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Heritage Lottery Fund awards £10,000 to Bo’ness Town Trust Association’s Without Fear Project to mark First World War Centenary

Bo’ness Town Trust Association has received a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme to undertake a project to remember their community’s sacrifice during the Great War.

The project is called “Without Fear: tracing the Great War stories of the fallen on the Bo’ness War Memorial”. The latin phrase Sine Metu meaning “Without Fear” forms part of the Bo’ness town coat of arms. This project aims to discover more about the 398 men named on the Bo’ness War Memorial who died on, or following, active service in France, Belgium, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Salonika and other places during World War One.

Their deaths are currently commemorated on the Bo’ness War Memorial although other than a name on a brass plate, very little is known by the local community about these men. This project intends to address this knowledge gap and will involve local people of all generations in shining a new light on the individual sacrifices made by each individual.

The story of each man will be researched including family background, employment history, enlistment, service record and circumstances of death and the results will be presented along with historical background information on the War and its local impact.

The project will involve extensive research and will make use of modern genealogical and historical resources. These include local and national archives, online records, contemporary local and national newspaper archives, service records, family history resources, personal and family papers, church records and more. Additional information on family histories will also be gathered from the people of Bo’ness and elsewhere who have a family connection to the men.

The Association has asked members Robert Jardine, Richard Hannah and Alan Gow to undertake the project on our behalf. They are all local amateur researchers who have a special interest in World War One in the Bo’ness area. Local school children will also participate in the project and provide their own contributions. The project will enable the people of Bo’ness to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the First World War.

The results of this research will be published in an illustrated book and there will be an accompanying website. These will be made available to local schools, libraries, museums, voluntary organisations and the information will also be accessible to general public both locally and further afield.  A key activity will be to back up this information with a series of illustrated talks to a wide variety of groups, together with a specially designed pop-up exhibition of selected stories, photographs and other relevant information.

Commenting on the award, Robert Jardine said: “We are delighted and grateful to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme to undertake this project. Where possible we hope to make contact with families or acquaintances of the casualties to record stories, facts and memories. Any surviving artefacts relating to the individual, particularly photographs, medals, memorial scrolls, service records and BMD certificates will be recorded. These will be included, with the permission of the owner, in our final book, website and exhibitions.

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