They never returned to their loved ones in Norwich, 3,544 men whose lives were claimed during World War I.
Now the personal stories of those commemorated on the historic Roll of Honour are being sought as part of a conservation project which will see it opened at City Hall on Friday 11 November.
A website bearing the names of all those on the Roll Of Honour and any available information about them has been created and can be searched at www.norwichrollofhonour.org.uk.
Family members or friends of those who died are being urged to contribute additional information and photographs about any of those named on the panels to form part of a lasting online memorial.
Councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton, chair of the Norwich Area Museums Committee, said: “This is a wonderful way to commemorate the First World War during the centenary period. The combination of the conservation of the Norwich Roll of Honour and its move to City Hall, together with a website that provides information about the men it lists, is a fitting tribute.”
When Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the Norwich War Memorial in St Peter’s Street, it was clear it would not be large enough to contain so many names. So it was decided that he design a Roll of Honour of oak panels bearing their names. The result was a unique memorial; he designed no other Rolls of Honour like it.
It was installed in the Norwich Castle Keep on 13 January 1931 and consists of an oak case with doors containing 12 double-sided hinged, and four fixed, single-sided panels painted with the names and units of those killed. However, in recent years the panels have suffered structural damage when they were opened and work was needed to prevent this happening in the future.
Now thanks to a project involving Norwich City Council, Norfolk Museums Service and the Norwich War Memorial Trust, it is being fully conserved and will go on permanent display in the foyer of City Hall.
Its official opening will take place on 11 November to coincide with the time of remembrance and marking the centenary of 1916, a pivotal year in World War I. People will be able to make supervised appointments to view the memorial.
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “We are very proud this important memorial to those who gave their lives in World War I is being restored to its former glory and will be installed in the foyer of City Hall, completing the restoration of these two important memorials.”
Funding for the conservation project was provided by the War Memorials Trust, Town Close Estate Charity, Geoffrey Watling Trust, RG Carter, the Restoration Project Fund and the Homes & Communities Agency.
Anyone with additional information or pictures about any of those named on the Roll of Honour can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Regimental Museum, Norfolk Museums Service, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich NR1 3JQ.