REMEMBRANCE Day holds a particular poignancy this year as it is 100 years since the start of the Great War.

They thought the war would be over by Christmas, but instead it dragged on for four years and cost around 16 million lives.

The red poppy became not only the symbol of the bloodshed spilt on the battlefield, but a sign of hope that life can grow out of darkness as depicted in the famous In Flanders Fields poem by John McCrae.

Westbourne Library manager Jenny Young has established there were 1,100 men from Bournemouth who fell in the Great War. They lie or are commemorated in over 300 Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries and memorials outside the UK and of those 64 are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, 55 at Tyne Cot, 49 on the Menin Gate and 59 on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

View a searchable list of the 1,100 men who died with a proven connection to the town here

“There were eleven 17-year-olds and 36 18-year-olds who came from the area who were killed overseas. The permitted age for service overseas was 19,” said Jenny who has spent many hours researching First World War soldiers.

“The first soldier from Bournemouth to be killed was Lionel Beare on August 22 1914 and in the first five months of the war 70 Bournemouth men died,” said Jenny.

On the opening day of The Battle of the Somme on July 1 1916 twelve soldiers lost their lives and four local sailors were aboard HMS Hamsphire with Lord Kitchener when it struck a mine on June 5 1916. The greatest number of Bournemouth men to be killed was 321 in 1918.

In September Jenny went to France and placed Remembrance crosses on behalf of the town on the graves of Bournemouth men at La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, the Guards Cemetery at Windy Corner, Cuinchy and the Chapelle British Cemetery at Holnon.

A number of soldiers from the town were buried at La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, including Private Lionel Beare, the first soldier from Bournemouth to be killed.

The grave of Lieutenant John Turner of the Dorset Regiment who fought at Mons and Marne before he was killed near Festubert in October 1914 is at the Guards Cemetery, along with another Bournemouth soldier Private F A Whitnall of the Royal Berkshire Regiment who died in February 1915.

“At Chapelle British Cemetery is the grave and memorial of Private William Seth Gee from Bournemouth. He is one of only four men who have their own separate memorial in a corner of the cemetery”, said Jenny.

William was one of 11 children. His parents, Samuel and Eliza Gee, lived at Mannington Place, off Commercial Road, Bournemouth. He was serving with the Hampshire Regiment when war broke out, and by 1917 had transferred to the Dorset Regiment.

In April of that year the battalion was at Savy Wood preparing to attack the village of Holnon as an offensive against the planned Hindenburg Line. As they advanced in thick fog, they encountered German resistance and William was killed. He was buried by his comrades in Holnon Communal Cemetery but in subsequent battles his grave along with those of three other men were destroyed. Today they are remembered on a small memorial with the words ‘Their Glory shall not be blotted out’.

Some of the names of Bournemouth men who were killed in the Great War, including pilot Roland Peck and Lieutenant John Turner have been read out by the Tower of London Roll of Honour.