In the Glasgow City Archives are four Arlington Baths Club lists of members – adult men – during the First World War years.
We used these lists – dated 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1918 – to try and find the addresses for the men who are listed on our War Memorial.
But when we looked at them we also made another discovery; the lists recorded the names of the the men who were on ‘Service’ each year – the men who had signed up or had been conscripted to join the armed forces.
The 1918 Annual report noted that 315 Ordinary and Supernumerary (boys aged under 18) members and 25 Life members were serving in the War. Conscription was introduced in January 1916 to make service compulsory for all single men between 18 and 41 except the medically unfit, clergymen, teachers and certain industrial workers. It was extended to married men in May 1916.
But the information in these lists was the first time we could put names to those men. We made a spreadsheet of all the information – names, addresses, when they joined and their membership numbers.
Here’s an example in a page from the 1916 membership list:
Mapping the members who served and died
Now we had the addresses, we could create a map of the members who had served, showing where they came from in Glasgow and surrounding areas.
We made a map for each membership list – so we included all the names of the men who were serving in each of the years for which there was a list.
We could map the men who were killed, year by year, because the Club had recorded these deaths in each list.
Here’s the map we created:
How to use the map
Use the tickboxes in the key on the left-hand side of the map to turn on and turn off the information you want to see. For example you can just look at the deaths in 1914, then select the following years 1915 , 1916 and 1918 to add those layers to the map. (Note: there’s no 1917 book).
Clicking on the arrows under the tickboxes will show you all the people’s names, and clicking on the name – or on a pin on the map – will show you more about them.
It’s important to realise that these are not a complete record of every member who served in the First World War: we know of other members or ex-members who were killed but we have not yet found their addresses. This is possibly because they never became adult members; the supernumerary lists are in a different format which is harder to review so we need to do more work to find them.
Also sometimes street names have changed but to get the person on to the map we have used the modern names instead.
Watch the maps change
These little animations show how the maps change, showing how the information recorded in the lists over the years changes.
Here are the members on service as recorded over the years in the books:
These are the deaths recorded over the years in the books:
We have lots more work to do with the information we’ve found. For example some addresses are quite far out of the city; did they really live there or is that their parents’ address which they’re using when away with the Forces? Only in-depth research could reveal the answers.
- Is there anyone on these maps from your street?
- Or do you recognise one of these names?
Please do get in touch with any thoughts or information: we’d love to hear from you!