Wiltshire at War ‘Call for Stories’ at Stonehenge

Drop in to Stonehenge Visitor Centre any time between 11am and 3pm on Friday 20 March to share your family’s experiences of the First World War with the Wiltshire at War: Community Stories team.

Did your family live in Wiltshire during the First World War? Did they join up to fight overseas or ‘do their bit’ back at home? If you have a story to tell about how your relatives helped the war effort during the First World War then the project would love to talk to you. Go along to the Stonehenge visitor centre and have a chat with the team; bring along any photos, letters or diaries for them to look at – and your passed down family story can be added to the Wiltshire at War: Community Stories collection.

This is a joint event between the Wiltshire at War project and Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre.

For more information, please ring Emma on 023 80262629 or visit http://www.wiltshireatwar.org.uk

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Wiltshire at War: Community Stories exhibition launch in Corsham

The Call to Arms, an exhibition produced by Wiltshire at War: Community Stories, will be on display at Springfield Community Campus in Corsham throughout March 2015. Using archive images and personal stories the exhibition shows the impact the First World War had on ordinary people in Wiltshire.
This will be the first of a series of displays which will be touring the county, looking at the different ways Wiltshire communities responded to the events of 100 years ago. The research for the exhibition has been carried out by local museums and heritage groups from across Wiltshire as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund supported project.

The website http://www.wiltshireatwar.org.uk, which has also been created as part of the project, allows people to upload and share their own family stories of the impact of the First World War, helping to create a record of how the conflict affected life across the county. Visitors to the website will also be able to search through extra content which is not in the exhibition.

Visitors to the Springfield Community Campus during March will also be able to see some of the research into the First World War which has been carried out by local groups including Corsham Area Heritage, the Corsham Civic Society and the Corsham Area Cadets as part of Corsham Commemorates.

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Highworth Remembers Launches New Website

The Highworth Remembers project has launched an exciting new website which describes the talks, exhibitions and other activities which will take place from the 3rd to the 16th of May 2015. The project focuses upon the story of Rex Warneford and the experiences of the people of Highworth during the war. The project will culminate with an exhibition of a replica of the plane flown by Rex Warneford when he won the Victoria Cross and a Concert of Remembrance Saturday the 16th of May.

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Friends Ambulance Unit World War I online resource

The Library of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) are happy to announce a new digitisation project for the centenary of World War I.

We have digitised approximately 2500 personnel cards for the Friends Ambulance Unit (1914-1919) and made them available and searchable by name on a new website: http://fau.quaker.org.uk

The personnel cards hold quite a lot of information about reasons for joining the Unit, religious beliefs, occupations, skills, service in the Unit, and in the majority of cases, photographs. We hope it will prove popular and attract new research into the activities of the Friends Ambulance Unit

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Meet author Stuart Binns at Springfield Campus

Please click on the link below for information about Stuart Binns at Springfield Community Campus on Thursday March 5, 7pm talking about his book The Shadow of War, a novel about love and heroism in the Great War.

2015 03 05 Shadow of War poster final

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From Mons to Le Cateau

From Mons to Le Cateau.

POSTER February 5 2015

The film ‘From Mons to Le Cateau’ will be shown on Thursday 5th February at 7.00.p.m. in Malmesbury Town Hall

Wiltshire soldiers, including those from Malmesbury and the surrounding villages, took part in the very first British military engagement of the First War in August 1914. This evening will provide an intriguing focus on the experience of these local soldiers, and will also showcase the research expertise of people from Malmesbury.

The evening is in two parts:

It begins with the local premiere of an excellent new short film by young Malmesbury film-makers about the involvement of Wiltshire men in the first Battle of the Mons, August 1914.

Wiltshire soldiers were part of the British Expeditionary Force that clashed with an overwhelming force of German troops at Mons in Belgium in late August 1914. They undertook a dramatic fighting retreat from Mons to the French town of Le Cateau where they re-grouped and fought the Germans in a bloody battle of great historic importance.

A team of young film-makers from Malmesbury recently won a National Lottery grant to make a short film about these events and to follow a group of Chippenham scouts as they retraced the steps of the Wiltshire soldiers from Mons to Le Cateau on the centenary of the fighting. This evening represents the Malmesbury premiere of the film.

In the second part of the evening, Charles Vernon, a local historian will tell the story of the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment in the early days of the war with particular reference to men from the Malmesbury area. Charles is well known for his authoritative books on Malmesbury history and he is the author of ‘Our Glorious Dead: Malmesbury and the Great War’.

Tickets are available from Athelstan Museum in Malmesbury priced £7.00 to include a first drink and £5.00 for those under 18.

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UK German Connection grants

UK-German Connection Fund for WW1 Projects with Young People

The UK-German Connection has launched a new fund designed to bring young people in the UK and Germany together on projects related to World War One. Schools and youth groups in the UK and Germany are eligible for funding and can apply for grants of between £500 and £5,000.

Projects can be virtual or include activity in one or both countries. Projects must be bilateral [UK-German], with a high level of interaction between the young people, who must actively engage in an educational learning and thinking process, including discussion, debate and reflection.

In the past, pupils from Mildenhall College and Gymnasium Theodorianum worked together to design a joint WWI memorial.

Applications can be submitted at any time but should be for activities that are at least six weeks ahead.

Please visit http://www.ukgermanconnection.org/ww1projects for further details

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Grants for war memorials

There are estimated to be more than 100,000 war memorials in the UK. Many of these are treasured but others are neglected and vandalised or left to suffer the effects of ageing and weathering. The War Memorials Trust offers grants of up to £30,000 for projects to repair and restore freestanding war memorials. For full details visit their website at http://www.warmemorials.org/grantsforwarmemorials/
The next application deadline is 31st December

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Create Studios wins Heritage Lottery Fund Support

f776ae14-b6fc-42c7-a72f-9ed2bd7797d4Young people have kicked off new First World War media project in Swindon. Young people from Create Studios were out in force this week as part of its year-long project to involve over 60 young people from across Swindon in unearthing a moving First World War story from the town. It began with a research visit to Swindon Central Library’s Local Studies and Family History team last month and moved to a new stage with moving research visits in Swindon and London.

Create Studios, Swindon has received £34,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, to explore and celebrate a unique archive of letters from Swindon’s  POWs. Young people will work alongside artists and historians to research the story of Mary Slade, who eventually received an MBE for her work mobilising the town’s community to respond to the POW’s need.

The project will enable 60 young people from Dorcan Academy, the Oakfield Project and Create’s MassMedia group, to explore the archive of POW letters housed at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, and work with them and members of Swindon in the Great War group to digitise and share the letters and artefacts about Mary Slade. This week 12 people from Create’s MassMedia group, had their first opportunity to visit and handle the archive, as they began research on the collection which will inspire young people to make digital films, photos and artworks in response to the POW and Mary Slade story over the next 6 months. Working alongside Lead Artist, Gurchetan Singh, the work will culminate in a public touring exhibition in the second half of 2015, bringing this Swindon story to thousands during the WW1 centenary commemorations.

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Red Cross volunteer records online

The British Red Cross are making the records of the 90,000 people who volunteered with them during the First World War available online at http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War

This developing resource let’s you see the details of volunteers from a particular location or hospital, as well as searching directly by name.

The website also contains useful background information on the role of the Red Cross during the war and highlights some of their more well known volunteers.

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