Rutland Remembers project inspired by George Phillips book

Rutland and the Great War
Image caption George Phillips' book Rutland and the Great War is the inspiration for the Rutland Remembers project

A 1920s book is providing inspiration for a memorial project to place a cross at the grave of every victim of World War One from one county.

Rutland Remembers aims to continue the work of George Phillips detailing all those who died from England's smallest county.

He compiled biographies of the 608 people who died, including where, well before permanent memorials were built.

Volunteers are now digitising his work and visiting all the graves.

Image caption The Rutland Remembers website used George Phillips' book to build a digital memorial

When World War One first started, Rutland had a population of just 20,000 - so the deaths of 605 men and three women left its mark.

Following the end of hostilities, Mr Phillips used newspaper clippings and local knowledge to compile his book, telling the victims' stories and including a picture in his book.

He used his car, the first in Rutland and still working today, to travel around the county and speak to all the grieving families.

Image caption Rutland and the Great War book includes pictures of every man and woman from the county killed in the war

The grandfather of Robert Boyle, Honorary Colonel of Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry, is the first person pictured in the book, killed outside Ypres in a decisive battle.

Mr Boyle said: "[Mr Phillips] was able to bring together, thanks to the families who were left, sufficient material to... make certain they were remembered within the county."

Image caption George Phillips owned the first car in Rutland and, 115 years after it was made, it still runs well

Mr Phillips' book is the basis for the Rutland Remembers project which aims to lay a cross at the graves or memorials of all the Rutlanders killed in the war.

There are 301 locations across the globe from Berlin to Baghdad but many were buried in their home villages after succumbing to injuries sustained on the front.

A reprint of his book Rutland and the Great War will be launched on Thursday.

On Inside Out on Monday at 19:30, Jim Buchanan travels round Rutland in Mr Phillips' car and meets some of the families who lost relatives in the war.

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