Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Swale Borough Council WW1 Council website

At Swale Borough Council we are working to support local organisations planning First World War Commemorative Projects by providing guidance and promoting awareness and how to get involved.

We have produced a project form  http://www.swale.gov.uk/assets/Community/World-War-I-Centenary-Project-Form.pdf and encouraged it’s completion and return in order that we can upload details on to a dedicated webpage on the Council’s website http://www.swale.gov.uk/centenary-ww1/ .

The North Kent Coast and it’s communities played a key role in the First World War and we want to ensure this is reflected  in any acts of remembrance and commemoration that are planned locally during the centenary period.

If you are planning a regional project or event that will be working in the Swale area please let us know and we will signpost and direct you to those groups and local people that can add value to your project.

Screen South Successful in Lottery Bid

Kent in WW1- people, places and events in your county, a programme managed by Screen South, secures a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant.

Screen South, a community focused creative media company, based in Folkestone Kent, has received a confirmed grant of £99,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Kent in World War 1 (WW1) project, it was announced today. The projects aims to commemorate the people, places and events of Coastal Kent in WW1 with the creation of an interactive website bringing together and creating “one click” access to the heritage of the coastal communities of Kent in WW1.

The site will incorporate 15 micro- sites for locations around the coast enabling stories and material to be uploaded by contributors in each location, and ensuring that people find out about the impact of WW1 in their locality, plus events and activities in which they can participate.

A programme of community sharing events and school activities will enable people to take part and learn about the life of coastal communities in this period, whether sharing their memorabilia in pop-up exhibitions or adding to a flat map of their locality to show where actual people lived (both those who served in the forces and civilians). There will be opportunities for local heritage and community groups as well as interested volunteers to help develop and deliver the programme and website- making this a truly community project.

The Kent coast had a pivotal role in WW1, with the involvement of all three services (Army, Navy and Airforce). Kent saw major upheaval as the gateway through which men and material passed to the Western Front. The influx of men and women this produced, and the changes that occurred to every day civilian life as a consequence of the War, had a huge impact on the coastal towns and villages of coastal Kent which still resonates today. The project will bring together fragmented information into one common portal, providing access to all to the extraordinary history of the coastal communities and people in this period – bringing the past to life.

Jo Nolan, M.D. at Screen South, said: “Screen South is absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund grant will enable us to lead this important community heritage initiative for WW1. We look forward to working with people from the coastal community in Kent and other partners on this project. Kent is home to some great stories and hidden gems, which by working together we will be able to uncover and share with a much wider audience- bringing the past within touching distance.”

About the Heritage Lottery Fund 

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.5bn across the UK.  www.hlf.org.uk.

About Screen South

Screen South is a Creative Development agency delivering and supporting innovative projects across screen-based media and the wider cultural and creative industries. They are a resource and broker that helps people get their ideas off the ground and supports delivery locally, nationally and internationally. Their overarching aim is to contribute to stimulating a competitive, successful and vibrant, creative industry and culture, and to promote its growth, enjoyment and understanding locally and internationally. Screen South is passionate about developing and contributing to a dynamic environment in which film and screen-based media culture can flourish. They are also the home of the Accentuate, the London 2012 legacy programme for the South East.

Screen South is a partner in the North Seas Screen Partnership, a European exchange with countries in the North Seas area including areas in Norway and Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Scotland. Award Winning uScreen is also supported by the NSSP programme. www.screensouth.org

For further information, images and interviews, please contact:

Darrienne Price, Head of Business Support and WW1 Heritage darrienne.price@screensouth.org / 01303 259777

News from the South-East Grid for Learning Associates and their FWW plans…

About the South-East Grid for Learning Associates

The South-East Grid for Learning Associates seek to develop, promote and deliver high quality learning services to schools, colleges and partnerships across the South East of England. At the heart of our work is a commitment to using technology to enhance enquiry and project based learning. Major educational projects since 2010 include the schools Census project (http://census.segfl.org.uk/a partnership project between the Grid, National Archives and Bfi, and the acclaimed Bird Box Project (http://birdbox.segfl.org.uk/).

This summer the Associates have been managing the Living Islands Live: A Puffin Season on Burhou (www.livingislands.co.uk) for the Alderney Wildlife Trust. In 2014 in partnership with the RSPB the Grid will be launching ‘Dungeness Live.’  A free educational website designed for all Kent schools.

Previous WW1 Projects and Training opportunities

  • March 2013  Investigating the Past – World War I Events in Hampshire (Project CD for Hampshire Schools. Partners: HCC Archives & Local Studies at Hampshire Record Office/ Wessex Film & Sound Archives)

Presently Planning

  • Investigating the Past – World War I Events in West Sussex. Partner: Chichester University
  • Interpreting the new primary history curriculum / World War I Project Planning Day for Kent primary schools (Proposed days to take place between November 2013 /March 2014)
  • What happened here? – World War I Local Study Project (Kent Schools)
  • Using ICT to interpret the past (WW1)  (Using E2BN/National Education Network Resources)  Museum Box, Cookit, History’s Heroes plus Census Data, Stop/Start animation and blue screening
  • Web conferencing days with leading WW1 Military and Political figures

If you would like to find out more about Kent-based FWW projects, or want to get involved, please contact

Phil Bracegirdle (SEGfLA) E-mail: pbracegirdle@segfl.org.uk or Tel: 07801 709409.

Today is the 99th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War

TODAY, Sunday, 4 August, it is just one year until the national commemorations for the First World War Centenary begin.

This milestone provides a great opportunity for you to publicise your activities and events to mark the centenary and to continue to raise awareness of the collective First World War Centenary Partnership Programme.

If you want to contact your local newspapers to tell them what you are planning, the Imperial War Museum has created a quick and easy press release template, which you can fill in with details about your programme, your logo and a quote from someone in your organisation.

Please note, you MUST be signed up as a member of the Imperial War Museum’s 1914 Centenary Partnership to be able to access this resource – head to www.members.1914.org to sign up.

The Cenotaph in Whitehall – currently being renovated ready for next year’s commemorations.

DO mention the War – a report about public attitudes

Will 1914 matter in 2014? Nobody who experienced the war is still alive. Most of us struggle to recall more than the most basic facts about what happened and why. However, the first great global conflict remains a pivotal cultural reference point for understanding the last century and how it shaped the country we have become today.

In a report by British Future (an independent, non-partisan thinktank seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration, migration and opportunity)Do Mention The War, published today, Sunday 4th August, will highlight these points and more. ‘Do Mention The War’ draws on original research into what the public know and don’t know about the first world war, why they think next year’s centenary will matter and what they want it to be about.

Drawing on public workshops in England, Scotland and Wales, alongside the new national polling, the report also reveals why most people think we should seize this chance to learn, and explores which meanings of the centenary people agree on and which ones don’t. Overall, research into public attitudes throughout the UK finds a strong commitment to using the centenary to learn about how the war changed Britain, from the million British lives lost to women getting the vote.

Highlights of Do Mention The War include:

  • Baroness Warsi looks at the contribution made by soldiers from the Commonwealth.
  • Alex Massie, a former correspondent at The Scotsman, asks how the vote for Scottish independence in 2014 will impact its ability to reflect on 1914.
  • University of London’s Dr Daniel Todman suggests that it is healthy for us to challenge the widely-held perceptions of the war and even to disagree about the routes into our understanding of this period.
  • Imperial War Museums’ Samantha Heywood discusses how the first world war changed everyone’s attitudes towards warfare, challenging its legitimacy as a way for states to achieve or defend their political aims.

To download the report, see http://www.britishfuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Do-mention-the-war_Web.pdf

DIY Exhibition now available to download

Download a specially curated DIY Exhibition, which has been designed and packaged for you to use in your own First World War displays.

Curated by IWM’s Principal Historian Nigel Steel, the exhibition is made up of text panels supported by timelines, case studies, photographs, objects and art from IWM’s extensive collections.

With this flexible resource, you can use as much or as little as you choose in your own displays. Download the full chronological overviews, or three time period packages: 1914: How did the war start?, 1915-16: How was the war fought? and 1917-18: How did the war end? You can also download a package that focuses on a particular theme such as politics, social history, world war, war on the Western Front and war at sea.

Please note, you MUST be signed up as a member of the Imperial War Museum’s 1914 Centenary Partnership to be able to access this resource – head to www.members.1914.org to sign up.

Get involved in Kent’s ‘Voices of the First World War’ book

Amberley Publishing are currently looking at commissioning a series of books entitled ‘Voices of the First World War’. These will tell the story of the war in different counties across England, and will be published to tie in with the approaching centenary in 2014.

They are looking at compiling letters, diaries, and other contemporary literature from a range of ‘voices’ – those fighting abroad and living on the home front – into a book about Kent’s First World War. Kent was one of the most important sites of the war in Britain, and they would love to include it in their series.

The book Amberley Publishing  are proposing will be largely made up of contemporary material, so the task would primarily involve typing up, arranging and editing the contemporary manuscripts, selecting images and photographs, and writing a short introduction to each section. Dependent on material, the book would probably be split into themes such as men at war, women at war, living at home, the front line, and what happened afterwards.

Amberley Publishing  are a leading publisher of local history titles, and also have a strong track record in general history. They focus largely on British history, and consequently, are very interested in the effect of the First World War on home soil. A book on the subject would serve to increase public engagement in Kent culture and heritage, and would help focus media attention on the county as one of the major remembrance sites for the centenary. They are aware of the huge importance of a project such as this one. It is vital to record these ‘voices’ and allow them to tell their story, particularly as there are sadly few remaining who are able to remember this time.

Christian Duck, Editor at Amberley Publishing would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in, and have the expertise for, such a project.  If you are interested and want to find out more about the work involved or royalty rates, please contact Christian Duck directly on c.duck@amberley-books.com 

A: Amberley Publishing, The Hill, Merrywalks, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4EP

T: 01453 847814

W: www.amberly-books.com

Amberly Publishing

‘What happens if we forget?’ asks Violafilms…

Time BleedsViolafilms most recent work, Time Bleeds, is a drama/doc lasting 14m 40s created to commemorate the First World War and to stimulate thought, looking at the central question of ‘What happens if we forget?’

Synopsis: February 2013, a group of people came together with one question in mind “What happens if we forget?” The seaside town of Folkestone, Kent, UK was the gateway to the war for over eight million troops. With the First World War moving out of living memory what does that mean for us? Could anything like it happen again? During this experimental documentary the participants were taken back to World War One through a series of method acting workshops to answer these questions.

Time Bleeds has been made with local young people, mainly from K College in Folkestone, and really has helped them reconnect with their heritage; everything in the film is based on true happenings involving local people. The lack of knowledge regarding the First World War is quite amazing and Debra from Violafilms think it’s because it’s no longer within living memory.

However, working with young people in this way has really helped them understand about the war and its horrors. There are a great many commemorations taking place over the next 4 years via museums and heritage sites, in the main offering a range of exhibitions etc, but nothing that they can find so far, that asks the question ‘What happens if we forget? And ‘Why commemorate World War One?’.

This is the first stage of a longer narrative based piece Violafilms are filming later in the year, subject to funding, and has been attracting quite a bit of attention. Already Turner Contemporary Gallery have asked to screen it in 2013 and screenings have been held at Dover Western Heights. They are also already working with the Royal Engineers Museum in Medway on screenings and an exhibition for 2014, but would be interested in others screening the piece in their own spaces.

The next stage focuses heavily on some of the Belgian refugees, who came to Folkestone and in particular Leon Trulin, who was just 19 when he was shot as a spy in Lille, leading a band known as the ‘glorious teenagers’. His memory is still held dear in Lille with statues and memorials, and is hailed as a true hero. Very different perceptions of course are held of teenagers today and this offers an interesting way of working with this age group.

Feedback so far has been very encouraging, suggesting it should be shown in every secondary school.  Violafilms would love to find ways of getting the drama/doc out to a wider audience, so any suggestions you may have would be fantastic.

Comments include:

Went to the premiere of this last night in an unheated disused factory – completely fitting venue for a film that grabs you and chills you with the challenge of its premise. Astonishing performances from local adolescents who, along with the rest of the cast didn’t know how the story was going to unfurl, and whose emotional responses to a war that’s passed from living memory, are achingly poignant. The faces of the youthful firing squad linger in the memory. A great achievement for all concerned. A special mention for the sound and music. And some of the images are so striking – the farewell between mother and son against the backdrop of a red brick wall, the nurses standing like sentinels on a Folkestone beach, and those faces of the firing squad. Stunning!

This really should be shown in all secondary schools as the anniversary of the outbreak of WWI approaches.

Dennis Hurleston on IMDb

AND

Everything about the film, from the dramatic historical sequences, the modern versions of WW1 propaganda posters, the actors reactions during the workshops, the frightening lack of knowledge about the war exhibited by the youngsters during their interviews, to the glimpse of the future where White Feather TV will shame people into to joining up, worked perfectly and definitely answered the question “what happens if we forget?”

The team behind this film are hoping to raise funding for a longer version, and I for one am hoping that they are successful, as I feel that given the resources they will make a film that will become a classic and a worthy memorial to all those who died nearly 100 years ago.

Robert Green MA, BA (Oxon)

Opportunities to engage with Violafilms and young people… 

The film is more suited to an older age group of 12+ but offers a great way to engage with a teenage audience which many heritage venues have said they find more difficult to find a way in to.  Violafilms can offer a workshop programme involving film but based on WW1 themes. They are experienced in audience development programmes and were commissioned by Creative England, Screen South and the North Sea Screen Partnership to create a model of best practice in developing filmlabs for young people which has been shared internationally and have worked on projects with Rochester Cathedral and most recently UCA and K College, so have an established pedigree in working with young people.

If you would like to find out more, or want to get involved, contact Debra McGee on debra@violafilms.com or see www.violafilms.com for more details.