A huge £1 million project focusing on Doncaster during World War One has been unveiled on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.
Hundreds of people attended the launch at Doncaster Minster despite torrential downpours to find out more about the scheme which will chronicle the town’s role in the the conflict over the coming years.
Doncastrians are being urged to get involved in the exciting new project looking at the town’s experience of the First World War.
Doncaster Council has received almost £1million (£926,700) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to uncover the local history of the First World War as well as the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI).
The five year Doncaster 1914-18 project will see a range of activities and events taking place across the borough aimed at inspiring residents to research their own family history and contribute to a new interactive Doncaster heritage website.
People who are working on World War One projects are being urged to take part in event.
Councillor Bob Johnson, Veterans’ Champion and cabinet member for culture, said: “If you are involved in a First World War research project, for example finding out about the soldiers named on your village war memorial, we would like to hear about it.
“Doncaster 1914-18 is an exciting five-year project to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and its local connections.
“It will enable the community to bring stories to life and contribute to a digital legacy that will preserve a unique insight into the town’s memory of the First World War for generations to come.”
Doncaster 1914-18 is a heritage project that explores the impact of the First World War on the borough and its residents. It tells the Front Line story through the experiences of Doncaster soldiers and explores the Home Front through the lives of those left behind.
The project will include exhibitions, family history workshops, a community archaeological dig and other events and activities and the legacy will be a digital resource to provide access to existing resources and contributions from Doncaster people.
Throughout the project, ‘The Great War on Tour’ will travel around Doncaster holding events within the community where residents can bring their family history information and photographs and learn how to use the online resource.
To support this work there will be a series of travelling exhibitions in libraries and at the Mansion House, with more long-term displays at Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, Cusworth Hall and the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We’re delighted to see this project get off the ground as the centenary of the First World War approaches. Doncaster Museum holds some fascinating archives exploring the history of the conflict on the Home and Western Fronts – from rationing and zeppelin raids, to family memories and life in a battalion. This project will enable the community to access them, bring stories to life and contribute to a digital legacy that will preserve a unique insight into the Doncastrian memory of the First World War for generations to come.”
People should contact Helen Wallder, Doncaster Local Studies Library, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3JE. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01302 734307.