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Bring the Navy’s WW1 fallen back to life through act of remembrance

8 August 2018
Are you related to or connected with a sailor or Royal Marine killed in the Great War?

If you are, the Royal British Legion wants to hear your/their story as part of final commemorations of the centenary of the 1914-18 conflict.

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the guns falling silent and brings the curtain down on events marking key moments in the four-year-long conflict.

It also marks the end of the Legion’s Every One Remembered initiative, run in conjunction with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Since we launched the Every One Remembered website over 14,000 people have left messages of remembrance for their relatives, namesakes and strangers who died in the Navy

Catherine Davies

They set out to individually commemorate more one million Commonwealth servicemen and women lost in the Great War.

The joint website allows people connected with the fallen to leave mementoes, tributes and photographs, or for strangers merely to say ‘thank you’ for the sacrifice made – ensuring that they are more than mere names on memorials and cenotaphs.

The Royal Navy lost more than 200 warships and 800 auxiliary vessels during the four-year conflict – the last, aged battleship HMS Britannia, was sunk off Cape Trafalgar just two days before the Armistice, taking 50 men down with her.

On land, the sailor-soldiers of the Royal Naval Division fought from Antwerp to the Hindenburg Line via the Somme, Passchendaele and Gallipoli – but at a fearful cost.

In all, 49,573 personnel in the Naval service died between 1914 and 1918. Just shy of 14,000 are ‘remembered’ on the site – www.everyoneremembered.org – such as Stoker James Loveless, from Ferryhill in County Durham.

He was killed aboard HMS Warspite at Jutland (unlike other capital ships hit by German shells that day, she didn’t blow up but went on to become Britain’s greatest battleship).

Family members provided a photograph of the 20-year-old naval reservist as well a few details of his life to turn a simple name into a human being.

There are still more than 35,500 sailors and marines ‘unremembered’, however. Hence the push from the Legion to help complete the database as a permanent ‘digital tribute’ to the 1.1m Commonwealth war dead.

“Since we launched the Every One Remembered website over 14,000 people have left messages of remembrance for their relatives, namesakes and strangers who died in the Navy,” said Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion.

“As we approach the end of the centenary, we would love to see each and every one of these men and women individually commemorated. Leaving a personal tribute, however long or short is an opportunity to take part in a truly historic and significant act of remembrance.”

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