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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

The Silent Cities


When the war was over, the task of how to remember those who had fallen, could be started. Locally, nationally and internationally much thought was given. Many people were deeply affected by the vastness of the casualties incurred and the need to ensure that the fallen were not forgotten. One such person was Fabian Ware, who had been active in the Red Cross Movement and who turned his considerable drive and energy as head of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

He spearheaded an army of architects, garden designers, engineers, administrators and labourers and laid the foundations for the many beautiful, imposing and peaceful memorials that now exist through Europe and indeed the entire world. Many well known names, including Lutyens, Blomfield, Gertrude Jekyll and Rudyard Kipling are associated with this work. Others less known include a native of Taunton, Colonel Tom Goodland, whose family were coal merchants in the town. Tom Goodland was Deputy Controller of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission from 1919 to 1928 and was responsible for the organisation of 166 cemeteries in France and Flanders.

Colonel Tom Goodland C.B.; DSO was born in Taunton, he emigrated to Canada in his late teens and became a successful business man. He fought in the British Army and in 1919 became Deputy Controller of the Common Wealth War Grave Commission, working in France to establish Cemeteries until he retired in 1928.