Archive for October, 2017

As a new member of the Department for International Trade (DIT)’s War Memorial Research Group I have recently been trying to find the time to learn a bit more about each of the 305 men named on the Board of Trade World War One War Memorial.

To be honest, until joining the group I am ashamed to say that I was only vaguely a aware of the memorial, which used to hang on the foyer of 1 Victoria Street (now the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy or BEIS main building).

On the recommendation of our Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, the Memorial is now located in the Business Lounge of 3 Whitehall Place and is due to be unveiled and rededicated on the morning of Thursday 9 November. All staff are welcome to attend.


The War Memorial Research Group has long maintained a website presence to raise the profile of the memorial and the history behind it. This is of interest not just to present and past colleagues and families but also to those with an interest in history across the Civil Service and also to local community and family historians.

The War Memorial as it looks today is actually a replacement for an earlier Memorial that was unfortunately lost some time in the 1980s or 1990s. This “new” Memorial was unveiled in 2002 and at same time a dedicated group of staff worked to research the names recorded.

Unfortunately as a result of a number of website changes and upgrades, the war memorial research was archived on the National Archives webpages. Whilst these pages are still accessible, they are quite buried unless you know where to find them.

The purpose of this blog is to bring to the fore previous research and also to uncover new information where there are gaps.

As part of revitalising the blog we have uploaded a new map which lists where the 305 men who died came from originally and where they are either buried or memorialised.

We have also uploaded a new calendar of dates which aims to record when each man listed died and also other key dates associated with World War One (still a work in progress).

In preparing this information, I have learnt many fascinating and sad things. For instance did you know that the youngest man listed on the Memorial was only 16 and the oldest was 53. The 305 men came not just from London but from across the UK including Scotland, Ireland and the Empire (as it was then) from South Africa. The men who died were killed in battles famous and not so famous in France and overseas (like Gallipoli). 11 of the men listed died on the first day of the Somme (1 July 2016). Two of the men commemorated were brothers (Frank Thomas Libby and Harry George Libby) . The men represent those of all the major faiths and also those with no religious beliefs.

In a nutshell, each of the 305 men remembered on the Board of Trade Memorial were flesh and blood people with a past and a future sadly cut short. It is an honour and pleasure to be part of the War Memorial Research Group and over the coming years I hope to highlight more of their individual stories. Hopefully next time you in the 3 Whitehall Place Business Lounge, however busy you are, you can take time to reflect on the individuals behind the names and put all the work that we do on international trade matters into perspective.

Please do get in touch with the War Memorial Research Group if you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback. You can contact the group at war.memorial@trade.gsi.gov.uk

Ed Osborne

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