Historic England and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery are working with schools in Hastings on a special project to remember local people involved in the First World War. The project is part of the national Heritage Schools Programme.
Kim Forward, deputy leader and lead councillor for culture explained,
“The project was launched at a free training day for teachers held at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery in April. Teachers found out about the history of the area and how to make the most of the museum’s collections with Learning Officer, Samantha Smith. Historic England’s Local Heritage Education Manager, Helen Spencer, took the group on a heritage trail from the museum to demonstrate ‘doorstep heritage.’”
“Enthused by the training some of the schools decided to get involved in a project linked to the Centenary of the First World War. The ‘They Lived Here’ project complements the Hastings Remembers exhibition. Schools are researching their local roll of honour or war memorial and creating a commemorative page for each person they have researched. Their work will be put in a scrapbook that will be displayed during the exhibition. “
Schools have visited their local memorial to see the names and carry out a condition survey using resources created by Historic England and War Memorials Trust. They have put their surveys on the War Memorials Online website. https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/teaching-activities/doing-a-condition-survey-with-your-class-guidance-for-teachers/
Hastings Museum has a new collection of banners and handling boxes to help pupils understand the local stories of the First World War. The boxes contain replica objects and clothing and original archive documents such as letters and postcards. These are free for schools to loan and are already proving extremely popular.
Pupils are using the website http://www.ww1rollofhonour.co.uk/ run by Kieron Pelling to find out about local people. Kieron has searched the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser for images of men and women who served in the war. There are now more than 5,250 wartime photographs on the site. The images help children to connect with events 100 years ago. Kieron found a 1915 ‘For Merit’ card that would have been displayed in homes across the area. It showed that someone there was “Serving his King and Country”. With the support of the East Sussex Archive and Historic England, Kieron has created a new card based on the original design.
They Lived Here cards can be displayed to remember someone local who served in the war. Schools will be sending out copies of their work, with one of the cards, to the addresses of the people they have studied. They would like the occupants to display the card in the run up to the Armistice. Schools will not be able to research everyone so they are asking the local community to get involved.
They Lived Here cards can be picked up at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings History House, The Shipwreck Museum or The Fishermen’s Museum. They can also be found on Kieron’s website.http://www.ww1rollofhonour.co.uk/index.php/they-lived-here-project/
A list of names on Hastings War Memorial can be found here:http://www.ww1rollofhonour.co.uk/index.php/hastings-war-memorial/
Other memorials are listed here: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/
Lois Gyves, Heritage Schools Programme Manager said,
“Historic England is extremely impressed by the commitment of Hastings Museum and local schools in ensuring young people and the community have the opportunity to engage with the commemoration of the end of the First World War.”
“This moving and inspiring project echoes the community engagement and respect for those serving their country in Hastings and St Leonards over 100 years ago. It gives young people and local residents an opportunity to connect with the past, and to honour the sacrifices so many people made.”
Schools interested in joining the programme should contact: helen.spencer@HistoricEngland.org.uk