We Have Our Lives

Welcome to We Have Our Lives, Bristol Cathedral's contribution to the First World War centenary commemorations.

Read about the lives of some of the men from our diocese who fought and died in the First World War, learn more about our project and submit your own people for us to remember.

This is an extraordinary and moving encounter with men and women who lost their lives a hundred years ago. We hope you will come to know them and reflect on what and how we should remember.
          –The Dean of Bristol

Throughout 2014 - 2018, we are telling the stories of some of those who died as a result of the First World War. We remember a fallen casualty for every month of the conflict, with people hailing from all over the Diocese. With biographies, pictures, and information on areas relevant to each person - ranging from Passchendaele to Football in the war - we hope to illustrate the war in a more personal and human way. The project was formally launched with a special evensong on Armistice Day, 2014.

The South Quire Aisle of the Cathedral is now home to a display, which includes two touch-screen PCs for viewing the online book of remembrance. It also includes changing displays about different wartime themes. These are available to view whenever the South Quire is open, from opening time in the morning at 08:30 to about quarter of an hour before Evensong (17:15 weekdays, 15:30 weekends). This project is, however, more than just an exhibit. We are delighted to have been awarded £6,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards education and engagement surrounding the projects. These stories will act as a resource for education days, talks and lectures. In September 2015, it helped to fund a production of a theatre piece entitled Wild Men, which told the story of the Cathedral Choristers who fought in WWI. The Berkeley Chapel has been put aside as a place of quiet reflection and prayer, with a focus on remembrance and conflict, and is now home to a spectacular flower arrangement which will grow and evolve over the next four years.

Since the project began we have:

  • displayed personal collections of local families' wartime memorabilia
  • showcased a selection of WWI poetry written by women
  • given away 700 free copies of Bristol 2014 Great Reading Adventure book
  • exhibited the work of a local primary school, who worked on the theme of Poppies
  • hosted Haunted by War: an exhibition of paintings by Colin Monk
  • given away 400 free copies of The Gospel according to St John; a WWI facsimile
  • presented Wild Men; a theatre and music performance which told the story of the Cathedral Choristers who fought in WWI.

It is hugely important to us that people participate in this project. We would like you to come to us with any prayers, memories, pictures, or simply names of relatives, or anyone dear, who died as a result of the First World War. Each month we will hold a requiem mass, gathering together the names of those we have been asked to remember. Please use the form to the right to get in touch or email We also remember the Cathedral choristers who died in the conflict. For the full list click here.  

External Links:

Heritage Lottery Fund, for information about WWI projects across the UK

Bristol 2014, a partnership in the city focussed on the commemorations.

Bristol and Avon Family History Society, who may be able to help you research your relatives.

The Church of England's World War One page, with news and resources for the centenary.

Glenside Hospital Museum, which has an exhibition of WWI postcards.

Download Researching your Bristolian Ancestors in the First World War: A Guide