Tag Archives: WW1

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

Kent in World War 1 website

The exciting new website, Kent in WW1 (http://kentww1.com/) developed by Screen South in partnership with communities and organisations from across the Kent coast, is now live.  It is the culmination of a successful Heritage Lottery Funded project that began in 2013.

Screen shot of the new website

Screen shot of the new website

Ashford Borough Museum build a trench!












With sights, sounds and smells from the Western Front, this small but effective display, built for only £150 by museum volunteers, really captures the imagination of children and adult visitors alike.

Find out more about Ashford Museum on their website.


New ‘Gateways to the First World War’ website launched

GatewaysFWW_logoGateways to the First World War is a centre for public engagement with the Great War centenary, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

A new website has been launched which publicises Gateways news and events, encourages and supports public interest in the centenary organises open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.

Take a look at the new site at http://www.gatewaysfww.org.uk/.

What do you think of the new Sainsbury’s Christmas advert?

This year’s Christmas ad from Sainsbury’s is made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, and commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day, 1914, when the guns fell silent and two armies met in no-man’s land, sharing gifts – and even playing football together.

The chocolate bar featured in the ad is on sale now at Sainsbury’s. All profits (50p per bar) will go to The Royal British Legion and will benefit our armed forces and their families, past and present.

To watch a short film of the story behind the ad here: http://youtu.be/2s1YvnfcFVs and watch the making of the ad here: http://youtu.be/Jx3pQWbysmM

To find out more about the ad: www.inspiration.sainsburys-live-well-for­-less.co.uk/about-our-christmas-tv-ad/

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.

‘All Together Now’ by Peace Collective played at Wembley (money raised goes to The Shorncliffe Trust)


Twice a top five hit for The Farm in 1990 and in 2004, ‘All Together Now’ has been re-recorded by a host of music stars to mark the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Day Truce during World War One, the events of which inspired the song.  The single received it’s first playing at the Women’s England versus Germany match this weekend at Wembley in front of a sell-out crowd.  Find out who features on the single on The FA website or read more on the BBC website.

All profits from the release on 15 December will go to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust in Kent.

The Shorncliffe Trust are also working with UEFA on their Christmas truce memorial at Plug Street, Belgium this December with members of the team setting up the WW1 hospital as part of the visitor experience over the weeke#alltogethernownd before Christmas.

BBC coverage for Sittingbourne Victoria Cross recipient

Col Donald Dean VC - SittingbourneOn 9th November, the Sittingbourne community remembered Col Donald Dean VC.  Col Dean was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918 for bravery and devotion to duty near Lens in France, and was invested with his Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace by King George VI in February 1919. He also fought in World War Two and died in Sittingbourne in 1985 at the age of 88.  Continue reading the main BBC story

Col Dean was honoured with a commemorative paving stone which was placed in the Sittingbourne War Memorial area, and a dedication service which took place at 2.30pm on November 9, 2014 as part of Remembrance Sunday commemorations in Sittingbourne Town Centre. Read more on the Swale Borough Council website.

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: