Professional and volunteer researchers will be joining forces across the UK to uncover hidden histories of the First World War.
Researchers and volunteers based at the University of Chichester, in partnership with the Chichester Community Development Trust, are to work on a project entitled ‘Chichester in the Great War: Mobilisation, Care and Compassion, and Memorialisation’. The project is part of a national initiative, with five regional ‘Gateways to the First World War’ project centres being established in the UK.
The centres aim to encourage local volunteers to work on regional projects in partnership with universities and non-academic partners. Dr Maureen Wright is one of the team who will be working on the University of Chichester’s part of the project.
The Chichester project builds on the previous work of local academics and volunteer teams. Dr Maureen Wright is one of the team who will be working on the University of Chichester’s part of the project. Dr Wright previously worked on the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Graylingwell Heritage’ Project, which traced the history of the West Sussex County Asylum (Graylingwell Hospital) – also used as a military hospital from 1915-1919.
A seminar for those interested in researching the historical local impact of the First World War will be held on Friday 4 September 2015 at the University. Professional and voluntary researchers will be learning more about the project strand ‘Researching Lives of the Great War’. The event, organised by the University of Chichester, has proved to be very popular and is fully booked.
Dr Wright said: “Projects like this are particularly valuable in trying to uncover local histories which have remained hidden for a century incorporating the skills and interests of those involved in the project.”
She added: “Many of these stories could be the untold histories of women during the First World War and the roles they played between 1914-1918. Many historians have suggested that the experiences of women in the Great War paved the way for the passage of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. This Act gave the vote to ‘duly-qualified women’ over the age of 30.”