“Lest We Forget” was first penned by Rudyard Kipling in a 1897 poem that has become a plea not to forget past sacrifices in acts of remembrance across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth from the end of the Great War to today. Kipling could not have known that he and his own family would later mourn the loss of his own son who lies somewhere in the soil of a Belgium field to this day.
Next year will mark the centennial anniversary of the end of the Great War. Few families in Britain were unaffected by the conflict, and in thousands of attics across the country there are photographs, diaries, letters, and mementos that tell the story of a generation at war, of the loved ones who fought in the conflict, served on the home front, lost fathers, mothers and children with many living the rests of their lives in physical and mental torment. On a daily basis these stories and objects are being lost to the nation, and the memory of the sacrifice of that generation consigned to oblivion. The men, women and children of 1914-1918 deserve better and their stories must be preserved for future generations to open a window through words and images as these shine from their souls to tell us about them as people, their fears, dreams, hopes, aspirations, sacrifice, and loss.
When calls come for military action, remember this is the cost that always has to be paid – Lest We Forget.
VICON is honored to support the launch by Oxford University of a national effort to digitally capture, safeguard, and share these important personal items and reminiscences from the men and women of 1914-1918 to create a free-to-use archive acquired through local digitisation events across village halls, community centres, schools, and libraries.
If you would like to also support this initiative please visit: