PROJECT: Helping us to understand

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It is entirely typical of the modest and unassuming Alan Fidler to sign off his final article by thanking readers for taking an interest in the First World War Project, (News Guardian, November 15).

I contacted him in 2016 in an attempt to gain information about my great uncle, Robert Miller, who was killed at the Battle of the Somme in October 1916.

Due to the meticulous research conducted by him and his excellent team, I was able, with my brother and son, to visit the exact location where Robert and his fellow volunteers left their trench and advanced towards enemy positions exactly 100 years earlier.

Robert, a 20-year-old ploughman from north Northumberland, with little knowledge of the world outside the farm, was never found and his name is engraved on the pillars at the beautiful Thiepval Memorial, among the names of many others whose bodies were never found in that horrendous conflict.

This was a very moving experience for us and it was hugely enhanced by the detailed information provided by Alan. I would like to thank him and his team for the willing and selfless way they went about it.

I am sure they have, by their tireless efforts, given many people a much better understanding of the events and their context during that terrible period.

Dave Crosthwaite

Address supplied