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'They Did Not Return': Leith World War One Project

29 October 2010

‘They Did Not Return’ was a project to compile information on the 2,206 casualties of World War One named in the Leith Roll of Honour (originally kept in Leith Hospital and now held by LHSA); and of 351 additional Leithers traced through other sources. The collation of this material has taken local historian Andrew Grant more than 2,000 hours to compile. The project also collected 5,000 images of obituaries, headstones and memorials.

On the 1st October, LHSA were delighted to attend an event celebrating the handover of the project portfolios to the Central Library, Edinburgh.

The portfolios will prove to be a fantastic resource for local and family historians, and for anyone interested in World War One. It is available for public consultation at the Edinburgh Room within the Central Library and once refurbishment of Leith Library is complete, will be lodged there permanently.

The Edinburgh Room

Andrew Grant hands the portfolio to Jill Marple, Team Leader at Leith Library


Andrew Grant hands over the portfolios to Jill Marple, team leader at Leith Library.

Mr Grant has also compiled an anthology of war poetry selected from the Leith Observer. ‘War in Words’ comprises 150 poems written by Leithers, some at home and others fighting at the front, which were published in the newspaper. A small number of the poems are from the notebook of an unknown soldier. They provide an insight into the thoughts of ordinary people throughout the World War One period, click on the link below for an example. A copy of the anthology is available to consult at LHSA.

"I am Well"

Published 15 April 1916, reprinted here with the permission of Mr Andrew Grant.

LHSA have worked with Andrew Grant and Leith Library in the past, making the Leith Roll of Honour available for public consultation during the popular Leith Festivals in 2008 and 2009.  We have now made the Roll available to consult online.

Leith Roll of Honour

More information on Leith's War