It was during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in 2008 that an invisible thread of curiosity, somehow contrived to connect certain individuals gathered there in the churchyard on that bleak November morning. Shadowy memories of a collection of wooden crosses slowly decaying on the ancient walls of Melton Old Church swirled in the mind. Who were these men? How did they die? Where did they live and work? What happened to their families and loved ones?
Miraculously, this like-minded faction was drawn together and determined to pursue answers to these questions; thus, the original Behind the Name team, came into being. Team members had little or no experience as researchers, but were fired with enthusiasm and encouraged by local interest and the gratitude expressed by ancestors of those who served. The aim of the project was not only to preserve the history of Melton in wartime, but, perhaps more importantly, to pay tribute to all that was given, and at such cost, by the men, women and children of Melton.
In 2014, just before the Great War Commemorations began, the Melton Heritage Group, a partnership with St Andrew’s Church, Melton Old Church Society, Melton Parish Council, Melton Primary School, and Melton Women’s Institute, was created to oversee the village’s commemoration events and to revisit the original booklet. A small team of individuals with an interest in local history set about researching the village. The commemoration events starting with an open day at the Burness rooms where villagers could bring along memorabilia about the village or the Great War. This was followed up with exhibitions in St Andrew’s Church each Remembrance Day and at certain important dates such as the anniversaries of the Battle of the Somme and Passchendaele. There were also annual “Poppy Walks” following a route along public footpaths between St Andrews Church and the Old Church.
A website has now been created which attempts to reproduce the information the team collated over a period of five years and it also includes some information that was not included in the book. New information is coming to light all the time and when possible, it will be updated even though the project is now officially closed and the Melton Heritage Group are no more.