A SCOTTISH historian has revealed that an incredible 150 names have been missed off the First World War memorial in his home town.
Neil Anderson is now campaigning for the names of the forgotten soldiers from Bathgate, West Lothian, to be added in time for the next year’s centenary of the outbreak of the conflict.
Mr Anderson stumbled across the remarkable extent of missing names after buying a medal in a car boot sale and finding that the soldier to whom it had been awarded came from Bathgate.
“After researching him I thought I would look into all those who died that were from Bathgate, and I started to find a huge list of names who were not on the war memorial,” he said.
He has so far identified 112 casualties who should definitely be added.
A further 34 names are still being researched and he has to start work on a further eight possible.
Local councillor Harry Cartmill and Bathgate’s Royal British Legion branch are planning to raise funds to pay for the extra names to be added.
Councillor Cartmill, whose grandfather and great-uncle served in the war, said he could hardly believe it when found out, and could not understand how they’d got it so wrong.
He said:“Neil explained to me that the whole process was very unscientific.
“An advert was put in the West Lothian Courier in 1922, asking people to come forward with any names and rank of relatives they wanted included on the memorial.”
He added: “We want to make the community aware of the omission of these men’s names and the fact that their lives ended so prematurely in the horrors of the trenches to preserve our way of life.”
Bathgate Royal British Legion secretary Bob Ness said they were shocked to discover the number of men missing from the war memorial, and were right behind the campaign.
“I have received a list of all the names from Neil and I’ve asked the members to see if there are any more names they know of that should be on the memorial.
“We have one already who has come forward with a possibility so we are looking into that.”