18th - 19th July 2016 from 9.30am to 5.00pm at Enniskillen Castle Museums, The Castle, Enniskillen BT74 7HL
Creative responses to memories and material culture of the First World War
For two days, on the banks of the Erne surrounded by the historic buildings of the Watergate, Maguire Castle and Inniskillings Barracks, the Living Legacies team worked in intense creativity with two writers groups, the Fermanagh Writers and the Omagh Robins.
The Living Legacies 2016 Writers Summer School was a new departure for the Engagement Centre. The Centre was established in January 2014 as one of five First World War Engagement Centres in the UK which work alongside community groups to explore the war period and its meaning for people today. It includes academics working at Glasgow, Newcastle, Queen’s and Ulster Universities, amongst others, who have teamed with community groups, museum experts and people across the heritage and cultural sectors to produce new knowledge and understanding of the period.
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Research Beehive Rm. 2.21, Newcastle University
18th July 2016
On Monday 18 July 2016, Living Legacies held a very successful networking event at Newcastle University for community researchers working on the First World War. The event was attended by 40 delegates from over 20 local community groups and organisations, all of whom enthusiastically took part in a ‘research speed dating’ session, which led on to some extremely productive breakout discussions, followed by a fascinating roundtable group discussion towards the end of the day.
As well as offering a valuable opportunity for people to meet and share their work and experiences, the event also provided information and guidance for those in the process of applying for funding. Jodi Larder from Heritage Lottery Fund North East spoke at the event about the range of First World War projects being carried out across the region, and ran a funding application workshop in the afternoon for the development of future projects. We were also delighted to welcome the Worker’s Educational Association, who showcased their own project researching the WEA in the North East during the First World War.
7th & 8th July 2016
On the 7th and 8th, July Kurt Taroff and Sophie Long attended the “After the War: Patterns of Commemorating the Great War” at University College Dublin, as part of the Irish Memory Studies Network, co-ordinated by PI Dr. Emilie Pine.
The two-day event saw a series of panels which interrogated a range of approaches to understanding how people (and states) commemorate the Great War, and what the personal and political consequences of these commemorative processes are.
The Living Legacies team spoke more broadly about our community-academic collaborations and the extensive relationship-building which we have undertaken in the first two, substantive years of the project. We discussed the development of our digital archive (available here) and the audience engaged in conversation regarding the sharing of formerly personal memories and memorabilia.
More specifically, the LL team spoke about their research on UVF parades and readings of the war. The recent Somme re-enactments are a key example of how WW1 memory is sustained and re-framed in contemporary Loyalist settings.
Throughout the next day, there were a number of talks and panels which resonated with the work Living Legacies have conducted to date, and with our planned future activity. Jeremy Jenkins from the British Library provided an overview of the “Europeana 1914-1918” project, which seeks to provide a “neutral, transnational space” for WW1-related content.
Maeve Casserly, studying at UCD, gave an excellent presentation on ‘Relics of War: Commodification of WWI and Easter Rising memorials in the Decade of Centenaries’. Her research focused on the public use of, and interaction with, physical sites of memory.
The conference closed with a keynote from the eminent dramatist and literary scholar, Frank McGuinness, whose seminal work ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching toward the Somme” is touring theatres throughout July.
We are grateful to UCD for kindly hosting, and to the organisers for drawing together such a broad and interesting group of researchers.
6th July 2016
1st July 2016
Living Legacies 1914-18 and the Somme Museum in County Down hosted a community event on Friday July 1st to commemorate the centenary of the opening of the Battle of the Somme on July 1st 1916.
The Somme Centenary Heritage Day was a free community orientated event aimed at all those interested in finding out more about the Battle of the Somme, how it impacted on local people and landscapes at the time, and what it was like on the frontline a hundred years ago.
Members of the public were invited to bring along any WW1 family-related items such as photographs, letters, postcards, diaries or other memorabilia. From Living Legacies, Elaine Reid and David Hardy were on hand using their state-of-the-art digital scanning equipment to help individuals interpret and tell a story of wartime items.
As well as bringing WW1 objects, the researchers also used new technologies to show how different types of trenches were created in the battlefields of France and Belgium. Conor Graham used an Augmented Reality Sandbox to show how trench warfare changed during the war, and how the landscape of the Somme battlefield affected how the battle was fought. Sophie Long, Keith Lilley, Tom Thorpe and Tim Bowman were also there to talk to visitors about the Somme through photographs and maps, including using ‘green screen technology’, while for those interested in seeing what landscapes were like in WW1, both at home and on the frontline at the Somme, Living Legacies ran a short film at the museum throughout the weekend.
Dr Tim Bowman, from the Gateways WW1 engagement centre, also gave public talks in Helen’s Tower on the Clandeboye Estate, site of a WW1 training camp. A booklet about the camp and Clandeboye links to the Somme were set out in a free booklet, written by Keith Lilley, copies of which were available to all museum visitors.
The Somme Centenary Heritage Day was a great success with the Museum reporting higher than average visitor numbers compared to 2015 for July 1st.
|Keith Lilley - A Tale of Two Towers|
|This video depicts a tale of two towers - from Clandeboye to Thiepval, a journey through maps and landscapes. Narrated by Keith Lilley.|
1st July 2016
Launch of ‘4D Somme’ to mark the Centenary of the First Day of the Battle of the Somme
A new interactive visualisation of the landscape of the Battle of the Somme has been launched by the Living Legacies centre to coincide with the centenary of the opening day of the battle on July 1st 1916.
Called '4D Somme', the idea behind the visualisation is to show how the battlefield changed over the course of 1916, from July 1st to November 18th, as the British front-line slowly edged eastwards.
'4D Somme' uses the latest in Geographical Information Systems technologies to create interactive digital maps of the frontline by combining historic trench maps used at the time of the battle with modern day aerial imagery of the Somme landscape. It's aimed at a wide audience, from community groups, to school teachers and students, to battlefield visitors and tourists.
An AHRC funded programme linked to the centenary of WW1, in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), created five WW1 public engagement centres across the UK in 2014, and '4D Somme' results from the ongoing research of one of these engagement centres, 'Living Legacies 1914-18', based at Queen's University Belfast (http://www.livinglegacies1914-18.ac.uk/).
For many across the UK, and beyond, the Battle of the Somme is a key point in the commemoration of WW1, with much public and media interest in who fought where, yet visiting the battlefield is not possible for everyone. And so '4D Somme' is designed to allow users to explore the battlefield virtually, showing in detail the locations of trench systems as well as the front-line itself.
The focus of the '4D Somme' story-map is on the particular area of the Somme that saw action by battalions that were raised from Ireland, notably the 36th (Ulster) Division and 16th (Irish) Division.
Using ESRI GIS software, '4D Somme' is a web-mapping platform developed by a team at Queen's University Belfast in the School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, including Conor Graham, a GIScientist, Rebecca Milligan, a PhD student, and historical geographer Professor Keith Lilley, Director of the AHRC Living Legacies centre at Queen's.
The trench maps for the Somme were continually updated and revised between July and November 1916, so we’ve been using our expertise in GIScience and landscape mapping to create an interactive set of maps, thanks to our collaborations with National Library of Scotland and the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. The aim of '4D Somme' is to use historic maps and modern technologies to open up new ways of understanding and exploring the momentous Battle of the Somme and its history and landscape, while at the same time creating a digital legacy of this critical point in the centenary of WW1.
The completion of '4D Somme' for the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme will, we hope, help all those wishing to see the battlefield to be able to do so without the need to travel long distances to get to France, or indeed help visitors to the battlefield to orientate themselves before they go as well as enhance their experiences while they are there.
The '4D Somme' visualisation is live and free to use via this web-link:
The winner of the two autograph books is :-
Laura Coates from Northern Ireland