Like all counties, boroughs and districts throughout Britain, large numbers of men left to fight in the First World War (1914-18) but many never returned home. We have been thinking about the 9400 men (and three women), with Islington connections who didn't come back, and where they came from in the borough. As an on-going project, we so far have residence details for 4300 people and would welcome help to locate the others.
‘The Streets They Left Behind’ (STLB Mapping Project) focuses on the streets where these men lived, worked and experienced life before they departed for the various theatres of war and battlefields where they died as serving soldiers, sailors and airmen.
The project describes both Finsbury and Islington because, at the time of the First World War, these two areas made up two different boroughs. They now form our modern London Borough of Islington.
The STLB project draws upon the database created for the Islington Book of Remembrance, which accumulated the names for all casualties of conflict (military and civilian) from the 20th century up to the 1950s. This is where we are gathering memories about these people and media such as images of them and their families.
The STLB focuses just upon the First World War casualties and locates them on an interactive map by their last known address. The poppies which mark each man are scattered around the world, because we have collected information about all casualties with an Islington connection. That is:
- Those born in Finsbury or Islington and living here at the time of their deaths
- Those born elsewhere but living in Finsbury or Islington at the time of their deaths
- Those born in Finsbury or Islington but living elsewhere at the time of their deaths
This is the reason why the map shows so many people living elsewhere in London and Britain, as well as far away in Canada and New Zealand.
The map is fully interactive, and has functions similar to other map applications such as Google Maps or Google earth. The master database behind the map records the following:
- Service number
- Regiment and unit
- Last known home address
- Date of death
- Cemetery or memorial
- Grave or memorial reference