The countdown to the 4th August began many months ago, with societies, museums, history groups, schools, universities and various other organisations and individuals planning how best to commemorate the day.
As the day itself arrived, international and local news, web, press and social media was full of information and images of what was going on around the world to mark the outbreak of war.
As well as many Church services taking place across the county, here are some of the other events that took place on the day:
- Prince Harry unveiled Step Short‘s First World War Memorial Arch in Folkestone – for a video of the event plus more news articles, visit the BBC News website.
- Ashford’s historic World War One tank, the last of its kind, was guarded by members of 133 Field Company Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for the 24 hours of August 4 – read more about the tank here and view other Ashford commemorations here.
- Kent County Council opened their commemorative exhibition, ‘In their own words’ focusing of the people of Kent during the First World War – see opening times here.
- Tunbridge Wells poet Siegfried Sassoon’s First World War journals have been published online by the University of Cambridge – read more from BBC news here or view the digital journals here.
- Tenterden railway which carried First World War hero Edith Cavell’s body, to be on BBC2 show Railways of the Great War, Friday 6.30pm – read more about the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s part in this here.
There are many other events, activities and projects taking place across the country; take a look at the Visit Kent’s Frontline Kent website for full details.
At the meeting, various working groups were established to help build a county-wide overview of various themes, including marketing, research, education and overall event co-ordination.
Progress has been made in each area:
Visit Kent lead the Marketing Working Group and since last summer, have been establishing the ‘public face’ of all our events and activities through their ‘Frontline Kent’ campaign.
They will soon be launching a dedicated website (www.frontlinekent.co.uk) which will hold a calendar of the events taking place across the county. While this is in development, they have created holding pages at visitkent.co.uk/frontlinekent – find out what events are currently listed here.
To add your event, activity or exhibition, all you need to do is complete this form and return to Visit Kent. I have been co-ordinating discusssions with Visit Kent, Culture24, and the Imperial War Museum (IWM) to enable the sharing of these event details – this means, if you fill in Visit Kent’s form, your details will also get transfered to Culture24 and the IWM’s own databases under the ‘Frontline Kent’ banner.
All museums supplying details to Visit Kent will have access to the Frontline Kent logo for their own marketing materials. Please contact Lynnette Crisp (Lynnette.Crisp@visitkent.co.uk) to request a copy of the logo if you have’t already received it.
Journalist Lesley Bellew is keen to include a comprehensive 2014 diary of events in the KM’s upcoming World War One supplements. She will be using the list of events on Visit Kent’s website to gather information and will try to include as much as possible, but if you would like to flag something up to her directly, please email: email@example.com.
The Research Working Group is being led by Rob Illingworth from KCC Libraries, Registration and Archives. Along with a Time2Give give volunteer, he has been compiling a timeline of all Kent & Medway related events that took place between 1914-24.
The information has been uploaded into an online timeline, which is accessible to all – you are encouraged to use and link to it on your own sites. It is a fantastic resource and Rob is keen to keep adding more information – therefore, if you have anything that you have been researching in your local area and would like to share, please get in touch with Rob directly at Robert.Illingworth@kent.gov.uk.
The Museum Develompent Programme has been in contact with the South East Grid for Learning Associates (SEGfLA) in relation to First World War education tools.
A resource that is being promoted to all schools in the South East is the First World War Toolbox developed by the SEGfLA. The website offers the visitor access to a vast range of Teaching & Learning resources (most of which are free) to research the period 1914-18 or to plan a enquiry based history project.
There are plans to support museums in the creation of resources that can be used in conjunction with the online toolbox, so watch this space…
Trinity College have put together some information about how Arts Award can be linked to creative projects inspired by the FWW. They will be producing further resources and would welcome suggestions of information that would help museums.
At the March meeting, a FWW in Kent & Medway Steering Group was set-up, with Professor Mark Connelly from the University of Kent as Chair, and myself acting as secretary and maintaining the links between all interested organisations (via our FWW blog and mailing list).
Since then, Professor Connelly has led a consortium bid for £500,000 to the Arts & Humanities Research Council to establish a Coordinating Centre at the University of Kent. If successful this will be one of between 5-7 regional hubs which will manage, in partnership with the HLF, community projects connected with the First World War centenary. The primary aims of the project are to build a dialogue between academic and public historical research, and to assist communities in exploring their heritage.
The Centres will operate in co-operation with other major project partners in the heritage sector such as museums and archives. This will be done by a range of activities including:
- A website to coordinate and inform the Centre’s network
- Open lectures, seminars and conferences on war-related subjects
- Family history workshops
- Tours of archives and relevant collections
- Information events and open days
- Self-tour guides to the battlefields and significant war-related locations
- Visits to schools, colleges and community centres
- Providing advice on further bids to the HLF
We are awating the final outcome of the bid – details will be shared asap as this will underpin and cross reference all the above work that we have already achieved.
Don’t forget to register with the Imperial War Museum
The First World War Centenary Partnership is a network of over 2,000 local, regional, national and international cultural and educational organisations led by IWM (Imperial War Museums).
Being a member of the Partnership gives each one of us a stronger collective voice, visibility through the First World War Centenary brand and website, access to a wealth of expertise and resources.
The Marketing Working Group met on 17th September 2013 to discuss next steps. The highlights from the meeting are:
It was agreed that “Frontline Kent” will be an umbrella brand for not only WWI but can encompass all commemorations around conflict during this period ie WWII 75th Anniversary.
The four year campaign will:
- To maximise the opportunity and to raise the profile of Kent and its role as a frontline county
- To bring attractions and destinations together to plan coordinated activities around Frontline Kent and the key anniversaries.
- To promote these to visitors under a consistent “brand” from a central portal
- To attract inbound visitors and visitor spend
- To encourage repeat visitors
- Single brand – Frontline Kent
- Single portal / CTA
- Kent residents (editorial message needs to be different for residents)
- London and 2 hour drive team
- Near European
- Volunteers (to assist with events)
Read the full minutes here: Frontline Kent Marketing Group – Minutes 17_09_13