Call to honour all war’s dead
12:00pm Saturday 9th February 2013 in By Craig Jones
PROPOSALS to honour international soldiers killed during the First World War have been sent to South West Wiltshire MP Andrew Murrison.
The idea, which could see the names of those who died projected in cities across the world, was suggested as part of the country’s Great War centennial commemorations in 2014.
The scheme, backed by the Canadian Government, was suggested to Mr Murrison, who is Prime Minister David Cameron’s special aid for the centenary events.
He said: “This is a Canadian-backed project, which was trialled in 2008 when the names of First World War dead were projected in Trafalgar Square, on to Canada House, which the Queen attended.
“The idea now is that it is done all around the world, featuring names of soldiers from the countries involved in the war.”
If introduced, each home serviceman or woman’s name would be displayed individually for several minutes, with those of overseas combatants shown for about 25 seconds.
The families of the war dead would also be able to visit a website to find out when the name of their relative would be on display.
Mr Murrison said the idea needed to be judged on its merits and to stage it in this country would need outside funding, as the Government had already made plans for the commemorations.
He said: “The idea would certainly require a UK partner. I’ve also seen suggestions that it could by displayed at the Cenotaph, which I wouldn’t support.
“If it were to be done, we’d need to find somewhere that is a sensitive and proper location.”
The idea of also having names of German soldiers displayed has been considered controversial, but Steeple Ashton First World War expert Steve Williams said he would back such a move.
He said: “They were all young men. They didn’t start the war, they just wanted to represent their countries and paid the price.
“This event should be used to reconcile and to consider all the brave people who died in similar circumstances across the world.”