The Post Office, known as GPO prior to the 1960s, was once the largest employer in the UK. During both World Wars, the postal service was a vital part of the war effort with 70,000 employees fighting in each war. Both men and women of the GPO carried out the essential job of helping to keep communication lines open. Sadly, 12,830 postal employees are recorded to have lost their lives fighting.
As part of the commemoration of postal workers who gave their lives, James Trezies, a postal worker himself, created a unique record and memorial to his fallen colleagues from the two world wars. Over the period of 3 years in the mid-1950s Trezies researched and hand-wrote the names of each of the fallen on individual sheets of cream wove paper, with each name appearing in alphabetical order.
The completed pages were bound into two volumes, one for each conflict, later donated to The Postal Museum in 2015 by The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance. These volumes were then digitised and made available online with the support of The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance (POFR) and BT Archives.
On this website, you can view both memorial books, search the name of relatives or friends and add details about their lives through a simple form to bring these volumes of names alive with citizen history.
How to add your family history
- Use the search to type the surname of your relative. You can also search and filter by military unit, workplace and by conflict (WW1 or WW2).
- In the search result, you can click “details” to view their record in the book which includes their regiment, workplace and branch of service.
- At the bottom of the page, there is a comments section. Here you can submit details about your relative or friend, their stories and history.
- Your comment will then be moderated by our collections team so it might not be seen on the record straightway.
The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance
The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance (POFR) today is a community interest company and membership organisation. They were formally established after the Second World War when in 1951 they officially opened The Waterhead Hotel on Coniston Water in the Lake District. The hotel was established in order to provide economical holidays and convalescence for postal workers affected by the two world wars. The organisation’s history in fact dates back to the inner war years, when postal workers in the North East began a membership scheme that saw workers donate funds, often directly from their pay, toward offering discount holidays for those impacted by the First World War.
After the Second World War this grew into a much bigger organisation that opened the Waterhead Hotel and membership to all postal workers. Further hotels were opened and allowed members and their family to take cheaper holidays at one of a number of hotels around the UK.
The POFR has always been an independent organisation but has maintained very close ties with Royal Mail, Post Office and BT working together to support events and acts of remembrance every year. Staff of all three businesses had the option to join the POFR as members and enjoy the benefits of the organisation.
The Postal Museum
This website was developed and is maintained by The Postal Museum.
The Postal Museum, London reveals five centuries of British social and communications history as seen through the eyes of its iconic postal service.
Alongside permanent exhibition galleries and a temporary exhibition space, Mail Rail, London’s secret Post Office Underground Railway, has been opened to the public for the first time in its 100-year history, including a subterranean ride through some of the original tunnels. To find out more about this unique attraction, visit postalmuseum.org.