£80,000 Lottery bid to help Craven mark First World War centenary

Craven Herald: A five-year project will highlight the impact of the First World War and its aftermath on Craven communities A five-year project will highlight the impact of the First World War and its aftermath on Craven communities

A bid for £80,000 has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery to fund a project officer to help steer Craven in its commemoration of the First World War, which started in August 1914.

A decision on the application is expected by the end of February.

Throughout the duration of the five-year project, individual groups will be able to apply separately for their own cash of up to £3,000.

The work is being spearheaded by Suzanne Callaghan, Craven museum and arts manager, and a team of enthusiasts representing various groups such as the organisers of the Craven’s Part in the Great War website and the Museum of North Craven Life, based at the Folly in Settle.

Also recruited are Steven Howarth, history teacher at Skipton’s Ermysted’s Grammar School and author of A Grammar School at War – which features the Ermysted’s boys who died in the conflict – Dr Bill Smith, history teacher at Aireville School, Skipton, and Kate Vigurs from Leeds University.

“The fund will last for three years but the project will last five. We want to make sure it doesn’t end abruptly in 2018 but also show what the impact on communities was after the war ended in 1918 when people came home,” said Suzanne.

The aim is to encourage communities throughout Craven to explore their links with the war, to identify individuals who were involved, record objects and explore the chances of creating oral histories.

“I think the response will be massive. People will be wanting to find out about what happened in their village and community,” said Suzanne.

The commemoration will be launched with school performances of Tunstill’s Men, a drama based on Gilbert Tunstill, a businessman from Settle who rounded up 100 volunteers to join the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in September 1914, in response to Field Marshal Kitchener’s appeal.

Also planned are an exhibition on the early stages of the war at the Museum of North Craven Life and a daily scroll of those who died in the war on the Craven’s Part in the Great War website.

The project officer will work with a pilot secondary school and pilot primary school to develop an outreach session to support the national curriculum. Other projects will explore the music of the period to be showcased at a concert and readings which celebrate the poetry by men who experienced the war.

The First World War was declared on August 4 1914 and ended officially on November 11, 1918.

The British and Commonwealth dead numbered 900,000, French 1.3 million, German and Russian 1.7 million each and Austria/Hungary 1.2 million.

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