THE project, called ‘Journey’s End’, aims to tell of the thousands of Newport men who lost their lives in the First World War. Its title reflects how many of them were buried here and how the search is hoped to be complete in time for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918. It tells also how all their journeys were ended by the Great War.

The campaign has been launched by the Gwent branch of the Western Front Association and they hope that when the former homes of the fallen are found those now living there will place a printed poppy, provided by the group, in the front window around November next year.

They have now been given £7,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help fund the project.

The project is part of a series of events organised by the group in the coming year, which will include monthly guided tours of St Woolos Cemetery in Newport, where 170 men and women who served in the conflict are buried.

The project also aims to help people in Newport and across Gwent to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the First World War. Volunteers will research photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.

Three primary schools will use research materials to prepare performances to be given at Newport Cathedral in November 2018. On Saturday, November 10 2018, a public commemoration event will be held at the Cathedral, with stalls, re-enactors, film, music and talks.

To commemorate the importance of St Woolos hospital as a military hospital during the Great War a ceramic plaque will be unveiled at the hospital.

Tours of St Woolos Cemetery, where many of those who died after returning to Britain with serious wounds are buried, will take place throughout 2018.

A plaque will also be unveiled at the Newport home of Annie Brewer, one of the most highly decorated nurses of the Great War.

With help from professionals, the information gathered will be digitally recorded and an on-line interactive archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information. The archive will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about the Home Front.

Peter Strong, chairman of Gwent WFA, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the National Lottery. Newport and Gwent played an important part in the First World War, with 5,000 men and women losing their lives while others were affected in countless ways. Our Journey’s End project will allow us to commemorate the end of this terrible conflict in appropriate ways. We are very keen to include as many groups and individuals from around Gwent as possible in our project.”

Richard Frame is a member of the group organising the search. He has already uncovered stories which tell not only of men killed in battle but of those who met their end in more mundane but equally tragic ways.

One of these stories is of a sailor from Newport. Signalman John Evelyn Garrett of 12 Carlisle Street, served on HMS Penhurst.

She was a ‘Q Ship’, one of the merchant ships heavily armed with concealed weapons designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. As the submarine showed itself, the guns of the Q Ship were uncovered and would open fire on the unsuspecting U-Boat.

The Q Ships were responsible for destroying 30 per cent of U-Boats hit by surface fire during the war. Mr Garrett took part in the action that successfully sank U-37 on November 30, 1916 in the English Channel. Later on January 14 1917 they were stopped by U-37 which closed in on them and opened fire at around 3,000 yards, as usual, they shut engines and abandoned ship. As soon as the enemy were in range the White Ensign was raised and the 12lb guns went into action hitting the submarine, it did manage to fire a couple of rounds hitting the Q ship before finally sinking, being depth charged and being blown to pieces. None of the crew of 23 survived, this had been their 10th patrol and had already sunk 31 merchant ships, damaged three and captured one.

Those last volleys from U37 had fatally wounded Mr Garrett and later that day he died at Portland Naval Hospital before his body was returned to his family in Newport.

Later that year on December 24 the Penhurst finally ran out of luck and was sunk, after having inflicted damage to U-110 off the coast of West Wales. She was one of the Royal Navy’s most successful Q ships fighting 11 engagements over two years destroying two U-Boats and damaging several others.

Another Newport man survived combat only to die in the days immediately after the armistice.

The Machine Gun Corps was formed in 1915 when the British Army finally recognised the tactical importance of machine guns.

A training camp was established in Belton Park in Grantham where thousands of men received their training and were inducted into what became known as “The Suicide Club”.

One of the 170,000 men who went through the training school was Private James Henry Goulding of 5, Agincourt Street, Newport.

A number of the senior officers in the army resented this corps as it was draining their resources of physically strong and intelligent soldiers. It wasn’t as simple as pulling a trigger, the gunner would need to be able to make complex mathematical calculations. Their casualties were high too with 40,000 wounded and 14,000 killed.

Private Goulding became one of these statistics, but not as a result of serving on the front. He formed part of a training company based in Cannock and could well have been one of the instructors who worked alongside the New Zealanders whose gunners had helped to secure the Messine Ridge.

Goulding passed away in Cannock, probably at the 1,000 bed hospital of Brindley Heath on 21st November 1918, ten days after the armistice. He had become one of the 250,000 victims in Britain of the “Spanish Flu”.

The Gwent branch of the Western Front Association has already organised a number of events in connection with the centenary of the war, including a visit to the site near Ypres where many members of the Monmouthshire regiment were killed on May 8, 1915 and an evening of music and readings commemorating Frank Richards of Blaina, author of ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’.

The Western Front Association was formed in 1980 to maintain interest in the First World War and works to “perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all, from all sides, on all Fronts: on land, at sea, in the air and on the Home Front”.

Anyone who would like to be involved is asked to call 01291 425638, e-mail or see the website