My name is Paul Bishop. I have lived and worked in Hull, for the last 30 years.
My interest in the Hull Memorial started in the mid 1980’s, when I lived in Folkestone Street, off Sculcoates Lane, in Hull. While waiting outside a white, telephone box (this was before mobile phones!), I noticed the ‘Great War’ memorial, at the entrance of St Mary’s Church, on Sculcoates Lane. There stood in the church yard, a life-size, ‘Crucified Christ’, carved from solid oak, erected in memory to those lost in the ‘Great War’. Inside the church, were the names of 175 men from the Sculcoates Parish, inscribed on a stone pillar, who had died in the First World War. They were just a list of names and no other details.
This seemed an extraordinary, high loss of life, from one Parish. I was curious to find out more about these names. Who were these men, what did they do, where did they live and what happened to them and their families? As many of the houses surrounding the Church were built before the First World War, I was interested to see where the men may have lived in the area?
Answering these questions was difficult. There was no internet, or easy access, to online records, then. I spent hundreds of hours of spare time, in between work, visiting local libraries, researching electoral registers, reading local newspapers, books and military diaries. Copying records by hand was slow, and accessing other records was expensive.
However, as I became more experienced in retrieving and recording information, my research quickened and a fascinating story unfolded of Hull during the First World War. I learnt about Hull, its history and the lives of ordinary people, swept up in a World conflict. I discovered that not only had the First World War had a devastating impact on the Sculcoates area, but the same story was replicated all across Hull. Therefore what started initially as a hobby, to trace a few names on a local war memorial, became over time, a major project, to record all those from Hull that died in the First World War.
However, to really remember the dead it became necessary to find out more about them. War memorials needed to be more than just a list of names. The digital age now allows us to touch a name on a memorial, and produce a photograph, or share a link, to a personal story, that we can all connect with. I therefore developed the ‘Kingston upon Hull, Memorial 1914-18’, to make all local memorials more interactive. It was a journey that took me on many paths, exploring memorials, churches, workplaces, and cemeteries. I even visited the battlefields abroad where Hull men had fought and died.
The name of the ‘ww1hull.com’ website is easy to remember. It does what it says, organising all the information on Hull, in World War One. It records all the details from Hull’s many First World War memorials, and arranges the names of the dead by street. It links each name to a satellite map, so it can be seen where they lived, and every day, remembers the names of Hull men, who died on this day during the War. This enables the reader to assess the impact of the war on Hull communities.
All the names of the dead are listed to emphasize their existence as individuals. Where possible, some personal information has been provided, on each man, to highlight the enormity of their loss, to those that they left behind..
The reader can search the database, in may ways, by name, by street, by regiment, or the date died. They can also discover more about Hull, during the ‘Great War’, on a variety of links to other sources.
My website is free to use. There are no charges or fees required, to access this information. My many years of research, are my gift to the City, as Hull is my home and its’ people have been good to me. It seems appropriate to release this information, now in 2014, in line with the Centenary Anniversary, of the start of the First World War. I also hope it will increase our understanding of Hull’s history, and complement the wider work, of Hull as the City of Culture in 2017.
I must sincerely thank and acknowledge all the help past and present, from individuals and organizations, that lent support and provided information to this work. They are many and they know who they are. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the work of Malcolm and Mary Mann, who many years ago, took it upon themselves, to visit memorials and record their details by hand. I never met them, but their efforts inspired this work, and I hope they would approve. I also thank Chris Smith, from ‘virtual riders’, who designed this site, and the ‘Goodwin Centre’ who first took an interest in my work. Also, all the sterling assistance, provided by Hull City Council’s Library staff; the Hull History Center; the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; and the Imperial War Museum. However, this is just the start. It is hoped that in time, more records, stories and photographs will be added to the website, in order to make this a comprehensive and accurate record of Hull in the First World War.
Every person recorded on the Hull Memorial has their own unique story and there are over eight thousand stories to tell. The potential of all these people was lost to the world, but they are remembered here, now.
In Memory of my Grandmother, Phyllis Gladwin, who helped raise me, and her Grandfather, Petty Officer, William Littleford, 14147, Royal Navy, HMS ‘Clan McNaughton’, lost at sea, 3rd February 1915, aged 55, (No Survivors): her Uncles, Gunner, Edward John Parker, 940567, Royal Field Artillery. ‘D’ Bty, 4th (London) Howitzer Bde, died of wounds 9th July 1916, aged 18 years, buried Warlincourt Military cemetery, France; and, Private, Ernest Raymond Middleton, 40662, Middlesex Regiment 12th Bn, killed 15th January 1917, aged 19, buried Puchervillers Military cemetery, Somme, and her husband, Cpl, Frank Edward Nash, 1460102, Royal Air Force, killed 30th August 1944, aged 35, buried Les Authieux Churchyard, France.
Also to other relatives:-
Private, Leonard Edward Nash, 225101, Royal Fusiliers (City of London) 1st Bn, died of wounds 21st July 1917, aged 19, buried Wimereaux.
Sgt, Herbert James Clarke, 358, Royal Fusiliers 10th Bn, killed in action, 10th July 1916, buried Becourt cemetery, Somme.
L/Cpl, Sam Lister, 15200, West Riding regiment 10th Bn, killed in action ,10th July 1916, aged 28, Thiepval, Somme
Private, Joseph Lister, 205365, West Riding Regiment 2/5th Bn, died of wounds, 22nd November 1917, aged 22, Rocquigny cemetery, Somme.
Private, Arthur Lister, 161817, West Yorkshire Regiment 10th Bn, killed in action, 23rd April 1918, aged 22, Forceville cemetery, Somme.
Private, Harry William Bishop, 1624, Australian Infantry, AIF, 44th Bn, killed in action, 11th October 1917, aged 42, Ypres (Menin Gate).
They gave their tomorrow, for my today.
Author and Researcher