We are Emily and Ellie, two second year history students at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. As part of our public history module we have taken part in a project for Truro Cathedral’s education department to research an individual from the First World War.
We have researched a Cornish man named Richard Charles Graves-Sawle, who fought and died in the War. This project is particularly poignant given that the First World War centenary is coming up in November of this year.
We are aiming to highlight the importance of remembering those individuals who gave their lives in this historic event, and want to remember these people for their individual lives, not as numbers or statistics. There are national remembrance events and information (for example, see the Royal British Legion’s website) but we want to give Richard’s name a story; the memorialisation page in particular brings it home just how personal stories from the War can be.
Generally, this website details our progress and final research for this project. We have tried to keep it simple so you are not bombarded with streams of writing. The blog section shows brief chronological summaries of our research progress, whilst the other pages document what we have found.
In order to keep the past relevant to a modern audience, we have created some social media links: we have a twitter feed with real extracts from Richard’s diary (100 years to the day that they were written), and you can view the Cornwall Record Office Facebook page (the archive where we retrieved most of our research).
Although not directly linked to Truro Cathedral, Richard’s story hints that people of all backgrounds fought in the event, whether Cornish or not. But if you would like to research your own relative, then the Cornwall Record Office is a great place to start, or you can see if they are documented on Truro Cathedral’s roll of honour.
We would like to thank Truro Cathedral and the Cornwall Record Office for their help in this project.