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MORE than 1,600 ba­bies born in Eng­land and Wales be­tween 1914 and 1919 were given first names re­lated to wartime events.

Bat­tles were by far the most pop­u­lar choice – ac­count­ing for three quar­ters of the to­tal, out­strip­ping per­son­al­i­ties of the war. Ev­i­dence sug­gests that the 10-month French strug­gle at Ver­dun had par­tic­u­lar res­o­nance for the fam­i­lies of the new­born, no­tably in South Wales, which is quite sur­pris­ing as it was a French/Ger­man bat­tle with no Bri­tish Troops di­rectly in­volved.

Of the 1,229 wartime ba­bies named af­ter bat­tles, 901 were called Ver­dun, fol­lowed by Ypres on 71 and Mons with 58, Ar­ras 42, Dar­danelles 35, Loos 30 and The Somme with 15.

Some of the bat­tle names were adapted for girls - among them Ver­dunia, Som­me­ria, Ar­rasina, Mon­sa­lene and Dar­danella.

Par­ents were also in­spired by prom­i­nent fig­ures dur­ing the First World War.

Records show 166 ba­bies were called Kitch­ener, 25 were named Cavell and 11 called Haig.

Only one child born be­tween 1914-1918 was named Peace, and then in the De­cem­ber quar­ter 1918, 28 were reg­is­tered. Thirty six ba­bies named Vic­tory were born in De­cem­ber quar­ter 1918, with a fur­ther 69 ba­bies named Vic­tory born dur­ing 1919.

There was also an­other name emerg­ing in 1918, though it should be noted that al­most all chil­dren named Ar­mistice or who have Ar­mistice as a mid­dle name were born on Novem­ber 11 or there­abouts.

Did you know any­one with such names? You can search the birth in­dex on web­sites such as Ances­try. com and FindMyPast for free at the Lo­cal Stud­ies and Ar­chive Cen­tre in Ash­ton.

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