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Volunteers Uncover Lost Stories of First World War Heroes. Can You Help Save the Rest?

Thanks to volunteers, in the last few months alone, a further 100 unique stories about the Jewish soldiers who gave their lives fighting the First World War have been saved. This fantastic project by our partner organisation, We Were There Too, is ensuring that the contribution of British Jews is safely recorded in an open access online archive.

We Were There Too, funded by the Lottery Heritage Foundation, has undertaken the enormous task of establishing this online archive to save the stories of the British Jews who fought and died during the Great War and to remind the world that the Jews were there too. This is achieved through conversations with relatives and uncovering artefacts including letters and ration cards, thus immortalising every Jewish soldier, including the 535 JLGB (formerly JLB) members and leaders that were killed in the First World War.

Among the 100 new records uploaded to the archive is the story of Captain Ernest Michael Green. A proud JLB member, Green paid the ultimate sacrifice in the trenches of France. In the two years he spent fighting he wrote over 60 letters to his family back home in St John’s Wood. These letters are an incredible window into the past and provide a first-hand account of day to day life in the trenches and unmatched insight into wartime life as a Jew.

From the letters and other accounts, it is evident that Green had been dedicated to the Jewish community, being heavily involved in charity work with JLB and other Jewish groups in the East End of London. Even in the trenches he never lost his Jewish identity and despite the horrors he witnessed he maintained an unwavering Jewish faith in tandem with his loyalty and dedication to his country, writing in his final letter “I only pray that I may meet my end as an Englishman and a Jew should. I have always been proud to be both.”

These documents, unearthed by volunteers, are invaluable which is why we need your help to ensure these courageous men did not die in vain. Help to revive the remaining stories of the Jewish contribution to the war effort and prevent them from becoming lost forever.

Sign up to this national project through evolve; JLGB’s youth volunteering and skills initiative, and become a trained archive volunteer to help ensure that the sacrifice of the Jews of the First World War is remembered eternally. It only takes about half an hour to research and document one record. This can either be done from the JLGB office or from home and full training will be given. Honour the sacrifice and bravery of the 535 JLB members by volunteering your time today.

Read more about Captain Ernest Michael Green HERE.

Sign up to volunteer today. For more information please email volunteering@jlgb.org or call 0208 989 8990.

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