Stamford WW1 Commemoration Programme: commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of war
In January 2014, Stamford’s WW1 Commemoration Programme launched a community research project to mark the centenary by identifying, exploring and recording local First World War heritage regarding the outbreak of war in 1914 with the aim of providing a cultural and educational legacy, commemorating this important historic period and the sacrifices made by our community then.
The research - along with consideration of the wider war events and issues - informed an education programme run with local schools and over 1,000 children. This is a collation of research and information from the project. A wide variety of volunteers and groups undertook research for the centenary and a summation of all sources has been collated here. The Commemoration Programme also created an event space and a hosted Festival of Commemoration on August 4th 2014.
The Commemoration Programme - organised by the Royal British Legion (Stamford) and Art Pop-Up, supported by Stamford Town Council - was staffed entirely by volunteers. We are particularly grateful for the help of G. Chambers, P. Massey, J. Hopson, R. Williams, M. Jalili, G. Creedy, C. Davies, K. Riley, N. McCarthy, J. Kudlinksi, J. Weisz and Burghley House.
The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the First World War: then and now programme along with contributions from the LCC Big Society Fund, Stamford Town Council, Waitrose, Dawson's of Stamford and Cllr. D. Nalson.
With over 24 possible research sources and archives to address, volunteers collated information thematically to provide a summary of sources. Each piece of information was also given unique reference which was uploaded to a spreadsheet to allow the information to be sorted and searched (summary PDF available here).
The local military heritage and the enormous sacrifice made was researched as well as how life in the local area was impacted by the war effort, considering the sacrifices made here on the home front by the community too. Further details of the local WW1 research can be found on the subsections: ‘Stamford and the Great War’ by Markwick, Stamford Newspapers, Burghley, Stamford Council, LCC Heritage Collections, Oral Histories & Artefacts, War Poetry and the Stamford Poets, Other Research.
The Commemoration Programme research project formed a key part of the education programme.
The Centenary provided an important opportunity for us as a community to build an understanding, facilitated by the education programme, of the sacrifices made by both those who served and all who were touched by the war, to reconnect with their motivation and their sense of community.
8 local schools and a wide variety of social groups were involved in the programme which drew upon information and artefacts uncovered by the research project on Stamford's WW1 heritage. The education programme ran a wide variety of events, workshops and activities including Tommy visits and “Stamford Stories” roadshow sessions with local volunteers and their WW1 artefacts. Cross-curricular work was created to display, interpret and explain the heritage.
This work was displayed along with artefacts and new artwork, based on the research findings, by local artist Sue Shields in an installation to further interpret and explain the local WW1 heritage. The installation at Browne's Hospital during August 2014 functioned as a temporary event space, providing an enjoyable and informative environment for the local community and a focal point for the commemoration launch. The event space hosted a series of free lectures, activities workshops and performances with over 1500 visitors. More details…