Living legacies 1914-18 First World War Engagement Centre Update

Christmas 2017

Welcome to the Living Legacies 1914-18 Newsletter! 

Welcome to the Living Legacies Newsletter and a Merry Christmas from all the team!

This is the last Living Legacies Newsletter for 2017. It has been a very busy and productive twelve months, with many notable achievements and new partnerships and collaborations. One of these achievements is the Sanctuary Award for Heritage awarded recently to Living Legacies Project Officer, Dr Heather Montgomery. Well done Heather for this well-deserved recognition of your community archaeology work in partnership with the MOD. Looking forward to 2018 I’m also very pleased to report that Living Legacies is developing a close collaboration with the RAF through its RAF100 programme, and developing community-based projects with RAF Cadet Leaders in Northern Ireland which will engage young people to explore local WW1 aviation heritage. Living Legacies researchers are actively contributing to other national centenary initiatives too, such as the community workshops led by the Council for British Archaeology’s Home Front Legacy project. Supporting these and other nationwide centenary programmes through local research activities is proving to be very successful as well as immensely rewarding. 


Christmas pic 1Living Legacies, Dr. Heather Montgomery was in London on the 22nd November 2017, with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork’s Miss Grace McAlister, Major Tony Canniford (MoD, Ballykinler Training Estate), and Richard Osgood (MoD Archaeologist) at the Ministry of Defence Sanctuary Awards Ceremony 2017. Heather and the team received the Sanctuary Award for Heritage.

Left-Right: Grace McAlister (CAF), Maj A. Canniford (MoD Ballykinler), Dr. Montgomery and Richard Osgood (MoD Senior Archaeologist). 

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Recent Events

Presentation by Keith Lilley at RAF Aldergrove

On Sunday November 19th, Keith Lilley spoke at the annual Christmas pic 2 meeting of the RAF Cadet Squadron Leaders at RAF Aldergrove about linking RAF100 cadet activities in 2018 with the work of Living Legacies. The emphasis in the presentation was placed on the scope offered by the Defence Heritage Project (DHP) online resource as a basis for developing local outreach projects with groups of cadets across NI, particularly using DHP to locate 'aviation heritage' in the field, recording its status today, and uploading the results of their field-work onto the DHP platform. This idea was well-received by cadet leaders This image is from the PRONI Historical Map Viewer resource and already further discussions have been had with leaders and with RAF100 programme manager for NI, Dave Hammond. (

Using Digital Skills to enhance your WW1 Project

Christmas pic 3On the 7th November we hosted a very successful digital training workshop day here at Living Legacies (supported by CDDA).  We had 18 participants – all with current or planned HLF bids.  We provided introductory training on research skills, scoping their projects, digital standards and guidelines, indexing content and archiving/sustainability of their research.  Some feedback: - ‘We would like to thank Elaine, Sophie & everyone else involved in the workshop for their time & knowledge. We also look forward to more workshops in the future, as we know they will benefit our Great War Project, & any further projects we are involved in’.

Poppies: Weeping Window ExhibitionChristmas pic 4

As December approaches, the Poppies: Weeping Window exhibition ‌draws to a close. It has been extremely popular, with visitor numbers up 85.9% from November 2016 and with the most recent overall total numbering 102,991! Living Legacies involvement has been critical in engaging with groups through our Participate in Poppies programme. 

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First World War Centenary Partnership (IWM) Northern Ireland

Christmas pic 5The Living Legacies team were pleased to participate in the excellent Imperial War Museum "First World War Centenary Partnership" event on the 23rd November.  Along with other key stakeholders from NMNI, HMS Caroline, Woodland Trust, Down County Museum, Nerve Centre, Belfast City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, we enjoyed useful discussions and reflections and heard from some fascinating commemorative and heritage projects. We were encouraged by the innovate ways of examining the war and pleased to meet up with colleagues and community leaders undertaking interesting and novel work. 

Please click here for a list of archived Living Legacies News

Upcoming Events

5th January 2018 - Mini-Symposium for Living Legacies Research Funded Projects 

9th February 2018 – Lecture, Training Kitchener’s New Army 1914-18: Perspectives on the Irish Experience.

24th March 2018, 15th April and 26th April 2018 - Proposed workshops in Stirling, Lampeter, Wales and Belfast with the Council for British Archaeology/Home Front Legacies  

Please click here for a full list of current Living Legacies Events

Research Project News

Diverse Perspectives on a Global Conflict: Migrant Voices and Living Legacies of WW1

Christmas pic 6During 2017, Dr Philip McDermott from Ulster University worked collaboratively with the North-West Migrants Forum in Derry/Londonderry to explore ‘Migrant Voices on the Living Legacies of World War One’.

This project facilitated two workshops in Belfast and Derry where 12 Migrants from 10 different countries explored the conflict’s legacy in the country which they left. Participants were from Italy, Ethiopia, Guyana, South Africa, China, Poland, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Romania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The material has now been collated as an exhibition which is due to tour throughout Northern Ireland in 2018 with the initial launch in Derry in later January 2018 and in Belfast during Early February 2018.  Please follow this link to see more

Please see video by clicking here.

Refocusing Perspectives – Symposium and Exhibition

Christmas pic 7Christmas pic 8The Refocussing Perspectives: Then and Now Photography of the First World War project held its final symposium in Winchester on 18th November. We also used the occasion to launch the Project Exhibition. This Exhibition was comprised of ten panels, each led by a volunteer researcher from the Royal Photographic Society. The Keynote Lecture at the Symposium was given by the well-known First World War author and Harry Patch’s biographer, Richard van Emden, who presented a series of previously unpublished photographs combined with excerpts from soldiers’ own diaries and letters from the battle fronts of 1917.

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Christmas pic 9

Living Legacies Digital Archive – Open Access

This database is an online collection of the objects and stories gathered from our ongoing public engagement roadshows.  The resource has been re-designed to give all our community partners and contributors open access to some very personal stories and memorabilia relating to World War One.

Please follow this link to see more




Living legacies 1914-18 First World War Engagement Centre Update

Winter 2018

Welcome to the Living Legacies 1914-18 Newsletter! 

Welcome to the Living Legacies Newsletter!

Our WW1 Engagement Centre has been busy this winter with lots of community outreach and research initiatives. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the RAF through their RAF100 Centenary celebrations, and by encouraging younger people to explore their local WW1 aviation heritage with RAF Cadet Leaders in Northern Ireland. The Living Legacies team is also actively supporting other national centenary initiatives such as the Council for British Archaeology’s Home Front Legacy project and IWM’s WomensWork100 programme.

Recent Events

Living Legacies Community Coproduction Projects – Mini Symposium

Winter 2018 pic 1
On Friday 5th January, Living Legacies funded community ‘co-production projects’ from 2017 took part in a ‘mini symposium’ at Queen’s University Belfast to share the results of their projects.  Presentations by the project representatives gave us the opportunity to reflect on the processes and practices of co-production and community-based research, and – as part of the wider aims of Living Legacies – to reflect also on the contributions these projects have made in exploring the impacts that WW1 had in Britain and Ireland, and their continuing legacies across these islands.  For more information on Living Legacies Community Co-production projects, please click here.

Winter 2018 pic 2Winter 2018 pic 3

The 5th “First World War Engagement Centre Project” Showcase, Glasgow, November 2017

Winter 2018 pic 4
On November 23 2017, Information Studies, University of Glasgow organized the 5th “First World War Engagement Centre Project” Showcase in the context of Living Legacies 1914-18.

The showcase was held in the iconic early 20th century building of the Mitchell Library and the audience included project members as well as members of the general public who wanted to:-

  • Have the opportunity to network with other organisations working on WW1 projects
  • Share information about the interesting things that they have found while working on their projects
  • Find out how the WW1 Engagement Centres can help their project
  • Hear funding and evaluation hints and tips from the experts
  • Feel inspired to start thinking about their next project
    Please click here to read more

The Men behind the Glass: Time Traveller Workshops – Campbell College, Belfast

Winter 2018 pic 5Living Legacies’ Project Officer Michelle Young led a successful series of interactive drama workshops with primary schools across East Belfast as part of Campbell College’s HLF-funded Men Behind The Glass project.  Using drama and performance, The Time Traveller workshops introduced over 500 children to some of the 127 pupils from Campbell College who were lost in WW1 and explored how drama can allow young people to interact with the real-life stories of those young men, many of whom lived in their own localities over 100 years ago.  To read more, click here.

Being Human 2017: A Festival of the Humanities at Queen’s University, Belfast

Winter 2018 pic 6Local community groups, who have worked with Living Legacies on a wide variety of WW1 drama projects, proudly showcased their work at the first, and only, national festival of the humanities in the UK which was held in November 2017 at Queen's University, Belfast. The 'Being Human Festival' celebrated how humanities research can inspire and enrich lives, and participants of Living Legacies partner project Medals All Round Research Initiative (MARRI) spoke about how drama can explore and challenge the contested histories in Northern Ireland’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.   Click here for more information.

Studying Chapel Memorials in Wales – Living Legacies funded project

Winter 2018 pic 7Dr. Gethin Matthews (Swansea University; Welsh Memorials to the Great War) has published a chapter, ‘Angels, Tanks and Minerva’, in Mars & Minerva (Palgrave Macmillan), on his Living Legacies’ funded work on memorials in Welsh chapels. Gethin’s contribution focused on memorials with depictions of angels, often wearing laurel wreaths of peace, but also romanticised imagery of modern weaponry such as tanks, and, in one case, a statue of a female figure that looks remarkably like Minerva, the Roman goddess of strategic warfare.  To read more about our digital mapping of chapels and memorials in Wales, please click here.

Research Project News

Successfully Awarded - DORA and the Aliens and HLF funded project

Winter 2018 pic 8A new Living Legacies supported project has recently commenced in the North East, having secured funding from the HLF.  DORA and the Aliens is the latest in a series of critical projects that aim to shed light on aspects of home front life which were morally questionable at best, and brutally repressive at worst. “DORA” stands for the “Defence of the Realm Act” – it was passed less than a week after the outbreak of war and it gave British authorities sweeping powers to register, track, and prohibit the movements of anyone foreign-born who resided in Britain at that time. These people, referred to as “Aliens”, bore a heavy weight of suspicion and hostility on the ill-founded assumption that they sympathised with Germany.  Congratulations to Paul Wright

 Click here to read more. 

The Medal in the Drawer (MARRI)

Winter 2018 pic 9Recently incorporated into the Living Legacies web site is The Medal in the Drawer project.  Funded by Living Legacies and Led by Dr. Kurt Taroff and Dr. Brenda Winter Palmer of Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Creative Arts, The Medal in the Drawer uses drama and theatre to chart the journeys of four young volunteers from Belfast’s Springfield Road, who joined up to fight with the 36th Ulster Division and the Connaught Rangers.  In an immersive performance style, audiences can experience the tension on the streets of Belfast in the years leading up to the outbreak of the European conflict, and follow their protagonists to France to experience the life of an army recruit in the lead up to the Battle of the Somme.  To learn more about this project, please click here.

 Upcoming Events

 RAF100 and Living Legacies 1914-18:

Winter 2018 pic 10On 1 April 2018, the Royal Air Force will celebrate its 100th anniversary. In partnership with RAF100 in Northern Ireland, Living Legacies is developing a programme of engagement activities with RAF Cadet Squadrons, through taking a closer look at military aviation sites which were used during the last century. These 'defence heritage sites' represent a significant cultural legacy, but at present, their archaeological record is poorly understood. To assist RAF100, we have developed a series of resources for Cadet Squadrons to use, working closely with the Historic Environment Division (HED) of the Department for Communities (DfC). The programme will roll out over the next six months, with cadets involved with fieldwork using surveying techniques, photography and data recording. 

Living Legacies is delivering and supporting several events throughout February and March 2018, including:

9th February 2018: Training Kitchener’s New Army 1914-18 – Public Lecture(PRONI, Belfast)

21st February 2018: Breaking Ground Heritage Annual Conference(Tidworth, Wiltshire)

24th March 2018: CBA YAC Development and First World War Workshop(Stirling) 

For more information on upcoming Living Legacies events, click here and for further details of our Project Partner events, click here.