November 2018 saw the Centenary of the end of the First World War (1914-1918). This significant milestone in our country’s history was commemorated in a series of national events and activities across the country.
In BT we wanted to make a contribution to reflect in some small way the ultimate sacrifice made by past colleagues who gave their lives, not only in 1914-1918, but also in the subsequent conflict 1939–1945.
We launched a memorials database to coincide with the Centenary. This contained information and personal stories about our colleagues who were commemorated on War Memorials at BT buildings. The location of these had been identified by BT’s Facilities team, and working with BT Archives, we’d formed a project team to research each name. We used resources, such as our own BT Archive records, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and genealogy organisations. We wanted to create a connection between the past and today to commemorate our past employees, more than simply provide a list of names. These were real people whose lives were cut short before they were fully lived.
We have added to the database the names of all 8,858 General Post Office workers who lost their lives from over 75,000 employees who joined the armed forces in the First World War, 1914-1918.
As a next step, we’ll add to the database to include the 3,972 GPO people who were killed in the Second World War, 1939-1945.