A PROJECT to bring together youngsters from England and Germany to mark the Treaty of Versaille which ended the First World War in 1919, has been kick-started.

In the vanguard is Rob Freeman, Craven museum's World War One project officer, who has just returned from a recce in Simbach, Skipton's twin town in Germany.

"The visit was to meet people and develop ideas for the project. It was funded by a travel grant from International Council of Museums UK (ICOM UK) as part of their Working Internationally Regional Project," said Rob, who has been co-ordinating Craven's commemoration of the 1914-18.

"The next step is now to make an application to secure some EU funding through the Europe for Citizens ‘European Remembrance’ programme to make the project possible." The visit follows the archaeological work carried out last summer at the former Raikes prisoner of war camp in Skipton thanks to a Heritage grant and led by archaeologist and Upper Wharfedale School deputy head, John Mitton.

The camp imprisoned about 500 mostly German officers from early 1918 to late 1919, many perishing in the the influenza epidemic which spread in 1919.

Coincidentally, Simbach's nearby town of Braunau-am-Inn, has the site of a WW1 prisoner of war camp which confined 35,000 Italian, Russian and Serbian soldiers.

Rob said: "I met with representatives from the Simbach-Skipton Twinning Association and English and history teachers from Simbach schools.

"We discussed how the project would explore the impact that war had on the lives of the people living in our twin towns 100 years ago.

"It would encourage young people to think about their place as citizens of the future in a modern day Europe, particularly significant following ‘Brexit’ when maintaining strong links between our two towns is more important than ever."

Rob also met with curators of a WW1 exhibition which opened in Simbach's town museum but had to close following devastating floods.

He was introduced to historian Florian Kotanko and visited the site of the Braunau-am-Inn camp and its cemetery which is maintained by Mr Katamko and a team of volunteers.

"It gave a fascinating insight into what life was like for prisoners on the other side and allowed me to compare the German POW experience with that at Raikeswood," he said.