Smartphone technology helps remembrance of war dead in Norway
03 September 2014
The personal story of a First World War Royal Naval Officer,
described as "the soul of honour and chivalry", has been revealed
thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's (CWGC) use of QR
Code smartphone technology.
Sub-Lieutenant Algernon William Percy is one of 82 Commonwealth
burials of the First World War, 51 of them unidentified,
commemorated at Fredrikstad Military Cemetery in Norway.
Along with many of those buried at the cemetery, Algernon was
killed during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916.
His story is one of those revealed through the CWGC's innovative
use of QR (Quick Response) Codes on new information panels
installed at the cemetery.
The panels at Fredrikstad are among 500 to be installed at CWGC
locations worldwide. Each of the panels feature information about
the site of the cemetery and a QR code. When scanned with a
smartphone, the QR Code provides access to further information,
including the personal stories of some of the casualties buried or
The interactive CWGC Visitor Information Panels at Fredrikstad
will be unveiled on Wednesday 3 September 2014 at 14.00 in the
presence of Mr Colin Kerr, the CWGC's Director for the Centenary of
the First World War and Lt. Col. Matt Skuse RM, Defence Attaché
from the British Embassy in Oslo.
Mr Kerr said: "Like many of those Commonwealth war dead buried
in Norway, Percy's body was originally recovered, buried and cared
for by the Norwegian people. To this day, the people of
Norway take a very active interest in remembrance of the war
dead, and the Commonwealth graves are well cared for in the
communities in which they lie.
"These panels are part of a process to engage new generations in
the importance of the Centenary of the First World War - a global
initiative that will help visitors gain an understanding of why
these memorials exist, why it is important to visit them and
maintain them, and who these men and women were.
"Today, thanks to the innovative use of smartphone technology,
visitors to this site can also get a sense of the human stories
behind the names carved in stone."
Algernon William Percy was born in Grosvenor Place, London, the
only son of Lord Algernon Malcolm Arthur Percy and his wife Lady
Victoria Edgecumbe. Percy was considered a delicate child and was
taught at home until, in 1904, he attended Christ Church College,
Oxford - where he studied for just a year.
At the outbreak of war, he enlisted and obtained a commission in
the Royal Naval Reserve. He was employed on Patrol Duty on HMY
Catania until he was transferred to HMS Queen Mary in January 1915.
He was killed at the Battle of Jutland the following year. His body
was recovered and buried with full honours by the Norwegian
Percy was a popular and respected member of the crew. A senior
Naval officer wrote of him: "He had such a gallant big heart,
always battling against delicate health and never flinching from
anything because of it". His friend wrote: "He was the soul of
honour and chivalry."
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