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War... and how we kept the home fires burning
IT AIN’T ‘ALF HOT MUM: Soldiers of the Worcestershire Yeomanry, pose for a photograph in Egypt sometime during 1917.
THESE evocative pictures show how much the First World War shaped the lives of people in Worcester and beyond.
The war may have started almost 100 years ago but its impact on Worcester and its surrounding villages is set to be brought to life.
A five-year Worcestershire World War 100 project, charting how the war shaped lives in the county between 1914 and the present day, will be launched next year thanks to a £350,000 funding boost.
The money, donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will allow Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service to set up exhibitions at as-yet-unannouced venues across the county, featuring the stories of soldiers and their families, how the fighting hit healthcare here, and the role of women on the homefront.
“It is very exciting as we can now develop the ideas and activities to commemorate the conflict,” said Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for localism and communities.
“The county council and its partners, including the university, the cathedral, Avoncroft Museum, the George Marshall medical museum and Worcester's Tudor House, have many plans for exhibitions, trails, commemorations, school and library activities, along with the development of a People’s Archive of material from Worcestershire's War experience. We really want people across the county to get involved, to join in, to learn and to remember.” Other themed exhibitions will focus on events such as the battle of Gheluvelt and the impact of the war on mental health.
Aiming to reach thousands of people over the five years, the project will invite residents to donate or loan items of their own relating to the First World War. About 150 volunteers are expected to be recruited. Lord Faulkner of Worcester, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group, said the news was “terrific”.
“It is a marvellous compliment to all the Worcestershire-based organisations and individuals who have worked so hard to put together such exciting and rewarding plans to ensure that all of us in the county are able to commemorate the events of 1914-18 in meaningful and appropriate ways,” he said.