Poppy map shows homes of First World War soldiers in Islington
Poppies are popping up all over Islington as a new map is unveiled that aims to show where the borough’s 9,400 soldiers lived before going off to fight – and give their lives – in the First World War.
The map was financed by a £85,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to Islington Council and is part of the project ‘The Streets They Left Behind‘, which commemorates Islington’s fatalities with plaques on the borough streets where they lived.
So far, over 4,000 soldiers (including several women) have been included in the database, and the project will continue to be updated over the next four years as the rest of the borough’s fatalities are identified.
Users will see the soldiers’ former homes marked by a poppy on the interactive map, and can access details about their military action during the war, as well as their last resting places.
However, the map includes marks not just in Islington, but all over the world – every soldier with an Islington connection has been logged, which includes immigrants to the area as well as those born here but living elsewhere at the time of their death.
The physical plaques around the borough, which were launched in August this year, currently number one hundred and are expected to be completed by June 2015, according to Islington Council.
In a statement, Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Whole communities were tragically ripped apart by the War. This poignant project will be a lasting, online legacy for residents to engage with the stories of the people who left Finsbury and Islington to serve in the First World War and did not return home.”
Islington hosts a range of ongoing and future First World War centenary commemoration events, which can be found here.
Correction (20/11/2014): A previous version of this article did not make clear that this is an ongoing project and not all of Islington’s 9,400+ soldiers were included in the map yet at the time of writing. There are also several women that have been identified to date, not just one.