Your Community in the First World War: A Road Show

Your Community in the First World War: A Road Show

From 8-10 September 2015 the five AHRC funded First World War engagement centres hosted their autumn roadshow, with events taking place in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. These three events aimed to bring together community groups and other organisations developing or working on projects around the heritage of the First World War in order to share experiences, exchange ideas, learn about resources and explore possible sources of funding. In collaboration with a broad range of community project representatives, local historians, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the First World War Centenary Partnership, Lives of the First World War, Historypin, Yarn and the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA) we realised these aims in an industrious and enjoyable few days. The events were well attended with nearly 200 people participating overall. Each event offered fascinating talks and a variety of stalls and exhibits. The events also included some undirected networking time as well as roundtable discussions which were both very lively and buzzing with conversation. The event in Manchester took place on Tuesday 8th September at the Imperial War Museum and the venue was packed with stalls showcasing the range of First World War projects being undertaken in the region. The event opened with a talk from Lancaster University’s Martin Purdy on The Great War in the North West and included presentations from Oli Wilkinson (University of Central Lancashire) on Prisoners of War in the North West and Tim Grady on the Diverse Narratives project at the University of Chester. One of the highlights of the day was a presentation by Brierfield Action in the Community. Year 10 students gave an introduction to...

Remembering the forgotten heroes of the First World War

Flanders Fields, muddy trenches, the poetry of Wilfred Owen, poppies, the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth…ask anyone to conjure an image of the First World War and it is likely to feature something along these lines. Despite their now iconic status, they don’t offer us the complete picture of what became one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Now, in the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War, a new national research centre has been launched at The University of Nottingham that will help to explore some of the lesser known stories of the years 1914-19. The Centre for Hidden Histories is aiming to pair local groups and societies keen to commemorate the role of their communities in the war with University academics who can offer guidance on how to make their vision a reality. They are particularly keen to offer support to people in the Sikh, Muslim, West Indian and Caribbean, Eastern European and Jewish communities, which have been widely affected by the century-long legacy of the First World War but whose stories are often overlooked in the narrative perpetuated by the media. Professor John Beckett, in the University’sDepartment of History, is leading the new centre. He said: “Our project is particularly interested in the events and participants that fall outside of the traditional image of the Western Front. We intend to explore themes of migration and displacement, the experience of ‘others’ from countries and regions within Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, and the impact and subsequent legacies of the war on diverse communities within Britain, remembrance and commemoration, and identity and faith....