A university project tells the stories of Manchester students who fought in the World Wars

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Two Manchester students have created a digital tribute to the former St Anselm Hall residents who died during World War I and II.

St Anselm Hall – situated in Victoria Park between Rusholme and Longsight – was originally created as a lodgings for theology students more than 100 hundred years ago.

The building’s chapel has housed war memorials to old residents who’d passed away in battle – and over this past year, contemporary students Anna Smith and Izzy Summer made it their mission to tell the long lost stories of these men.

Their efforts have culminated in an incredible project titled ‘The Fallen‘.

Both Anna and Izzy worked with St Anselm’s Hall to reach the relatives of the WWI and WWII soldiers; making some startling discoveries along the way.

Their research found that one man had been a member of the British Olympic team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, whilst another had been parachuted into The Netherlands as a secret agent.

One had even had a physics prize awarded in his memory.

Anna said: “We are really proud of what we have produced as a team, as we feel the work does justice to remembering this group of men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“By drawing on hall documents, photos and family memories, we have been able to give the names on our war memorial their stories.”

Fr Hugh Bearn called the project a “remarkable and lasting tribute to St Anselm Hall.”

He added: “This project reinforced the very tangible sense of identity and belonging that has always identified ‘Slems’, and reflects their continuing significance in the history of our University.”

The project can be viewed online here.

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