Tag Archives: First World War Centenary

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  http://kentww1.com/ website.


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 http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/.

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

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA) records available to search

ssafaThe Soldiers, Sailors, Air force Association is the national charity providing practical help and assistance to members of our Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Their new website at http://1914.ssafa.org.uk/ allows users to search through historic annual reports or ‘Flag Book’ from 1914 which tell the story of life on the Home Front at the outbreak of World War One. Each digitised report covers part of SSAFA’s 1914 history.

To find out what happened in your local community you can browse through reports, or take a look at the list of contents below:

ACE announce new FWW funding programme

Arts Council England will invest £5 million of Lottery funding into ’14-18 Now: Artists from around the world to mark the First World War Centenary’, their First World War Centenary cultural programme. It will fund special commissions by leading artists from Britain and around the world as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations.

14-18 Now will co-commission artist-led creations, events and activities across a range of art forms. The programme aims to engage communities all over the UK, with a particular focus on young people. It will also be seeking collaborations and partnerships with the many countries all over the world that took part in the First World War.

To read more, visit the ACE website.

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: http://fwwupdate.eventbrite.co.uk/ (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.)

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.

Useful tips and hints from UoK

The Univesity of Kent have put together a few useful guidelines for Museums and Heritage organisations who are doing or thinking of doing things for the First World War Centenary. You can download a copy of them below:

U o K Guidelines for Museums WW1