THE lives of British servicemen commemorated at a Bridgwater cemetery are being painstakingly researched to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The Friends of Wembdon Road Cemetery have been working to uncover the stories behind the names on the 54 headstones at the cemetery.

The group recently posted the story of Pte Leslie Goodland of the Somerset Light Infantry on their website after a photo was found of the soldier in an attic in Yorkshire.

Born in Bridgwater in 1887, Leslie attended Dr Morgan's School and in 1912 his father Charles James Goodland built The Cross Rifles Hotel at the junction of the Bristol & Bath Roads in St John's, Bridgwater of which Leslie was installed as its first licensee.

In 1914 the 27-year-old enlisted at Weston super Mare in Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry sailing for India later that year. Leslie succumbed to Malaria on April 29 1918, aged just 31, as reported in the Mercury on May 15 1918, and was buried at Wellington Garrison Cemetery.

Leslie’s parents put up a memorial to Leslie with his name on it at Wembdon Road Cemetery in the shape of a gravestone kerb and cross.

The Friends are eager to collect for posterity as many stories and images of Leslies fellow comrades as they can and are now urging friends and family of the servicemen there to come forward with any information.

Speaking on behalf of their archive volunteers, Chair of the ‘Friends’ Miles Kerr-Peterson said: “This has been a fascinating and most rewarding task to perform, we now need the support of local families to hunt in their attics and old albums for pictures of these missing heroes.”

The ‘Friends’ are a non-profit making organisation formed as recently as 2010 to rescue the abandoned cemetery.

They comprise both maintenance and archive volunteers, supporters and genealogists worldwide.

If you would like to become a volunteer or simply become a member to discover many of the ways you can support this exciting initiative visit their website.

For a full list of servicemen commemorated at Wembdon Road Cemetery visit www.bridgwatercemete