School pupils help launch digital war memorial
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Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can tap into the history of local people from Olveston who lost their lives during the First World War, thanks to a digital project which is helping to bring history to life.
On Wednesday 1 July, students from Marlwood School will join members of Olveston History Society and local councillors at Olveston War Memorial. They will be using modern technology to access a Quick Response (QR) code which has been installed near the memorial. When scanned, the QR code provides a wealth of information and personal stories about people named on the memorial who were killed in battle.
People like Charles Hughes, a farm labourer who was married to Alice from the village, with their three sons. Charles was involved in action in March 1918 near Herbécourt when the Germans began their ‘Great Offensive’ or ‘Kaiserschlacht’. During the fighting his unit was surrounded and they were ordered to fight their way back to their base in Harbonnieres, but he was killed on March 30 1918 along with 157 other men. He is remembered on the Pozières Memorial four miles to the north-east of Albert, together with Frederick Addis also listed on the Olveston War Memorial, who died in the same German offensive. http://sites.southglos.gov.uk/war-memorials/people/charles-henry-hughes/
The stories have been researched by Bill Morgan from Olveston Parish History Society. Chair of Olveston Historical Society, Les Harper, said: “The QR code will inform local people and visitors of the lives of the ordinary men in this village who gave their lives in the First World War and enable people to put a human face and story to a name. Being able to bring the research we have done to a wider audience through new technology will ensure we never forget the sacrifice of these people.”
Heather Goddard, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Communities, added: “This is the first installation to be up and running and we hope it will inspire QR codes to be installed on First World War memorials across South Gloucestershire. Many people want instant access to information at their fingertips and this technology will allow everyone to discover what happened to the brave soldiers who gave their lives for their country all those years ago.”
If any group is interested in installing a QR code on their local war memorial please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The project has been coordinated by South Gloucestershire Council as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded South Gloucestershire First World War project to engage local people with the First World War centenary and includes working with schools and community groups.
Visit http://sites.southglos.gov.uk/war-memorials/ and read the stories of many more Olveston residents who lost their lives during the war.
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