The soul's archive
A digital network which links the stories of
30,000 young Europeans
The focus of our project is to
enhance on-line digital resources detailing the military and private lives of
soldiers from many different countries who died during The Great War. These new
resources will facilitate new research and teaching opportunities about these
men and their gallant sacrifice.
The project is focused on the area
of the mid-lands of the river Piave, in the Veneto region of Northern Italy.
Here, between November 1917 and June 1918 on the banks of the River Piave and
in the surrounding hills, soldiers from Italy, France and Great Britain fought
gallantly against soldiers from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Bosnia, Croatia, Poland and Romania.
Cemeteries and shrines dot the
landscape, a tangible reminder of this International presence and to the memory
of those soldiers who died.
Using on-line national resources
such as the CWGC database for English servicemen and the Onorcaduti database for Italian servicemen, our project aims to
catalogue more than 30,000 soldiers who are buried in the area. In addition,
the more common search engines such as Google provide extensive information on
the soldiers’ private lives ( many of whom were accomplished sportsmen prior to
their military service).Other online resources, such as regimental diaries,
personal diaries, memoirs, blogs and themed forums provide an additional source
of reference materials.
The culmination of our cataloguing
will result in a digital database which will allow the reader access to
extensive information about the tragic stories of those young Europeans who
fought and died in the region.
In addition to visiting the many graves
and shrines to the soldiers, you will be able to gain access via the database
to specific information such as soldiers’ names, their nationalities, home
cities and towns and details of the branches of the armed forces in which they
Processing of the data is already up
and running in two projects involving students in local schools. The first
project is involved in cataloguing the 416 British soldiers buried in the
Giavera British cemetery and involves students from an English school. The second
project aims to find the names of soldiers reported as missing by the Italian
military archives during the “Battle of the Solstice” in the hills surrounding
Montello. This project involves students and schools from all regions of Italy,
each of whom will focus on soldiers who were born in their city.