War news is scarce in the January 15, 1918, edition of the Market Harborough Advertiser: there are no reports of local men being wounded or dying, no accounts of heroic soldiers receiving gallantry medals.
But the eyes of the readers are inexorably drawn to the three columns of print that dominate page 5. Name after name, THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE in total: all local, all loved by at least one of the readers. All dead.
This is the Roll of Honour, compiled by town dignitary and shop owner Mr F G Shindler, of those men from the Market Harborough District who have been ‘killed in action, died in hospital, died on service, or are missing’.
This real-time website reproduced Shindler’s List of August 1917 and in just five short months another NINETY EIGHT names have been added the roll call.
There are now ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ONE men from the town who have died for King and Country – that’s 32 more than last summer. And the villages have paid an even greater price as there are now TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR soldiers on the list – another SIXTY SIX more than in August.
How many more will be added to that list before the fighting stops?
- This column is published every Monday by John Dilley on the Newspapers and the Great War website and will continue until the 100th anniversary of the final armistice in November 2018.
- My fellow researcher and De Montfort University lecturer David Penman is conducting a similar real-time project with the Ashbourne Telegraph. Check out his Great War Reports.
- Check out this week’s Harborough Mail for current news from the Market Harborough area.