The Family History Group of the Brecon U3A undertook a project to commemorate the centenary of the commencement of World War One, but in choosing the topic they wished it to be both meaningful and useful.
The choice was to try and provide a brief biography of all the Brecon men who fell in World War One, as listed on the town's memorial. This was seen as not only a presentation topic, but also the opportunity to provide a useful outcome through the production of this book, and a subsequent website.
Prior to this there was little detail readily available and the memorial itself only gives initials and surnames, which after one hundred years is not very useful to researchers, let alone family members and others.
The details gathered and produced within this book have been shared with local churches, schools and museums to enhance the process of remembrance, and it is also hoped the book will provide a basic insight into the social and military history of the individuals and their times.
The project was undertaken by a team, giving an opportunity to work together and learn from each other as well as discovering new or different ideas on research and presentation skills that may be required.
During the project, we soon realised the subject matter was worthy of more than our original intent of a presentation and the decision to publish was agreed. Also, as we progressed, we found that there were men with Brecon town connections who, for one reason or another, were not listed on the memorial. Endeavours have therefore been made to include as many men in the research as possible, although we recognise that there may still be errors and omissions.
We subsequently agreed to develop a website where this information could also be accessed, along with additional detail that may become available. The website would also allow the project to remain open and for corrections or additions to be included after the initial publication.
We have talked with and met many relatives of individuals on our list and have been careful to explain our motives and methods, whilst being grateful for the support and help from these people and others. We have also had discussions with other groups and individuals carrying out similar research and learnt lessons and shared ideas.
The project has attempted to be diligent in the research using verifiable sources, local newspapers and relative’s submissions wherever possible.