Tracing your roots back to Gallipoli

Twenty young people, aged 14-19, researched the lives of Bolton soldiers who had died during the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.

Visiting Bury and Fulwood museums, the young people delved into census records to uncover 90 names and find out where the men lived, what they did and who their families were. Requests for information in local newspapers uncovered a further 96 names and engaged the community, with many local families able to see photographs of their ancestors for the first time.

Working with consultants, the young people created a website with a page dedicated to each soldier. These included original sources such as newspaper extracts and regimental insignias. A veterans’ group in Bolton were so impressed they paid for the work to be made into a book, with a copy given to every school and residential home in the area.

Many of the young people enjoyed the experience so much they continued to volunteer after the project finished, responding to requests for information from around the world.

Dorothy Martland, DBBC, “We choose a subject that was manageable and had a beginning and an end. You cannot cover the entirety of the battle of the Somme and do it justice.”

More information is available at the DBBC's The Road to Gallipoli website.

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