MEMBERS of Oswestry Rotary Club received a preview of a new website documenting the lives of over 300 men from the First World War remembered on the Oswestry War Memorial Gates at Cae Glas Park when project co-ordinator John Davies from the QUBE led project Men On The Gates was the speaker at Oswestry Rotary Club recently.
Backed by a Heritage Lottery grant, the stories of the lives of the First World War casualties have been researched and recorded to remember their sacrifice and preserve their memory for future generations. John invited Rotary members to recall names of any family members listed on the gates to demonstrate the Men on the Gates' new interactive website and immediately found the two uncles named by Rotary member Mike Jones. John was able to dig down beyond their dates to find out where they lived, worked and how they became casualties.
"Information can be accessed in three main ways: Men on the Gates, Men at the Front and Men at Home." John explained. "This is a comprehensive heritage resource documenting Oswestry's role in the conflict, providing links to external sites such as the National Archives." John demonstrated. The men listed on the gates came from many different walks of life and backgrounds with connections between them including being relations, school friends, work colleagues, neighbours or members of the same church; all of these links can be examined on the website.
Rotary members were keen to find out more about their own connections with the Men on the Gates however time for questions ran out so John invited them to explore the website for themselves at menonthegates.org.uk, the website which launches officially on 22nd March with an evening from 7.00pm at The Qube where stories of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice will be heard including a talk on the ‘Oswestry Pals’, a website demonstration and a Q&A session.
Rotarian Wagih El Masri summed up the feeling of the meeting in his Vote of Thanks to John: "It is right that we who benefit from the sacrifice of those commemorated on the gates should remember and honour them. The Men on the Gates project certainly achieves that." he said.
Pictured: Rotarian David Gordon (L) with Men on the Gates Project Co-ordinator John Davies