- 23/10/2014 - WW1 AND YOU - Objects, Memories, Resources (Derry Central Library)
- 22/10/2014 - The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) @ House of Commons in Westminster
- 13/10/2014 - 'Forgotten Gaelic Volunteers' Rediscovering Ulster GAA Members who fought in the First World War
- 04/10/2014 - Fermanagh History Fair / Fermanagh Live
- 03/10/2014 - East Belfast and The Great War
- 01/08/2014 - 31/12/2014 - Performing Arts activities report August – December
- 01/10 - 30/11/2014 - National Museums Northern Ireland # activities report
- 01/08 - 31/10/2014 - The Road to War lecture series
The Living Legacies team set off for Derry as part of our ongoing community engagement work. We arrived at Derry Cetral Library to begin a day-long workshop, entitled "WW1 and You: Objects, Resources, Memories". This was the first in a series of roadshows which we will be staging, in collaboration with Libraries NI.
The focus of the event was local history, and we had appealed to members of the public to bring along any WW1 memorabilia which they may have at home. Whilst one of our first objectives was the digitisation and preservation of these items, we had an additional research agenda. Dr. Johanne Devlin-Trew, one of the Centre CIs, specialises in oral histories, and thus was particularly interested in interrogating and capturing the associated memories which came with the physical objects.
We spent the day examining and discussing a range of objects and obtained some fascinating stories which we hope to build some research upon. We has a number of special visitors throughout the day, including the Mayor and a team from the BBC, who captured some excellent footage of one of our contributors working with Fiona Byrne, a museums expert.
We were incredibly impressed with the knowledge which was shared on the day and look forward to further cooperative work with NI Libraries.
Photo : Brenda Stevenson (Mayor of Londonderry/Derry); Ann Duffy (NI Libraries) and Paul Ell (Director of Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis) dicussing the digitisation aspect of Living Legacies 1914-18.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) held an event at the House of Commons in Westminster to bring together examples of World War I HLF funded projects, and showcase the new HistoryPin website. The venue was the Terrace Pavilion, and introductions were given by Dr Andrew Murrison MP and also Dan Snow, the celebrity historian and champion of World War One community engagement. Living Legacies was represented by Keith Lilley, and the opportunity was taken to discuss the themes of the Centre with HLF projects at the event, particularly one led by a group at Warminster (Wiltshire) on aspects of 'moving lives' and a second project, based in Yorkshire, investigating the archaeology of World War I practice trenches and training camp in Nidderdale, which relates closely to Living Legacies work being led by Heather Montgomery on World War I archaeology in Ireland. These initiatives demonstrate how well our Centre's research themes connect with HLF projects right across these islands.
Website : http://www.hlf.org.uk/
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and Living Legacies engagement centre hosted at Queen's a stimulating evening of talks on the 'Forgotten Gaelic Volunteers'. The event was organised by Dónal McAnallen, Outreach Officer for the GAA, who spoke on the research he has been undertaking on those Ulster GAA members who had fought in the First World War, a project that has since been awarded HLF funding. There were also talks by Philip Orr and Marie Coleman. The opening speakers included Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, and Sean Sherlock, Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs. The event was very well-attended and Living Legacies looks forward to further areas for research collaboration with the GAA through its HLF project.
Willowfield Parish Church Military Antique Roadshow
On Friday 3rd October, the Living Legacies team were delighted to provide curatorial and digitisation support for East Belfast’s first roadshow. Following the successful application for HLF funding, the East Belfast project has begun to take shape and engage with local communities to fulfl its research aims.
In order to build a complete archive of East Belfast’s contribution to, and engagement with the war, the team have appealed to the public and asked for any WW1 memorobilia, stories and memories to be brought forward so that they can be recorded. This will be an ongoing process which Living Legacies, as Northern Ireland’s only WW1 Engagement Centre, are pleased to facilitate and support.
Friday saw the first of these appeals come to fruitition as members of the public came forward with what had hitherto been privately held artefacts and objects. We worked hard to take high-resolution images of medals, bayonets, letters, prayer books and photographs. We also sought to capture and record the histories of those items, via interview with the owners of each object.
Willowfield Parish Church had carried out some excellent groundwork in distributing seven thousand leaflets to homes in the surrounding area and there was a great response to this appeal. Further, local newspaper the East Belfast Extra had featured an advert for the roadshow. In addition, EB &GW and Living Legacies had advertised the event via their respective websites and social media platforms. These combined efforts ensured a fantastic turnout and subsequent data capture.
Living Legacies, in collaboration with CDDA (Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis), have held four public, interactive events to date, and each event has reinforced the powerful attachments which people have to the Great War and its legacy. The work which East Belfast and the Great War are doing will help to explore understandings of the war, whilst digitally archiving the physical objects and personal stories which are left behind.
Photos obtained from https://www.facebook.com/EastBelfastWW1/
SinceThe Medal in the Drawerwas successfully staged at the Brian Friel Centre, Queen's University Belfast, the play's cast and Creative Team have been busy preparing and delivering a community outreach programme which uses the original script as stimulus material for groups of young people to stage their own theatrical responses to the centenary of the First World Warhttp://www.livinglegacies1914-18.ac.uk/PerformingArts/.
Photo 1 :- Jumping Boys - Rehearsing Medal in the Drawer
In September 2014, seven third-year students of Drama Studies at Queen's University, all leading players in the original production, trained with a professional drama-workshop facilitator. The object of the exercise was to equip these students with the skills which would enable them to go into schools and community groups to help lead young people in the devising of their own drama productions.
Third-year Drama Studies student Stella Green, who played Lady Constance Fairfax Ross inThe Medal in the Drawer,comments on her experience of participating in the play and its accompanying out-reach activities to schools:
From the start I understood that ‘Medal in the Drawer’ was going to be more than an assessed piece of work for my university degree. The family connection which the author, Brenda Winter-Palmer, has with the piece, coupled with the cultural connection of its cast to the Belfast locality in which it is set, made sure we approached the text with sensitivity and emotion. The play and the cast have not only made me explore a point in history which I have always found interesting but it has also given me a connection to characters which I have never felt before … they’ve become people who I know well. And this is the reason why I find using the characters from ‘Medal in the Drawer’ as a focus for drama work with young people such a natural development. We all want to share these individuals that we have come to know with as many people as possible. It has been and I hope it will continue to be an eye-opening experience which I am lucky enough to share with many good friends that I have made along the way.
Photo 2 : The Frontliners with Jonathan Evershed
Stella with fellow ‘Frontliners’, David Paulin, Brian Diamond, Lloyd Whiteside and Mathew Jeffrey. Also pictured is Jonathon Evershed, Creative Director of the Co-operation-Ireland Project ‘Entwined Histories’. This group of students, along with Rebekah Wallace and Pamela Bell, have been so inspired by the process that they have formed their own theatre-in-education company called ‘Frontline’.
Since the beginning of October the Frontliners have performed scenes from The Medal in the Drawer, engaged in question and answer sessions in role, conducted workshops, assisted in the devising of performances in schools, community venues, outdoor museums, museum galleries and even in a cinema as a prelude to the screening of the famous silent film of the Battle of the Somme.
Photo 3 : First person interpretation at the First World War Poster Exhibitions – National Museum Northern Ireland
Entwined Histories : The Frontliners partner with Co-operation Ireland October/November 2014
This was a collaborative project with the cross-border agency ‘Co-operation Ireland’. It explored through creative and expressive means the role politicians played in encouraging young men to go to war in 1914. The Frontliners used a range of theatre/drama techniques as well as scenes fromThe Medal in the Drawerto enable groups involved to create their own mini-dramas on the First World War. This project culminated in a public performance involving eighty pupils and their student mentors on 6th November at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.http://www.cooperationireland.org/.
Photo 4 : Matthy Jeffrey at the First World War Poster Exhibitions – National Museum Northern Ireland
Peter Sheridan OBE, Chief Executive, Co-operation Ireland said
"Co-operation Ireland highly values partnership working and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to extend our relationship with Queen's University in the past months. Liaising with Brenda Winter-Palmer through the Living Legacies programme, we have had the pleasure of training and working with five 3rd year Drama students. Working as part of our facilitation team, their contribution as mentors has very much enhanced the experience of the 80 teenagers involved. I've been impressed by their energy, enthusiasm and work ethic, encouraging and motivating the young people to express themselves and their ideas. Thank you to Brenda, Matty, David, Stella, Brian and Lloyd for all your efforts."
Photo 5 : David Paulin conducts a workshop with Co-operation Ireland
Greg Toner, Head of History at Participating School Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch commented
"I cannot speak highly enough of the Drama students from Queen's University. In addition to their obvious talent as actors it was their cheerful demeanours and clear sense of purpose which quickly earned them the respect and admiration of pupils and teachers alike."
Project facilitator Jonathan Evershed described the benefit obtained by students:
Medal in the Drawer' captures so well the conflicted emotions and divided loyalties in Ireland during the First World War in a way that only drama can. The play's subtext is a profoundly personal politics of memory, and I am grateful to Brenda Winter- Palmer for allowing us to make use of her wonderful script over the course of the project. In their dual role as actors and facilitators, the play was brought to life and re-worked with great energy by Stella, Lloyd, David, Matty and Brian to allow the project participants to engage creatively and critically with this period and its legacy.
Photo 6 : The Frontliners perform at final presentation of Co-operation Ireland Project
The Frontliners perform at the Ulster Museum
‘Westies’ at War Project.
This project is currently working with two schools on the Falls Road to uncover, dramatize and present stories from the Home Front in Nationalist West Belfast, particularly the role of women munitions workers in Mackies Foundry.
In addition to this, an event in the QFTs School Outreach Programme was enjoyed by school pupils.
Photo 7 : Students from belfast Hospital School with Frontliners
The Frontliners have also been invited to perform scenes from Medal in the Drawer at the launch of a new exhibition on the history of The 6th Connaught Rangers, a British Amry regiment largely populated by nationalist men from the Falls Road in Belfast.http://www.nam.ac.uk/research/famous-units/connaught-rangersat Belfast's City Hall on the 19thNovember 2014.
Photo 8 : Frontliners perform at Belfast City Hall
Siobhan Deane from 6th Connaught Rangers Research Project sent some comments regarding the Frontline theatre company:
I just wanted to say a big thanks to you and the 4 actors (Brian, Lloyd, David and Matty) from 'Medal in the Drawer' in putting on the final scene at our exhibition launch at Belfast City Hall on 19th November last. This was a big day for us. It was the first time we think, that those men from nationalist areas of Belfast who fought in WW1 would be highlighted in City Hall and we wanted this to be as professional and informative as possible. Your play and the acting certainly achieved that. Whilst we knew that your play and the acting was first class, those attending the launch, including the Lord Mayor and Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, were unaware what was about to unfold and I think for them, it was engaging, original and even emotional. I think some in the audience expected a lecture but your play managed to convey what we intended to say in an original way. Instead of a slide show we were met by four young men (like the original soldiers themselves) in army uniform, with Belfast accents, who voiced the fears and feelings that the politics of WW1 encapsulated and who conveyed both the message we had hoped to convey whilst at the same time, embodying the young soldiers themselves. Attendees at our event could see these young men instead of imagining them. It almost seemed that the past was speaking to the future and that caught a lot of people. I found it very moving and I know others did too.
We look forward to working with you again.
Siobhan and the 6th Connaught Rangers Committee
Photo 9 : Brenda Winter-Palmer at Belfast City Hal
Jonathan Evershed, through Co-operation Ireland, put together a cross-border project for schools which aimed to examine recruitment and the impact of the First World War in Ireland. Specifically, to explore the conflicted loyalties on the island in 1914, and the different motivations that led people to joining the British Army.
National Museums Northern Ireland and Living Legacies supported and facilitated this programme.
The group of teenagers received a talk on the background to war in Ireland, mainly the events leading up the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the Home Rule Crisis and the outbreak of war.
The teenagers had the opportunity to hear Dr Vivienne Pollock provide a tour of the Answer the Call: First World War Posters exhibition and ask questions. A workshop followed where they explored the themes in more depth and created their own recruitment posters and slogans.
Brenda Winter-Palmer, Lecturer in Drama QUB, with her acting students, worked with this group to explore the theme and impact of recruitment in Ireland through drama workshops.
The group will experienced life in during the war at Ballycultra village at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum through the Hidden Histories, Life at the Home Front tours and explored what life was like for those at home during the war.
The group at a showcase evening event at the Ulster Museum on November 6th and it featured the work of the group from St. Patrick’s College Bearnageeha, The Wallace High School, Assumption Grammar School, Ashfield Girl’s High School, Lagan College and Holy Child Community School. They produced a multimedia showcase which highlighted what they had learned and discovered about the legacy of war and examined the use of war-time propaganda.
Please click on the Poster for more details
A joint lecture series exploring the impact and legacy of the First World War was hosted at the Ulster Museum and PRONI and facilitated by Living Legacies. The lectures took place in August to October exploring various elements that led to war.
The first lecture was held in the Ulster Museum on 7th August ‘The Outbreak of the First World War’ by Dr William Mulligan, author of The origins of the First World War (Cambridge, 2010).
The second lecture, also at the Ulster Museum, was held on 25th September by Dr Catriona Pennell. Dr Pennell’s lecture ‘Ireland’s Entry into War, 1914: Acceptance or Refusal?’ explored Ireland at the outbreak of war and reactions to the European crisis.
The following two lectures were held at PRONI. 9th October, ‘Militarism in Ireland, 1912-18’ by Professor David Fitzpatrick and on 23rd October, ‘If the nation is to be saved women must help in the saving’ by Dr Senia Paseta.