The centennial anniversary of World War One has initiated a wide range of public and private projects in the area, many of which have left physical artefacts such as the poppy flower arrangement in Central Park, or Stephen Oliver’s considerable output of war-themed paintings.  After realising a need for a more detailed and accessible archive of Swanscombe’s losses during the war, Chris Bateman has built an online memorial to these men, in the hope that the names of the servicemen will not only be preserved and remembered by future generations, but can also be added to as more details emerge over time.

Chris has extensively researched the biographic details of the men who were either born in, or lived in Swanscombe, and who lost their life during the war.  To date, the details of 181 men have so far been added to the memorial, and these are illustrated with digital media such as their photographs and online maps locating their former homes, and links to details of their graves.  In many cases, the biographies of survivors have also been added to the archive, thus building a more complete picture of the effect of World War One on communities such as Swanscombe.

The work started in August 2013, and will continue whilst Chris locates more details and relatives of those who served. Chris also hopes to build more interactive functionality to the website along with more of the all-important biographic detail of those who served. If you have any memories or details of Swanscombe’s World War One servicemen, they can be submitted to Chris by email.

About the author

Richey Estcourt is a volunteer with Dartford Litterpickers, Dartford Living and Dartford parkrun, and also a former Special Constable.

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