by Group Office on 14 July, 2022
A historian is to give a free online talk on his quest to find the final resting place of his great-grandfather who was killed while fighting in the First World War.
As part of Durham County Record Office’s successful Third Thursday programme of local history talks, a session by guest speaker David Yeoman will take place on Thursday 21 July from 10.30am to 11.30am.
‘Finding Wilfred – a Great War mystery’ will focus on David’s search for where his great-grandfather Wilfred Lomas, a member of the 10th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) is buried. Wilfred was killed in action in December 1917.
David said: “My mother remembers seeing a letter the family received in the early 1920s stating that my great-grandfather’s body had been exhumed and was to be reinterred at Poelcappelle, in Belgium. It appears that Wilfred’s body may have been exhumed at some point and then lost.
“Unfortunately, the letter, his wallet and the other items which were returned, disappeared after the death of my grandfather.
“A total of 19 men of the 10th Battalion of the DLI were reported killed during December 1917. Eleven have known graves, but Wilfred and six others do not.
“I concentrated my investigation on the exhumation records for Polcappelle which are in the Commonwealth War Graves records and worked my way through some 7,500 exhumation records. From from the collated exhumation details I started to build a picture of where Wilfred could have been killed – and this is the story of how I searched for Wilfred and the others.”
Lib Dem Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “David is hugely passionate about his research and his talk promises to be fascinating one.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of interest in signing up for the session and it may well inspire others to find out where ancestors who lost their lives in the conflict are now laid to rest.”
The talk comes as work continues on The Story, an exciting new local history centre for County Durham. The centre will in one central location tell the story of the history and heritage of the county, as told through historic records, photographs and objects.
The project will also bring together the DLI Collection and DLI Archive.
Places for ‘Finding Wilfred – a Great War mystery’, which will be held on Zoom, are free but must be booked in advance. A booking confirmation email will contain instructions on how to join the event online.
To book a place, visit the Record Office online shop at https://recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk/pgEventResult
For more about The Story go to http://www.durham.gov.uk/thestoryLeave a comment