Surrey’s First World War Projects and Useful Links
What Surrey Heritage is doing
During 2014-2018 the world will commemorate the centenary of the Great War, and Surrey Heritage intends to play its part by undertaking the following projects, for which we have Heritage Lottery Fund support.
If you would like to be kept up to date on progress, want to register interest in assisting or cooperating with us or have a comment or question please use the form below to contact us.
Lower down the page there are a sample of First World War images from the collections at Surrey History Centre and a list of useful websites.
To Journey’s End and Beyond: the Legacy of R C Sherriff (Heritage Lottery Fund – Our Heritage)
This project ran from January 2014 to May 2016 and has highlighted the archive and cultural legacy of the playwright R C Sherriff, in particular his great play ‘Journey’s End‘, the action of which takes place in a British dugout on the eve of the great German offensive of March 1918.
Sheriff served in the East Surrey Regiment during WW1. He had been a pupil at Kingston Grammar School and lived in the latter part of his life in Esher. He had a successful career as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, writing the screenplays for films including ‘The Dam Busters‘.
His archive – including the letters he sent on an almost daily basis from the Western Front – is stored in the archive at the Surrey History Centre. The project has concentrated on cataloguing and conserving the Sherriff collection through the employment of a dedicated project archivist and volunteers, and has promoted it through youth drama work at Kingston Grammar School and Elmbridge schools workshops, which have been enthusiastically supported by Kingston Grammar School, The R C Sherriff Trust and many others.
Papers in the RC Sherriff Collection (SHC refs 2332 and 3813) are now fully catalogued and available for research, along with newly acquired Sherriff material, including oral history recordings (SHC ref 9314).
Click here to find out more about R C Sherriff and the Sherriff Collections at Surrey History Centre.
Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers (Heritage Lottery Fund – Heritage Grant bid)
The 2nd round bid has been delivered to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a decision is expected early in 2015.
Surrey Heritage received initial support from the HLF for its ambitious project ‘Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers’. The project is at the heart of the county’s commemoration of the First World War and the quest to understand how the war changed the face of Surrey and the lives of its residents.
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 a first-round pass is a recognition that the outline proposals presented in the stage 1 bid are very much on the right track .
Surrey Heritage’s main project will, over the course of the commemoration, drive and coordinate new community-based research into the histories of individuals, communities, and organisations during the war years and will especially focus on engaging and inspiring people not currently actively involved in heritage to participate in and experience the thrill of exploring and understanding the past.
Through this ambitious project proposal people of all ages and backgrounds across the entire county will come together with the common aim of creating a global, accessible and enduring resource which will tell Surrey’s story during the Great War.
The lasting legacy will be a website recording the lives and service of all the men and women whose names are on war memorials in Surrey. It will not only be a comprehensive 21st century digital memorial but also a resource to enable people to explore, discover and understand the impact of the war on their local area and community.
The National Picture
Major national and global commemorations of the centenary of the First World War are being planned for the period 2014 – 18. In the UK these are being led by the Imperial War Museum (IWM) with Dr Andrew Murrison MP, retired Surgeon Commander RN and Under Secretary of State, MoD, and Maria Miller MP, Culture Secretary, leading on behalf of the Government.
The emphasis is on a 5 year programme of activities and projects commencing in 2014 and culminating on Armistice Day 2018, focussing on the lives of the people affected both as combatants and on the home front.
On behalf of the Government the Imperial War Museum (IWM) will be running several major national initiatives. You can find out about these on their excellent and comprehensive website, along with resources that can be used by the community to plan their own commemorations – https://www.iwm.org.uk/.
- First World War research guides
- First World War centenary projects
- First World War centenary events at Surrey History Centre and around the county
- School learning resources
Surrey’s World War I: a selected and annotated list of books in the library at Surrey History Centre
download the list as a pdf document.
The following are a selection of images from the archives at Surrey History Centre. These and other images in the collection are available for use on websites and in displays. Enquiries about use of these images including copyright and other publication details should be directed to Surrey History Centre. Click on an image to see a larger version and to view the gallery as a slideshow. Click on the right or left margin of the larger image to go to the next or previous one.
A variety of events around Surrey will be organised over the period of the centenary. Details will be posted here when they become available.
BBC – Remembrance – World War One Timeline
British Military Nurses
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Department for Culture, Media & Sport – About the First World War Centenary
English Heritage The Conservation, Repair and Management of War Memorials: guidance and best practice advice on the understanding, assessment, planning and implementation of conservation work. Free download.
Imperial War Museum – Lives of the First World War
The National Archives
The Royal British Legion in Surrey
Surrey Infantry Museum at Clandon Park
Surrey History Centre
- East Surrey Regiment’s ‘football’ charge July 1st 1916
- Photographs from the archive of the Surrey Regiments
- The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
- The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment: Further Reading
- Summary of the arrangement of the records of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
- Tracing military records
- Woking Borough’s First World War Memorials
The Heritage Lottery Fund has grant schemes suitable for FWW projects. If you’re planning a project and you haven’t put in a bid to the HLF before, you can contact Surrey Heritage for advice. Click here to go to the Heritage Lottery Fund website.