The Courier/Press and Journal: WW1 Remembrance


WW1 Remembrance

Credit: Lesley-Anne Kelly, Head of Data Journalism Emma Morrice, Data Journalist Joely Santa Cruz, Data Journalist Cheryl Livingstone, Special Projects Editor Richard Prest, Head of Content Development The Courier/Press and Journal data team were put together with the aim of democratising data for our readers. They combine technical skills with traditional reporting to tell stories in new and innovative ways. For Remembrance Day 2021 and the 100th anniversary of the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance, the data team created an animated scrollytelling map of the fallen heroes from our circulation area. For the first time, 11,000 roll of honour records were geolocated and put on an interactive map - bringing the true toll of the war deaths to a new generation of readers. Records were geolocated (the process of converting address data to map coordinates) using javascript, however records had to be manually scrutinised to identify any addresses that no longer existed or typos. Their stories were told using an innovative animated scrollytelling map and people could search the map themselves to either look for fallen relatives or to see the toll in their neighbourhood. The response to the project has been a steady flow of emails from relatives thanking us for the project and often sharing their stories - leading to follow up remembrance articles. The article was published in November 2021 and at the time of writing this (October 2022), almost a year since publication we still receive emails from readers. Just yesterday we received the following from a reader named Graeme: "You have a marvellous website. It is a great tribute to our loved ones that gave their lives defending our country. My aunt gave me a picture of my great-great uncle when I was very young, along with his enlistment papers. I also have his “Dead Man’s Penny”. I have framed the picture and the Penny in a frame in my house in Southwest Florida. Someday I will pass the picture and Penny on to the next generation. It's amazing how strong these connections are across time. And it is wonderful to see how the Courier continues to honor our ancestors. This is very important work, and I thank you for your efforts." Gordon Michie, head of fundraising and learning at Poppyscotland, said: “This map is a powerful reminder of how every single community has been impacted by the cost of conflict over the past 100 years. Each poppy symbolises the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought and died in defence of our nation." Links to stories: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/courier-investigations/2703714/dundee-ww1-victims/ https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/pj-investigations/3598986/aberdeen-ww1-victims/