Category Archives: IWM updates

Great discussions had at the Imperial War Museum’s FWW ‘Lessons Learned’ Partnership Meeting

FWW_Centenary__Led_By_IWM_Red rgbOn the 23rd October 2014 IWM led a Partnership meeting at Chatham Historic Dockyard for members in the South East.

Presenters and participants were encouraged to critically reflect on their First World War Centenary projects so far and look forward into 2015 and beyond; pondering on things they would have changed with project or would have done differently, and discussing how projects are being evaluated.  Participants shared what they felt were their biggest challenges but also reflected on what their most successful outcomes or aspects of the project have been.

The key findings taken from the meeting can be downloaded by 1914 Partnership members through logging into the Centenary Partnership Programme website.

Lives of the First World War

Connect, Collaborate, Curate

Help the Imperial War Museum piece together the Life Stories of over 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform and worked on the home front during the First World War.  The Lives of the First World War website provides each individual whose contribution to the First World War is recorded in official documents with  a personal Life Story page, where you can register your commitment to Remember them.

Information about each person and their wartime experiences can be connected to Life Stories by members of the public.

You can:

  • Link together evidence relating to the same person, using records from museums, libraries and archives across the world. Many of these have been brought together in one place for the first time by Lives of the First World War.
  • Add references to sources you have discovered elsewhere.
  • Upload digital images of your own precious family mementoes.
  • Include family stories and personal knowledge.
  • Group together individuals you are interested in by creating your own Community page.

As more and more people connect facts to Life Stories, we can begin to piece together each individual’s life story.

This short film tells why the IWM created Lives of the First World War and explains why they need your help to ensure those Life Stories are remembered forever. Read on below to learn more about the project and who is involved:

Then read on below to find out more about getting started with Lives of the First World War:

Successful networking at FWW in Kent & Medway update session

The Museum Development Programme for Kent & Medway held a successful First World War update session at the Royal Engineers Museum, Library & Archive on Monday 4th November.

The session was attended by over 50 people from various museums, heritage, and arts groups and organisations.  Speakers included the Shorncliffe Trust, the Western Front Association, the Kent Lieutenancy, the South East Grid for Learning Associates, the War Memorials Trust, Viola Films, the National Children’s Football Alliance, Kent County Council, Screen South, HLF and the Imperial War Museum.

It was a great opportunity to hear about the various plans and projects that are taking place in the county, and further afield – there is plenty going on and many ways for groups and organisations to get involved.

To see the notes of the session, click the link below.  Copies of the speaker’s presentations and other supporting information can be viewed below:

To keep in touch with others in Kent & Medway about the FWW, why not sign up to our GoogleGroup?

Don’t forget to sign up to the Imperial War Museum’s FWW Centenary Partnership Programme to gain access to a wealth of support and resources all free to use.

Centenary Plans – Update session, 4th Nov 2013

Join us at the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham for an afternoon of networking and discussions around how Kent & Medway is planning to commemorate the First World War Centenary.

Hear from various organisations and their current plans, including:

  • ViolaFilms and their recent project, ‘Time Bleeds’, filmed in Folkestone
  • The National Children’s Football Alliance and the ‘Football & Peace’ project in Maidstone
  • Screen South’s recently successful HLF application developing the ‘Kent in WW1’ project for coastal Kent
  • An Arts & Humanities Research Council Co-ordination bid update from the University of Kent
  • News from the Lieutenancy and the commemorations they are supporting
  • An update from HLF on their First World War funding strand

This is a follow-on session from the previous afternoon get-together we held in March.  Since then, we have created a Steering Group to lead a co-ordinated approach to the sharing and promotion of information (including the launch of this blog), as well as 3 working groups, who we will hear from on the day.

To book, visit: (PLEASE NOTE: You must represent an organisation who is planning something in commemoration of the FWW – many apologies, but this session is not for general members of the public.)

Event sharing with Culture24 and the Imperial War Museum

Are you giving Culture24 all your event details?

Culture24 is collecting First World War Centenary events for IWM and the BBC. They’ve already got some great Centenary events on their website, such as Nottinghamshire’s excellent Trent to Trenches campaign.

If you’re planning events to mark the Centenary, input them into their Direct Data Entry (DDE) and they’ll do the rest.

Don’t forget to sign up to IWM Centenary Partnership, you must do so before Culture24 can publicise your First World War Centenary events. 

Why your event listings have the best chance of success – in their own words:

Culture24 has a reputation for having excellent quality listings. This is down to you. It’s why our partners, like the BBC want your data. Together we can raise the standard even further by adding more images, checking your venue details are correct and ensuring that you ‘tag’ events to their full extent. Why should you? It will improve your presence on our website and will enable us to approach even more potential partners.

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 to sign up.

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

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 to sign up.

The 2014 Real Poppy Campaign – Plant Your Town RED

Thanks to the power of the web, and this blog, I was recently contacted by Graham Mentor-Morris of The Real Poppy Campaign.  While I’m sure many of you are aware of the Campaign, Graham kindly sent the following information:

“A unique campaign has been started to plant real poppies to coincide with this centenary. The bright red Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas) also known as corn poppies, will be planted by thousands of people all across the County of Kent during spring 2014 – for flowering late July/early August. The 2014 Real Poppy Campaign is the brainchild of The Greenhithe (Kent) Royal British Legion. Chairman, Phil Berry said; “We would like to see Kent covered in real Flanders poppies during August 2014, just imagine thousands upon thousands of bright red poppies growing alongside motorways, hundreds in every garden, hedgerows, fields, window boxes – the entire County  covered in poppies.”

During WW1, the total number of military and civilian casualties was an estimated 37 million. There were over 16 million deaths (an average of almost 10,000 per day) and more than 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history. The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem  ‘ In Flanders Fields’ Its opening lines refer to the thousands of poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves .The 2014 poppies will commemorate and honour the huge sacrifices made by so many.

Kent based groups, including schools and youth organisations, cadets, scouts etc and any interested community groups will be provided with seeds and are encouraged to cultivate or simply scatter or ‘cast’ thousands of the seeds wherever they can(+). The poppies are wild flowers, they offer no threat to wildlife or the environment and will grow readily. Approval for the project has been given by DEFRA (+). To help ensure a national coverage, the RBL Riders Branch have agreed to assist in the casting of poppy seeds on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.

A flowering success rate of around 65% is estimated if correctly cast/planted. The seeds are provided free of charge (*) and can be wild casted anywhere (+) they will usually grow untended and participants need no gardening skills. Full instructions are provided with every pack of seeds. With your help, this campaign plans to be a bright and vivid reminder of all those lost lives.

(*) Subject to HLF Funding

(+) Message from DEFRA; Do not use near agricultural areas or sites of scientific interest.

We are requesting all interested persons or groups register their wish to get involved for free supply of seeds – email

As an alternative, people can purchase seeds and donate to the Poppy Appeal, simply go to the dedicated website:  Dartford Borough Council have already purchased 1 Million seeds for the Dartford centenary plans – other local authorities are invited to also get involved.

Or you can find us on facebook:!/groups/343656562384364/”

The Real Poppy Campaign 2014 is officially partnered with the Imperial War Museumpoppy


IWM’s 1914 Centenary Partnership – UPDATE

Since the Government announced their plans for the 1914-18 centenary, things have been hotting up at the IWM’s website.

A new project has just been started by Exeter Uni to ask English and History teachers what they think about the First War and how it is taught– if you are a teacher, on know someone who is please take time to fill in the survey at: it will hopefully bring up some interesting results!

Also on the IWM site are a number of interesting podcasts and the partnership side of the site has release a WW1 reading list .

Outside of IWM the Government have launched their own centenary website where all ‘official’ announcements will be posted.

If you are not already signed up as a partner on the official Imperial War Museum’s website, then we recommend you do so!  You get access to a community of over 1,140 organisations who are now signed up across the country, as well as use of free resources, and access to use the official IWM 1914 partnership logo on all your related activities.