Sullivan, on 08 November 2002 - 06:53 AM, said:
Was the Memorial Plaque 'Committee' short sighted.
The following appeared in 'The Times' under a headline -
'Memento for the Fallen. State Gift for Relatives'.
A General Committee, representative of both Houses of Parliament and of the Government Departments most concerned has been appointed to consider the question of a memorial to be distributed to relatives of soldiers and sailors who fall in the war...'.
The Committee was composed of the following -
Six MP's. (two of whom held military rank).
Representatives for the Dominions.
The India Office.
The Colonial Office.
Sir Reginald Brade, Secretary of the War Office and Army Council, was appointed Chairman.
Mr. W. Hutchinson, also of the War Office, was made Secretary.
The Director of the National Gallery, Sir Cecil Harcourt-Smith.
The Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Charles Holmes.
The Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum,
George Francis Hill.
I have no argument with the design and the principal of a consolatory memorial, and the aim to perpetuate the name of the deceased, all were equal in death and there was no need for rank to be included with the name, however 'The Committee' overlooked to include a key that would allow future descendants of a family, military memorabilia collectors and other interested persons, to trace the military history of the deceased. Obviously many plaques are now without the accompanying scroll, over the years the scrolls have been lost and now there is no clue as to the deceased's regiment, although knowing the regiment is not always helpful due to common Christian names and Surname's within one regiment.
I receive many emails from various parts of the world, the theme is always similar to this example -,
'I have just discovered this medallion, it is the same as the one on your web page, can you tell me anything about the person, his name is John Smith'.
There are approximately 1,997 J. Smith's on the CWGC database, take your pick!!!.
Instead of the so called batch number, the most useful number in my mind would have been a regimental number stamped on reverse of plaque.
This posting prompted by frustration in researching a plaque with name of James Thompson. (aprox. 553 on CWGC database.)
Not sure if you are still on this forum. I cant access the link to plaque frames anymore and wondered if you still have any pictures?
Thanks in advance for your help, Jules