Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life receives Heritage Lottery Funding for Somme 100 project
Today Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their Somme 100 project – Voices from the Somme 1916-2016 – awarded through HLF’s First World War then and now programme.
The project will focus on the Battle of the Somme which had an impact on communities across the County. 2016 is the centenary of the Somme, a conflict which involved soldiers from the local Border Regiment & soldiers from Cumberland & Westmorland. The impact on communities was enormous. The Museum project will involve working with county heritage organisations, some in areas that were flooded, delivering roadshows, engaging residents with their family history, encouraging them to share stories and highlighting this important centenary.
The Somme 100 project aims to help people understand this historic campaign through local and personal connections. The battle of the Somme is well-known for the 58,000 British casualties on its first day, 1st July 1916. By the end of the battle which lasted 141 days, seven battalions from the County’s infantry Regiment, The Border Regiment, had served on the Somme. As well as soldiers from the Regular Army and the Territorial Force, this was the first major battle which involved volunteer soldiers of Lord Kitchener’s New Army. Like many Counties, Cumberland and Westmorland provided many of these volunteers who had responded to the national appeal to serve their King and country.
The Voices from the Somme 1916-2016 project will use artefacts, including uniforms, equipment and personal items, documents and photos from the Museum collections to help broaden people’s understanding of the battle and the First World War, and widen awareness of this international event and the part that Cumbria and the people from their area played in it.
Part of the funding enables the Museum to work with a variety of organisations to deliver a series of county-wide roadshows to encourage local people to bring along their WW1 related items, documents and photographs and share their stories. Trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to scan and record items and visitors will be able to contribute to displays and exhibitions scheduled around Cumbria in 2016.
On 24 June the Museum will open a temporary exhibition, Voices from the Somme 1916-2016 which will include some of these items collected throughout the project. The exhibition will include a continually changing community element incorporating new material collected and regularly added to by visitors.
Jules Wooding, Learning and Access Officer at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life said “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Somme 100 project seeks to explore local stories. Almost 1700 from our County Regiment were killed during the battle of the Somme. We are asking Cumbrian people to look in their attics, share the stories passed down from parents and grandparents and come along to one of our roadshows to tell your personal story connecting the local stories to national and international events.”
For further information on this project please contact Jules Wooding at Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life – Jules.email@example.com or telephone (01228) 532774.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund – Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery #understandingWW1