Commemorating the Surrey men and women involved in the First World War
Surrey Heritage has won Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) 1st round support to develop a major countywide First World War commemoration project.
The HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money and has awarded funds to employ a consultant to further develop the project, publicise it to schools, community groups and other potential partners and participants and, most importantly, prepare a bid for HLF funding for the main project which will run from 2015 to the end of the commemoration in 2018. The application was in competition with many other projects, so the first-round pass is a recognition that the outline proposals presented in the 1st round bid are worth developing.
If successful at the 2nd round the main project will lead, collect and publish online community-based research exploring all aspects of the impact of the war on the county and the stories of those who served in the armed forces and those who contributed on the home front. The following describes Surrey’s Heritage’s vision for this larger project.
The vision for the project is to create a publicly accessible website exploring the impact of the First World War on Surrey’s towns, villages, communities and residents. The project will look at, amongst other issues, social and economic change and impact, the changing role of women in society and individual and communal responses to bereavement and loss.
At the core of the project there will be a database of information relating to the men and women who died in the First World War and are recorded on memorials across the modern county. This includes people of many different nationalities and faiths. The lives and experiences of these individuals will be actively researched by participants from schools, communities and organisations in Surrey and will be enhanced with public contributions of family documents and stories.
The project will drive new community-based research, especially focussing on engaging young people and those not currently actively involved in heritage. It will also build on the research work already undertaken by individuals and groups across the county over many years and in a variety of formats and consolidate all the information, old and new, into a single, globally accessible, on-line resource.
The aims are to record the names and research and link information on the lives and stories of the people commemorated on memorials; locate information about and images of “lost” memorials; explore the impact on communities through thematic pages; create learning resources which will enable everyone to engage with their local heritage; and encourage volunteers from Surrey’s diverse communities to get involved. The project will be developed with an open format which will enable the inclusion of information about people affected by the war but who survived or are not recorded on memorials.
The project will commence in 2014 and the focus will be on developing local displays in each parish to coincide with Remembrance Sunday, November 11th 2018. At the end of the funded project, the website will continue to be developed and enhanced as more information is gathered and public contributions are added.
This project aims to encourage descendents and relatives of the Surrey men and women who died in First World War to visit the memorials to offer their own individual remembrance.
Images of First World War memorials in Surrey will be displayed on the Exploring Surrey’s Past website and in a booklet along with selected stories about individuals and the impact of the war on Surrey.
Information on the men and women who died in the First World War and are recorded on memorials will be presented as a searchable database on the Exploring Surrey’s Past website. This will allow local, national and global accessibility.
As it becomes available information on other people affected by the war will be added to the resource.
Information from a range of sources will be brought together; from national collections including The National Archives, Imperial War Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission; from local collections including the Surrey Regimental Museum at Clandon; from researchers across the world and most importantly through members of the public sharing their own personal and family history stories.
At a national and local level there is a desire to create an enduring legacy to ensure the sacrifices of the men and women who died in First World War and the impact on society are not forgotten, especially amongst young people.
National projects need to be supported by local initiatives, exploring and capturing local and individual stories, to make the commemoration relevant to communities. This will promote a sense of identity, place and community and enable individuals to engage with, explore and better understand their local and national heritage.
The project will connect local and personal stories and histories with archival material. Existing First World War memorials will also be recorded in the county’s Historic Environment Record to help protect them for future generations.
Both local and global communities will drive the project. Research undertaken by local groups and individuals will be fundamental to the project. Descendants and relatives of the men and women involved in the First World War have migrated around the world but retain a connection with Surrey. Re-engaging both local and global communities is a key part of the project.
Everyone will be encouraged to get involved. Members of Surrey’s wide diversity of cultural and faith groups can help enrich the stories of the people recorded on local memorials. People of all ages will be able to contribute to the project, learn valuable new skills and find out more about their local and national heritage. The project will actively encourage young people to become involved.
Surrey Heritage plans to work with a wide range or national and local partners including the Imperial War Museum; War Memorials Trust; The National Archives; Royal Holloway University of London; regimental museums and archives; local history centres and societies; schools; Surrey’s Duke of Edingburgh Award scheme coordinator; faith, spots and community groups and especially those groups and individuals not currently actively involved in heritage.
(subject to Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding)
The project will commence in 2014. As research progresses and stories are uncovered, there will be a series of small-scale activities and events relating to key First World War events leading up to a county-wide display in each parish to coincide with Remembrance Sunday 2018.
The project will continue to evolve as more information is gathered and public contributions are added. The project momentum will be sustained after November 2018 by incorporating it into the day-to-day work of Surrey Heritage and through the presentation on the Exploring Surrey’s Past website, which will enable members of the public to continue to add information and ensure it is accessible to future generations.
The project will focus on relating information to the local community whilst providing accessibility for the global community.
Physical displays and accessible information in local communities will be supported and enhanced by an on-line digital display and a searchable database presented on the Exploring Surrey’s Past website.
A Heritage Lottery Fund Heritage Grant has been secured for the first stage. The bid for the full funding for stage 2 will be developed and delivered in August 2014 with the plan to start the full project as described in early 2015.