Young actors relive return from front

Peace celebrations at Reform Row, Elsecar on July 21, 1919
Peace celebrations at Reform Row, Elsecar on July 21, 1919

A living history project involving South Yorkshire students is re-creating the scenes of a century ago when people came home from the front line after World War One.

University Campus Barnsley and Barnsley College Travel and Tourism students launched a major living history project to remember, educate and celebrate the end of the war and the return of local people. 

One of the students in the Home From the Front re-enactments at Elsecar

One of the students in the Home From the Front re-enactments at Elsecar

The project is the culmination of a year of work, managed by Tourism Management students, and has cost approximately £21,000 , with around half of the  funding coming from heritage organis ation Great Place: Elsecar and Wentworth.

Student actors have been researching real-life local stories and people, in conjunction with Elsecar Holy Trinity Church, to bring them to life on board a specially-hired 1903 railway carriage, hauled by a steam locomotive. 

Steam locomotive 13, built in 1901 in Leeds, and a six-wheel railway carriage of the period are visiting Elsecar Heritage Railway especially for the event from their homes at Kidderminster and Skipton.

Working with partner Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar, students have been working hard to create a commemoration over two weeks which focuses specifically on the demobilisation of troops, nurses and others at the front line to their homes around the UK between 1918 and 1920.

​Demobilisation was the process of bringing home those who had served on the front line and had lived to tell the tale. The stories of their journeys home are filled with a mixture of emotions. 

Hundreds of visitors have already joined in the first weekend of the re-enactments. The trips are also running today and tomorrow.

Milton Hall in Elsecar will be the setting tomorrow for a special afternoon tea to celebrate the armistice centenary.

Advance booking is advised on www.homefromthefront.co.uk