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HELP NEEDED: Mission to identify unrecognised war heroes

 Published on: 2nd September 2019   |   By: News Desk   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Berkhamsted historian is on a mission to ensure that all of those who served in both World Wars are recognized, can you help?

Janice Boakes was inspired by the story of local man, Horace Allen, and is now researching for those who lost their lives in or just after, each of the World Wars, but who do not currently have a Commonwealth Memorial War Grave or appear on either the war memorial outside St Peter’s Church or the current war memorial in Rectory Lane Cemetery (RLC). 

A new war memorial is being commissioned as part of the Garden of Remembrance on the eastern border nearest to Three Close Lane. 

The RLC project team has been working closely with the local branch of the British Legion to finalise arrangements to replace the memorial near the Rectory Lane Gates, previously some names were not included, and this is an opportunity to put this right.

Secretary of The Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society, Janice Boakes, said: “When James Moir outlined the plans for the renewal of the war memorial, I was keen to help. There are already 27 Commonwealth War Graves (CWG) marking the lives of the war fallen but I know that some names may be missing. 

“Families had to apply to have their loved ones included in the CWG scheme so it is possible that with the post war upheaval, and in the case of WW1 the Spanish flu, that there may be some omissions. Also, some people died later due to very terrible injuries.”

The Project wants to make sure it has included the names of everyone on the future memorial and would be pleased to hear from anyone who has information on a relative or friend buried in the Cemetery who fought in WW1 and who died of injuries before 1930, or who fought in WW2 and died of injuries before 1947 (when the Cemetery was deemed to be reaching capacity).

Please contact the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project team by September 30 via or

Pictured: Dave Allen with the cross made by his father marking his grandfather Horace Allen’s grave. 

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