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South Gloucestershire remembers the First World War

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 16/02/2015


The South Gloucestershire and the First World War Project travelling exhibition continues to be a great success as it tours the district to engage with local people.

The exhibition can be viewed at Kingswood Library throughout February, before it moves on to Staple Hill Library between 3 and 24 March.

The travelling exhibition was created to show the impact of the war in this area and also how communities were changed in other countries with which South Gloucestershire is now twinned. It reveals that people in South Gloucestershire fought as soldiers, became nurses and worked in factories, and that local businesses made aircraft, motorbikes and boots which were used in the First World War.

Due to previously being hosted at prominent locations in the foyer of large supermarkets in Yate and Bradley Stoke, it is estimated that the exhibition has now been viewed over 500,000 times. It features information about different areas of South Gloucestershire’s involvement in the war, and the display includes archive images from local organisations belonging to the South Gloucestershire Museums Group, Heritage Forum and Twinning Associations. The exhibition is additionally featured online at www.southglos.gov.uk/ww1

As part of the project, South Gloucestershire Council’s First World War engagement officer has been visiting local primary schools with a replica soldier’s ‘kitbag’ to hold handling workshops. These sessions show children examples of the soldier’s personal possessions and the things they were eating in the trenches. The pupils then follow this up by writing home as if they are a soldier at the battlefront, or writing to a soldier in the trenches as if they are left at home.

One year 5 pupil from Tyndale Primary School in Yate wrote a very poignant postcard: “Dear Mother, in the fields there are no trees nor plants. The mud in the trench is hard frozen and it is very slippery and slidey. I am very tired at night. I do not know who is going to win. I hate the food but at least it is keeping me alive. It is snowy and in the morning some of us are covered in snow and freezing cold. I hope I will see you again.”

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to mark the centenary of the First World War 1914-1918, the South Gloucestershire and the First World War Project involves South Gloucestershire Council working with local community heritage organisations to improve public engagement with the anniversary. We are coordinating a range of activities to help communities access and interpret the First World War resources held by these local organisations.

We have also created a website which acts as a hub for all of the local WW1 events and activities. It includes full details of the exhibition and the education resources available, as well as helpful research guides and information about local war memorials. For further information please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/ww1

Kingswood boot factory


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