Our Boys – their stories

Posted on May 29th, 2013

OUR BOYS BUILDING A BATTALION HEADQUARTERS NEAR THE WESTERN FRONT. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19180711-38-4

The stories of the young men who went war in 1914 -1918 are fascinating. They provide a glimpse into another time, a time when duty and Empire were of enormous importance. Their stories are poignant and many families have been able to celebrate their often short lives with booklets, films, and poems. Others have little information or have lost sight of their soldier.  The Auckland War Memorial  Museum’s Cenotaph database is an excellent start for families searching for information.

On the Passchendaele Society membership form we ask if you have a connection to Passchendaele and generally our members do – sometimes just a short note but others share their story in depth. We want to expand on that and share the stories of “our boys” who fought in Ypres in 1917, here on our website.  This is a way of  keeping alive the boys who made the ultimate sacrifice and honouring those who returned.

Peter Kivell shares the story of his great great uncle Ralph Doughty who died in the Passchendaele region in July 1917. When Ralph’s effects were returned to his family they contained five diaries Ralph had kept an almost daily account of his war service. The family have treasured these for nearly one hundred years – you can read the Short Life and Death of Ralph D. Doughty here. If you would like to share your story please contact the Web Editor – Juliana Austen – 12october1917@gmail.com

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