FIBIS has received the following Press Release from the Army Children Archive.
Launch of the Army Children Graves Register
There was a time when their wives and children accompanied British soldiers on active service, and it is well documented that many died on the march (for example, during the Peninsular War’s retreat to Corunna, in Spain, from 1808 to 1809). Britain also once had an extensive empire that required defending, which is why the last resting places of numerous army children can be found in such far-flung countries as Malta, Hong Kong, Ireland and India, where they had often died of indigenous diseases. And in recent times, it has been (West) Germany – ‘home’ for many army children over the past century – that has primarily provided the foreign fields where British soldiers’ children who died prematurely now lie.
Just as The Army Children Archive (TACA) is unique in its focus on the lives and times of British army children from the seventeenth century to date, so the Army Children Graves Register (http://www.archhistory.co.uk/taca/gravesregister.html) is the only record dedicated to tracking the graves and memorials of the children of British soldiers, wherever in the world they may have died. Set up on 23 May 2011, partly in response to requests for help from relatives searching for army children’s graves, and partly as an aid to researchers, the aim of placing on record the names of this category of youngsters commemorated on gravestones and memorials (which are always at risk of weathering and destruction) is to ensure that they will not vanish into obscurity. And although it already contains hundreds of names from military cemeteries at home and abroad, thousands more remain unl isted, and TACA welcomes additions.
Making its debut alongside the Army Children Graves Register is the ‘Army children’s graves’ page (http://www.archhistory.co.uk/taca/graves.html), which includes advice from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) on to how go about locating an individual army child’s grave, along with images of army children’s graves in the UK and abroad, personal stories, and some useful links.
For more information, e-mail Clare Gibson: [email protected]
The Army Children Archive (TACA) Chronicling British army children’s history www.archhistory.co.uk
The Army Children Archive (TACA) was established in 2007 by writer Clare Gibson to collect, record, preserve and share details of the unique aspects of growing up as the child of a soldier serving in the British Army, whether that growing up was done during the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth or twenty-first century. As well as chronicling British army children’s history, TACA (which is a virtual resource) aims to support current army children by spreading awareness of the challenges that the military lifestyle imposes on them.
Some of the subjects that are covered through the TACA website include:
- army children’s lives and times;
- modes of travel between postings, and between boarding school and home;
- the reality of life on arrival at postings within the UK and abroad;
- accommodation and married quarters;
- healthcare and hospitals;
- army children’s memories;
- famous army children;
- tips on researching army children for family historians;
- period photographs of army children;
- the Army Children Grave Register;
- current and recent research into army children;
- links to related websites; • recommendations for further reading;
- and much more.
Visitors to www.archhistory.co.uk are encouraged to contribute information, memories and images to TACA, both to share with others and to safeguard their survival, for it is a sad truth that many details of the army-child experience have gone unrecorded, and have consequently been lost forever. TACA is regularly updated to showcase such contributions.