First off, it’s been a long while since I’ve had the time to post to this blog on a regular basis; but I’m hoping that now I’ll have more of a chance to post and keep abreast of what is happening with regards to the centenary.
Secondly, I start tomorrow as a curator’s assistant at Leeds Museums and Galleries; which is something I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now. The curator I’m working with is in charge of the First World War projects that will be happening throughout the centenary. This brings me to my next point – I will most certainly have a lot more to post about that is topically relevant rather than simply my own musings (though there will be plenty of those!).
Something which is coming up at the end of this week is an event which I have been looking forward to for a while; a workshop at the Humanities Research Institute in Sheffield. Now, I’m not normally one who is terribly over-enthused about workshops, perhaps a legacy from school of disliking group projects. This one however, is something different, the Council for British Archaeology and Historic England are working together on a project named Home Front Legacy: WWI (more information can be found here). For me, this is not something I have ever considered – the lasting remainders of the first world war being, not on the Western or Eastern fronts, but at home, a good deal closer than one might anticipate. Whilst I was in high school I was taught about the Western Front and that was all. There was little, if any information given about the Eastern front and the same with the home front.
This is partly the reason why I’m so excited about this project. The idea is to get groups of people (and individuals – so if you’re not part of a group or organisation, there’s most certainly nothing wrong with giving it a go!) to record the remains of the first world war across England. This could be the remains of a training ground or a POW camp – like there is at Colsterdale where the Leeds Pals once trained. Apparently however, this project will not be including war memorials or cenotaphs at this time as there is a separate database for these. These records of the landscape are then plotted on a map and also recorded in local archaeological records. They will go on to be used to inform local planning decisions and keep these things alive for the later generations so that they too will appreciate the fact that the war did not just affect the landscape of some far away country.
If you want to get involved; go here! It sounds like an amazing project and I can’t wait to start.