THE search for descendants of service personnel from Bridport who were killed in the First World War is off to a good start.

Bridport Town Council says it is ‘humbled and delighted’ by the response to its search for relatives of the 151 service personnel from the area who were killed. i

The council has called for relatives of the fallen to come forward so they can be invited to a 1918-themed afternoon tea on Remembrance Sunday.

Town clerk Will Austin said: “We’re pleased that so many family members have come forward since the article appeared in the Bridport News – their attendance at the event will make for a fitting tribute on November 11, alongside the more traditional Remembrance activities.”

Mr Austin said the replies had included some moving accounts from the war.

“One lady wrote to us with a touching story of the deaths of two brothers, both in their 20s, one of whom was killed just weeks before he was due to be married," he said. "It was an emotional reminder of the impact of war ‘back home,' but I was also struck by newspaper reporting from that time, which was very matter-of-fact.These were deaths late on in the First World War and the reporting shows war had become very much a fact of life.”

The responses have also revealed that among the bell ringers at St Mary’s Church on Remembrance Sunday will be a fifth generation descendant of a lost serviceman, who was also a bell ringer at the church.

The council is keen to receive stories from the time. “We’re humbled and delighted by the response so far,” said Mr Austin. "But we’d love to hear more so that as many families as possible are represented at the tea, and so that we record these emotional family histories for posterity.”

Anyone with information can contact the town council on 01308 456722 or email