Plymouth Marjon University marked the centenary of World War One with the unveiling of a new plaque with twelve more names of former St Mark or St John students that lost their lives during the World Wars.
Over 2,000 students from the then-separate colleges of either St Mark or St John served in the First World War and a number of students fought in a number of major conflicts on the Eastern and Western Front including Ypres, Gallipoli and the Battle of the Somme.
When the original plaques were planned commemorating those students who fought in World Wars, the colleges of St Mark and St John asked family members of those who fought in battle to come forward with the names of former students who should be included on the plaques. The Colleges put out adverts in local newspapers and used the alumni network to try and find the names of pupils and former pupils lost to war. However, some of the names of students were missed off the current plaque, which is currently proudly displayed outside the Marjon Chaplaincy.
Chris Elliott, who volunteers in the Marjon archive, previously worked in the Royal Navy for six years and has made it his work in his retirement to update the list of names posted in remembrance outside the Marjon Chaplaincy.
“It has been a project I’ve been saving for my retirement,” said Chris.
“With the centenary this year I wanted to take a look at this at Marjon because I was aware that there were names missing from the plaque.
“First up, I just looked at the names on the current plaques that are listed with a surname and some initials and I wanted to really find out who these people were. It’s not an easy task with just initials!”
Chris worked through the Marjon archives and used the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to find out more information about St Mark and St John’s war dead. It was during this research that Chris found the additional names of people who were students at St Mark or St John and fell during wartimes but weren’t yet listed on the plaques at Marjon.
Chris continued: “I felt it was important to try and get these names out there. I want the next generation of students around campus to understand more about what went on during the war and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s important young people know more about World War One and World War Two.”
Marjon staff and pupils gathered at the Chaplaincy on Friday to remember all those who have died in war, and this time 12 previously-omitted former St Mark or St John students joined their comrades in having their names read out as part of the service.