Gone but not forgotten – North West charity the Together Trust uses social media to remember the fallen of WW1
In the run up to Armistice Day the North West disability charity the Together Trust is honouring the 400 former pupils, residents and members of staff who served in the First World War by using social media to publish some of their individual stories.
Liz Sykes, the Together Trust Records, Archives and Information Manager said: ‘We first started to look into the stories of former beneficiaries and staff members of the Together Trust who served in the First World War in the run up to the centenary of the conflict in 2014. Since then we’ve steadily amassed a lot of information about our veterans and a fascinating and touching mosaic of individual stories has emerged.
“Take Alfred and Walter Sutton. The brothers were admitted into the care of the charity in 1902 aged 7 and 5 and lived at the Higgin’s Home on George Street in Manchester. In 1910 Alfred was sent to Canada as part of an emigration scheme designed to rescue children from poverty.
“Alfred lived on a farm outside of Ontario and later Walter was sent to live on a nearby farm. By all accounts both boys were happy in their new homes, adapting well to life in the country, and remained in close contact throughout their time in Canada.
“But when war came both answered the call and joined the Canadian Army. When Alfred’s regiment was sent to train in England he was able to find time to visit the children’s homes in George Street, where he learned that Walter was in a hospital in France, suffering from shell shock. He had only been back in the trenches for three days after having spent several weeks in hospital recovering from wounds he’d received on the Western Front.”
Thankfully both brothers went on to survive the war but sadly 29 other Together Trust veterans did not. Mark Lee, Chief Executive at the Together Trust, said: “We’re very proud of the contribution to the security of our country made by the 400 men from our past here at the Together Trust, and deeply grateful to the 29 who made the ultimate sacrifice. That’s why we’re keen that their legacy isn’t forgotten. Using social media to remember their individual stories in this way will not only help us teach new generations about these brave men but it also reminds us all that behind each name there was a person, just like us.”
You can learn more about those from the Together Trust family who served in the First World War on our Roll of Honour page, where you will also find instructions about how to get in touch if you think a family member was associated with the charity and fought in the First World War.
For further information, images and interviews please contact Alfred Searls at Together Trust on 0161 283 4885 or Alfred.Searls@togethertrust.org.uk.