Baby Names Popular During First World War

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The First World War gave way to some fairly unique baby names.

According to the U.K. National Archives, over 1,600 babies were given war-related names between 1914 and 1919 in England and Wales. Naturally, parents during this time were influenced by the Great War, which is why end-of-war names such as Poppy and war hero names such as Cavell (after British nurse Edith Cavell) began to rise.

While most would assume that hero baby names were the most popular at this time, this actually wasn’t the case. In fact, only 12 per cent of babies who were given war-inspired monikers were named after heroes, while 75 per cent were named after battles.

“The data is fascinating and gives new insight into the battles that resonated with mothers on the Home Front,” said Jessamy Carlson, archivist and First World War programme manager. “It was a surprise to learn that the battles rather than the heroes or names relating to the end of the war were the most popular.”

Out of all the battles, Verdun was the most popular among U.K. parents with 901 babies given this name. According to Carlson, this is also surprising considering Verdun was “a French/German battle with no British Troops directly involved.”

Other popular battle names included Ypres (71 babies), Mons (58) and Arras (42). These names were clearly a sign of the times, as they barely register on the popularity scale today.

For more unique war-inspired names from the National Archives, visit here.

Traditional names also remained high in popularity during World War I, with John and Mary topping the charts every year from 1914 to 1918, BabyCenter reports. This is likely thanks to the tradition of passing family names down from one generation to the next.

To find out the 10 most popular baby names from World War I, flip through the slideshow below.

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Top 10 Baby Names From World War I
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