This website began as a way of tracing the stories of the men of Ely in Cambridgeshire who did not come home at the end of World War One. Can you add to what is here out of your own personal family knowledge? Do contact us.
Elsewhere on the site you will find information on others who lived and worked in the City during this period and the lives they lived, as well as of their men at the front. It is a small picture of life a century ago and a tribute to all those to whom so much was owed.
The banner at the top of the page shows from left to right:
The 1917 Ely Memorial decorated for Peace Day
A group of Territorials from before the War - Tom Dann and Billy Cole did not survive, but their friends Fred Mallion and Billy Tunnell were more fortunate
Their individual stories, and those of the other men, can be found under "The Fallen".
"From a Tommy in the Trenches"
Poem by Private Robert Hilliard of the Suffolk Regiment printed in the Ely Standard of 5th October 1917: If your sleeping place is damp Never mind; If you wake up with the cramps Never mind; If your tent should tumble in, And relieve your nose of skin, While the sergeant drinks your gin, Never mind. If you have to rise at four Never mind; If the morning’s dark and raw, Never mind; If your matches should elope With your only piece of soap And you have to bump and grope Never mind; If your inch of pork should freeze, Or you find A snail upon your cheese, Never mind; If a “coal box” should make hay Of your old Y.M.C.A. If your coffee melts away, Never mind. If the cook’s a trifle new, Never mind; If you get your tea and stew All combined; And you find your pint of rice Has a muddy coat of ice, Never mind. Keep a steady upper lip and you’ll find Every cloud you like to rip Silver lined; Though the skies are looking grey, Yet it’s ten to one there may Be a parcel on the way, Never mind.