Datchet’s ‘missing’ soldiers

Datchet’s ‘missing’ soldiers

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While researching the lives of the 54 men remembered on Datchet’s WWI Memorial, Datchet Village Society has discovered many more servicemen with Datchet connections who died during WWI but who aren’t remembered on the Memorial.

Over the Remembrance Weekend, the Society drew attention to these ‘missing’ men with a display on the Green, in co-operation with the Parish Council.

So far, at least 33 men have been found who aren’t listed on the memorial and there may be more. The DVS is investigating why these men weren’t included on the Memorial.

In 1919, an attempt was made to compile a Datchet War Roll of every man (and woman) who had served as well as those who had been killed in action. Villagers were asked to complete a form providing relevant names and details. It was originally intended that the War Roll should list the names of all those whose home was in Datchet when they joined up. It was also stipulated that married sons living elsewhere should not be included.

For various reasons (you can read more here), the compilation of a definitive War Roll was eventually abandoned and the resultant incomplete list of 350 includes some men who weren’t living in Datchet when they enlisted, as well as others who had married and moved away. Oddly, too, there are discrepancies between the War Roll and the Memorial: the War Roll lists men who died who aren’t on the Memorial, and vice versa. As part of the DVS WWI research project, Harry Clasper has been compiling a revised War Roll which now includes more than 430 names.

 We are now exploring the possibility of adding some of these men’s names to the memorial.

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