Object Highlight #3 – The Roll of Honour

Our third Object Highlight comes to you from Nikki our Collections and Exhibitions Officer. For her first item she has chosen the Trowbridge Roll of Honour.

"Front cover of Trowbridge roll of honour"

‘The Roll of Honour was produced after the First World War, compiled by the Rev Harry Saunders in 1919. The book details local serviceman who were tragically killed in the conflict, including photographs of the men in many cases.

Such detailed rolls of honour are quite unusual as it also mentions the medals and decorations awarded to these Trowbridge men, including foreign medals, and in some case quotes about the solider or how they lost their life.

Looking through the roll of honour can be overwhelming, each page brings a new list of names, of men, who have died due to war and conflict. In some cases up to 3 men from one household are listed, can you just imagine the turmoil felt by the friends and family left behind, let alone the pain and suffering the poor men endured?

Almost all of us have seen a war memorial in a town, but seeing the photographs of these young men brings a human element to The Great War.
The roll of honour is so interactive, although just a book, anyone who opens its pages, be it an inquisitive school child or researching adult, will immediately look for recognisable names or addresses. You can’t help but look at the black and white photographs of these men and wonder if they truly knew what was in store for them.

The more you investigate the book though, the more it tells you, which streets lost most men, what roles did women play… And what questionable facial hair was fashionable at the time!’

"photo of a man with large mustache and an unusual bowl cut"
An example of the more dubious hair cuts and facial hair of the time!
Object Highlight
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