I’ve been really enjoying all the WWI programmes on TV recently – on Monday night I sat down to ‘The Somme, Secret Tunnel Wars’, and Tuesday night I watched ‘The Big Dig’, about WW1 trenches, which made for some fascinating viewing... Did you see it?
I was enthralled as the archaeologists unearthed bullet casings, a roll of British barbed wire, a soldier’s fountain pen and a German trench line that once stretched 450 miles to the Swiss border. The dig really brought the events of the First World War to life and it was the discovery of the soldier’s fountain pen that really made me go ‘wow’. It had a personal significance because at Forces War Records we fortunately get to see a lot of original war diaries and letters from WW1 and WWII – so when the pen was discovered I instantly thought about the soldier who used the pen to write his letters all those years ago…Writing letters to loved ones back home was something that kept soldiers going, and was sometimes the only thing that kept them going. I think more programmes like this should be on TV to remember our military past and those who fought for our country – lest we forget! My prayers may be answered sooner rather than later though, because features on World War I across the media are sure to increase as the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War creeps ever closer... August 4th 2014
August 4th 2014 marks the Centenary, which is a time to reflect on the events of the First World War, the people involved, and how it has shaped the last 100 years. After reading a recent article in the Telegraph I’m also pleased to hear the recent news that The Heritage Lottery fund (HFL), which distributes National Lottery funds for heritage projects, is giving £1 million a year between now and 2019, to groups wanting to conserve and share their Great War experiences. The scheme called: ‘First World War: then and now’
was launched by the House of Commons this month. According to the HLF, successful projects can include plans to research and record local historical events, creating community archives or collections, developing new interpretations of heritage through exhibitions, trails and smart phone aps. The money can also be put towards the conservation of war memorials and groups can apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000. It was also reported that the HLF has already invested £12 million in projects to mark the centenary of the Great War, including £11,200 for young people to make a short film about the 11th East Lancashire "Accrington Pals" regiment. A £50 million programme has also been unveiled by David Cameron to commemorate the outbreak of the Great War, including a £35 million refurbishment of the World War One galleries at the Imperial War Museum. There’s also the opportunity for two students and a teacher from every secondary school in England to visit battlefields on the Western Front. As reported by the Telegraph, Dame Jenny Abramsky, chairman of HLF, said that the grants would allow people from "all walks of life reflect the broad range of experiences and perspectives of the First World War". "We are also keen to encourage contemporary ways to commemorate the First World War, what's more, we want to see young people taking an active part wherever possible. There are so many fascinating and poignant stories just waiting to be rediscovered," she said. Maria Miller, the culture secretary and chair of the government's First World War centenary advisory board, urged MPs to tell Rotary groups, British Legion branches and Scouts and Guides in their constituencies about the money available. Apparently, the government will be announcing more details of its own plans to mark the First World War in due course. "A century on it is right that we should mark this event, which shaped not only British history but the history of our world”, added Ms Miller. You can't say fairer than that - I look forward to seeing more events marking the Centenary! Have you been watching the programmes involving WWI? What have you learnt? What would you like to see covered? Source: Telegraph Are you researching a WWI hero in your family?
Are you trying to find out more about them and their military past? Search Forces War Records
and find the missing pieces to your genealogy research. If you’re curious and want to gain more insight on WWI then take a look at the Forces War Records ‘historic documents library’
where you can view original documents that were published during the First World War.