Smartphone panels unlock hidden stories of First World War heroes

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Special panels have been installed at First World War memorials enabling the public to use their smartphones to learn about the history of the service personnel who lost their lives.

More than 100 information panels are being put up by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at memorials across the UK as part of a campaign to provide more information to the public as the 100th anniversary of the First World War approaches. The Duke of Kent unveiled panels yesterday at Portsmouth Naval Memorial and Southampton’s Hollybrook Cemetery.

Each panel carries information about the site of the cemetery or memorial and includes a Quick Response (QR) code. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code provides access to information, including personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated at the memorial.

The QR code at Portsmouth Naval Memorial reveals the story of David Bedell-Sivright, a Scottish rugby international who captained the British Lions and died at Gallipoli. It also explains the sacrifices made by the local community in sending sailors to fight in the two world wars.