesbury. You can use them in the relevant venue. They are part of Gloucestershire Remembers Project, and have a lot of information and support for people working on WW1 history projects. For more information visit their website.
Gloucestershire Archives has also created this useful pack of information on recording and sharing your research.
The Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum is based in Gloucester Docks, and also has an extensive website. Many of Cheltenham’s WW1 soldiers enlisted in the Gloucestershire Regiment.
Cheltenham Local History Society has regular talks and exhibitions, many about WW1 at present, due to it being the centenary. Check their website for details.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds records of all soldiers of the commonwealth who died in the two world wars, and maintains war graves around the world. They have a search facility on their website.
We wish you every luck in your research. When you have completed your project we would be delighted to publish your story on this website on the roll of honour or local stories sections. If you come up against any blocks on your journey, contact us with your queries or problems, and we can pass them on to our panel of local experts who may be able to help you, or use our social media networks to see if any of our followers has knowledge on the subject. The Royal British Legion is also running a project called Every Man Remembered which you can contribute to.