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Archant’s tribute to 25,000 heroes from First World War

Archant East has launched a new website which features a page for every one of the 25,000 men from Norfolk and Suffolk recorded as having died during the First World War and allows readers to leave personal tributes to the fallen.

The interactive site has been launched across Norfolk by the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News and it also set to feature in Archant Suffolk’s East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star in due course.

Readers are able to add biographical details about every individual, as well as photographs, and can also post tributes to their page. This will allow readers to leave stories about their loved ones and neighbours.

It is the first time such a database has been assembled online and the project forms a major part of the Archant East daily newspapers’ ongoing coverage of the centenary of the conflict.

The idea came originally from David Powles, assistant editor (editor digital) Archant Norfolk, and was implemented by Archant head of development, Chris Thompson and his team.

David said: “Once we’d published the names of the fallen in a special newspaper supplement it seemed nonsense to think that would be the end of it after all the hard work that went in to collating them.

“Hopefully, therefore, this is a great example of how print and digital platforms can work alongside each other. From an editorial point of view all we have to do is set up the mechanism and give it publicity, the public will then either get behind it or not. If enough people do get behind this, it could potentially give us the content for another print supplement.”

Archant group digital business director, Richard Avery, said: “We hope that the people of Norfolk and Suffolk feel, as we do, that this is a fitting tribute to the fallen from our two counties. We hope that over the course of this extended period of remembrance they use the interactive features of this online memorial to shine a light on the stories of all those who gave their lives, such that the memorial becomes a permanent and rich roll of honour.”

Archant Norfolk editor-in-chief, Nigel Pickover, said: “Our website is part of our commitment to enduring remembrance of those who left our region never to return.

“In print we have produced amazing supplements, online we are creating a permanent record so people from our treasured part of the world can remember the lost ones for ever more. Through all this we are trying to capture the first, full, electronic record of those who lost their lives. My team is committed to the project and is leading it from the heart as well as the head.”