The East Belfast & the Great War project started in 2014 after being awarded £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Led by Jason Burke and Dr Jonathan Evershed the project compiled a database of First World War servicemen from the East Belfast constituency using Professor Richard Grayson's 'military history from the street' methodology. As a result of this research c.6,000 individuals were identified from a range of sources and recorded in a data sheet. The East Belfast project also priorities community engagement as part of its aims and objectives. Consequently, a series of First World War 'Antiques Roadshow' style events were held across East Belfast, the artefacts and objects which came forward during this process formed an online archive which was created by the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis, supporting the Living Legacies 1914-18 research project at Queen's University, Belfast. As well as the roadshow events the project worked closely with a range of local community groups by providing 'skills sharing workshops' in order to assist them in researching local individuals who served in the war. The result of the community workshops was a small exhibition containing biographies of East Belfast servicemen which subsequently toured libraries in the area. The project will now be hosted through the Living Legacies 1914-18 web site.
To mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, National Museums NI, in partnership with Living Legacies, will be displaying a number of items in the Welcome Area of the Ulster Museum. From a World War II flying jacket and goggles to a World War I aeroplane propeller recently restored by the Ulster Aviation Society. These items will be on show until June 10th.
On Saturday April 7th, a Living Legacies supported lecture took place at the Ulster Museum about leading aviation pioneer Lilian Bland. 2018 marks an important year in aviation with the centenary of the RAF on April 1st. It is also the centenary of the Representation of the People Act in which some women received the right to vote in political elections. To highlight these centenaries, the incredible work of Lilian Bland was revealed through an informative and fascinating lecture by local aviation historian Guy Warner. Guy has written a book about Lilian’s exploits, of which there were many notable ones. From her achievement as the first woman in the world to design, build and fly her own aeroplane in 1910 to her determination to be considered an equal amongst the male pilots of the era. All of this was accomplished around Carnmoney Hill close to the family home and a local park has been named in her honour as a tribute to these successes.