The Kent in WW1 film “Echoes from the Kent Coast” is now available

This short film from award-winning director Nichola Bruce illustrates the world of hidden stories and connections that mark Kent and its people out as particularly important in the impact and legacy of the First World War.

Nichola Bruce, with long-term collaborator Sam Sharples, bring a taste of the stories from Coastal Kent in the First World War alive. Working closely with the Screen South Kent in WW1 research team, led by Darrienne Price, the film is supported by local people and their families who have allowed us to reflect on some very personal stories echoing down the century.

Local heritage groups and organisations have been very generous in opening up their archive and giving us their time to discuss the unique contribution played by Kent communities. We are also grateful to the Imperial War Museum for their support on archive moving image research and inclusion.

Screen South would like to thank all those involved in the making of this film, something which we are very proud of, and we hope that you too will enjoy and appreciate the film’s significance in telling the stories of Kent in WW1.  For more stories from WW1, visit the website.


The Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne commemorate the First World War

Exciting news for the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS) who have recently moved into The Heritage Hub at The Forum in Sittingbourne.HRGS touch screen 4

The Group were successful in an application to HLF’s ‘Then & Now‘ fund to create a digital Roll of Honour display of local men who fought in the First World War.  The hi-tech touch screen (from InfoAktiv) containing hundreds of records and images, is now on display at The Heritage Hub, as well as a life-size replica of a First World War trench, created by students at the University for the Creative Arts.


FWW trench HRGS 1 FWW trench HRGS 1

Read more about the work of the HRGS and their First World War research on their website.


“They Shall Grow Not Old …” offers Commemorative Displays & Educational Presentations

Are you looking for First World War displays and educational presentations to bring your event to life?  The team from ‘They Shall Grow Not Old’ may be the ones for you.

Commemorative Displays

We offer comprehensive ‘Show & Tell’ interactive displays of First World War artefacts, equipment, posters, weapons (all weapons used are deactivated)  and uniform to add background atmosphere of an event, with opportunities for ‘hands-on’ artefact handling and discussion with visitors.

We encourage event organisers to ask visitors to bring in their own memorabilia of the First World War – including family photos, medals, letters and other items. We can help identify and date these while placing them into context within the wider events of the War.

Looking for a speaker for your event? We can offer a ‘Learning Conversation’ about life for soldiers during the First World War supported by our extensive displays.

Educational Presentations

We are able to provide interactive presentations on a range of First World War subjects specifically tailored to any audience from schools to universities, clubs and societies, and the workplace.

Our presentations are the perfect way to start a First World War project, support an exhibition of pupils’ or students’ work, or as a ‘scene-setter’ in preparation for a visit to the battlefields of Europe.

Family Research

In return for a donation to our chosen charity – The Forces Children’s Trust, we are able to provide help in researching the history of those who served during the First World War.

Contact Information

For more details please telephone either:

David Hanmore + 44 (0)1892 684085 or Peter Zieminski +44 (0)7748 326411

or email us at: or visit our website at:

Please note: there is a charge for these services but all monies raised will be donated to our chosen Charity – The Forces Children’s Trust.

Exploring ‘Gateways to the First World War’

ExploringGatewaysJan2015On Friday 16th January, over 50 of us gathered at the University of Kent to hear from the ‘Gateways’ team.

We heard from Dr Sam Carroll, Community Heritage Researcher, who introduced the Gateways centre, its aims* and how it can and has supported various community projects. For example, Dr Will Butler from the university’s School of History, shared his experience of working with the Simon Langton School in Canterbury; and Ernie Brennan from the National Children’s Football Alliance with Dr Emma Hanna talked about Gateways support of the Peace Fields Project.

We also heard from Dr Zoë Denness (Gateways team) and Jon Beer (School of History) about how University of Kent students and other volunteers could get involved in your project. Student Ruben Rees told us how he had volunteered at Canterbury Cathedral Archive and supported them in their First World War research.

We were also joined by: members from the Dover Museums & Arts Group (DMAG) who talked about their ‘Codename: Joined Up‘ First World War project; and from Blue Town Heritage Centre, the Royal Engineers Museum and Viola Films who described how they managed their joint ‘For the Fallen’ project.

Don’t forget, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Then & Now‘ funding strand is still open for applications.

*’Gateways to the First World War’ is a centre for public engagement with the First World War centenary funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the centenary of the First World War through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.

Gateways can help you explore the following areas:

  • Memorials, commemoration and memory
  • Life on the Home and Fighting Fronts
  • The medical history of the First World War
  • Wartime propaganda and popular culture
  • Maritime and naval history
  • Operational and military history

Visit the Gateways website for more details

The Tower of London’s poppies find new homes

‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London, created by artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.  The Tower’s dry moat was filled with 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for each British fatality during the war – from August to November 2014 to mark the Centenary.  Read more about the poppies on the website

The installation of the poppies started on 17th July and was carried out by hundreds of volunteers:

I have been following the story of this incredible installation from the beginning, watching in the media as the sea of poppies developed.   I visited the Tower in October last year and was amazed by the number of people gathered to see the work and hopefully we assume, show their respects.   All the poppies were sold to individuals across the world and started to be removed following Armistice Day.  There are many fantastic images of the poppies and their new owners on social media, (Twitter using hashtag #TowerPoppies), and I am very proud to be one of those people, having my received my poppy on Christmas eve, a poignantly timed reminder.


There has been lots of positive press about the work, but there has also been concerns along the way around where the money from the sale of the poppies would end up, with articles revealing that only a third of money will be going to charity.   There was also further negative press when the delivery company, Yodel, delivered broken poppies.

Did you visit ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ or purchase a poppy?  What are your thoughts on the debate over the funds raised as part of this project?






Have you booked your place for ‘Exploring Gateways’?

Following on from successful First World War networking events in 2013, the Museum Development Programme has partnered with the AHRC-funded ‘Gateways to the First World War’ project, hosted at the University of Kent.  Gateways is an AHRC-funded centre for public engagement with the First World War centenary. The centre is managed by the University of Kent in partnership with the Universities of Brighton, Greenwich, Portsmouth, Leeds and Queen Mary, London. It also has close links with organisations such as the Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum and the War Memorials Trust.

The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the centenary of the First World War through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.

In this afternoon session being held at the University of Kent on Friday 16th January, we invite you to meet the ‘Gateways’ team and hear about projects they are supporting and how they could support your own FWW projects.

Secure your place here

Programme of the Day:

12.00pm        Arrival & networking lunch

1.00pm          First World War projects from around Kent:

  • ‘Codename: Joined Up’ from the Dover Museums & Arts Group
  • ‘For the Fallen’ from ViolaFilms, Blue Town Heritage Centre and the Royal Engineers Museum

2.00pm          Introduction to ‘Gateways to the First World War’ project

Find out what it is, how is it funded, who is involved, why was it set up, what the aims are, what can the university offer, and how can it support community groups.

2.15pm          Student Volunteers

Hear how University of Kent students could support you with your project, from student Ruben Rees.

2.30pm          Break

2.45pm          Current projects supported by Gateways

Discussing how the Gateways partners have been involved and why this has been beneficial, using the following Case Studies:

  • Dean Evans from Langtons Boys School
  • Ernie Brennan from the National Children’s Football Alliance

3.30pm          How to get involved

If you’ve been inspired to work with the Gateways team, where do you go from here?

3.45pm          ‘Then and Now’ First World War funding stream from the Heritage Lottery Fund

4.00pm          End

Useful links:

FWW_Centenary__Led_By_IWM_Red rgbGatewaysFWW_logo

Kent in World War 1 website

The exciting new website, Kent in WW1 ( developed by Screen South in partnership with communities and organisations from across the Kent coast, is now live.  It is the culmination of a successful Heritage Lottery Funded project that began in 2013.

Screen shot of the new website

Screen shot of the new website

14-18 NOW seeks proposals for new artistic commissions to mark First World War Centenary

14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, has announced that it is seeking a wide range of new proposals for extraordinary new art commissions to be created in response to the centenary of the First World War.

The search for new proposals follows the success of 14-18 NOW’s first wave of commissions which reached at least 16.7 million people over the eight weeks leading up to 4th August, the centenary of the day Britain entered the First World War.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
‘We have been thrilled by the response of artists and the public to the possibilities offered by the centenary of the First World War.  It is a real opportunity to engage the widest possible range of people in the UK.  To do that successfully we need the widest possible range of proposals from artists, arts and heritage organisations to help us build the most exciting and appealing programme over the coming years.’

The 14-18 NOW programme is funded by £10 million granted from the National Lottery including The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE) which are contributing £5million each.

Submit a proposal here:

(Information shared from:

Ashford Borough Museum build a trench!












With sights, sounds and smells from the Western Front, this small but effective display, built for only £150 by museum volunteers, really captures the imagination of children and adult visitors alike.

Find out more about Ashford Museum on their website.


New ‘Gateways to the First World War’ website launched

GatewaysFWW_logoGateways to the First World War is a centre for public engagement with the Great War centenary, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

A new website has been launched which publicises Gateways news and events, encourages and supports public interest in the centenary organises open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.

Take a look at the new site at