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.
Dover Museums & Arts Group (DMAG) and Dover Arts Development (DAD) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded funding by Arts Council England and Kent County Council for a new project. Codename: Joined Up is the first project of the recently formed Dover Museums & Arts Group and total funding for the project amounts to around £90,000.
The two-year project will help the museums and heritage venues in the district enhance their online presence, boost visitor numbers and diversity and support new ways of interpreting their World War I collections in particular, by commissioning artists to work with each museum. The artists will respond to the collection in “their museum” and produce an inspirational resource for museum visitors. There will also be free bunting making and drawing workshops, which will be open to the general public.
Clare Smith, DAD director said “We are particularly pleased that many of the artists are young or emerging artists who have chosen to stay in East Kent after graduating”
Joanna Jones, DAD director said “We are delighted to be bringing artists together with such an exciting group of museum and heritage sites in Dover District“
Andrew Morgan from Dover Transport Museum said “We are looking forward to welcoming new visitors to the museum through this project.”
The museums and heritage venues taking part in the project are:
- Dover Museum
- Dover Transport Museum
- Deal Maritime Museum (tbc)
- Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and Queen’s Regiment Museum
- Western Heights Preservation Society
- White Mill Folk Museum Trust
- St Margaret’s History Society
- St Margaret’s Museum
- East Kent Railway
- Kent Coalfield Heritage
- Sandwich Guildhall
The timeline of events across the county during World War 1 was researched by Time2Give volunteers using the archives at the Kent History and Library Centre, Maidstone. It is part of a series of information and activities Kent County Council are organising as part of the First World War Centenary to commemorate those who lived, fought and died in the First World War.
To find out what happened in Kent 100 years ago today, visit www.kent.gov.uk/ww1 and take a look at this fantastic resource.
The National Children’s Football Alliance, based at Kings Hill, are leading the HLF-funded Football & Peace UK project for school children aged 11-14:
The Football & Peace UK pilot project is inspired by the events of the Christmas Truce of 1914 and explores the role of sport during the First World War as reflected in the experiences of local people.
In January 2014, the Kent History & Library Centre & Maidstone Museum hosted Football & Peace First World war learning sessions for visiting school parties from:
- High Weald Academy, Cranbrook
- Swadelands School, Lenham
- Herne Bay High School
- Borden Grammar School, Sittingbourne
- The Isle of Sheppey Academy, Minster
As part of the learning session at the KHLC, the students investigated our First World War local history resources in a range of formats and answered research questions.
Research themes included:
• First World War Sport & Propaganda
• First World War Sport & Recruitment
• Taking a stand for Peace:
Exploring the stories of Conscientious Objectors in Kent
• Marking the peace in Kent
• Walter Tull- From Folkestone boy to First World War icon
The NCFA were filming for a project documentary during our January FWW learning sessions.
A key future date for Football & Peace project activity will be Friday 25th April 2014: ‘A Peace Day Celebration at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone United Football Club’. The event is for Participating Schools, First World War Centenary Partners, Special Guests & the General Public. Project work undertaken by school project participants will be displayed and recorded. There will be a range of sport activities for school project participants, played in the spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce.
(with thanks to Rob Illingworth, Service Development Librarian- Local History, KCC Libraries, Registration and Archives)
Rob Illingworth, Service Development Librarian – Local History, from KCC Libraries, Registration and Archives, and his team of volunteers have been busily researching the archives to find out what happened in Kent & Medway during the First World War.
View the abridged version of the timeline: Kent & Medway in the First World War Timeline- Abridged version
It is a fantastic resource, which museums, heritage groups, arts organisations, schools, and any other interested parties are free to use for their own purposes. (Please note: The entries in the international/national column are extracted from the Imperial War Museum First World War Timeline – if you wish to publish any of the information included in this column, you must be a member of the IWM’s partnership programme. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to seek permission.)
Can you add your local information?
We are now putting a call out to anyone who may have further, local information that they can contribute to the timeline. All you need to do is add your entries to the template timeline below, referencing where you obtained the information, and return it to Rob Illingworth (Robert.Illingworth@kent.gov.uk).
Save a copy of the timeline template to add your own entries: Kent & Medway in the First World War Timeline- Template for entries- 2 example entries included
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:
- First World War in Kent and Medway – update session, Nov 2013 (Notes from the day, including various useful contact details and web-links)
- SEGfLA – FWW Schools Project Overview
- War Memorial Trust presentation, Nov 2013
- Football & Peace presentation, Nov 2013
- Screen South Kent Coast in WW1 presentation, Nov 2013
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.
Strangeface Mask Theatre Company, based in Southborough, work with communities nationally to make live art accessible for all. Since 2005 we have performed in shared places such as schools, libraries and village/memorial halls supported by local volunteers, Rural Touring Agencies, Arts Council and Kent County Council.
Our next theatre project is on the life of illusionist and pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, most famous for his 1902 short “A Trip to the Moon”. Whilst researching we found part of Méliès’ studio was requisitioned during WWI to become a hospital. He retreated to the remaining area to stage revues! Touched by the connections with our work, the transformation of space for community purpose, we have designed participation project that links people by experiences though they might be miles apart.
National Army Museum have offered to support our project “Space Transformed”, enabling us to use their archives for research purposes. We will offer a free-to-access resource kit, supporting workshops and online shared space for findings. The kit will act as a catalyst for intergenerational groups to discover the history of their venue 100 years ago and the people who inhabited it. We will encourage use of the website to share stories, images and their experiences of hunting for local heritage.
For more information contact Bethan at email@example.com or 01892 529813.