Gateways is helping the people of Portsmouth research and uncover the stories of those who took part in the First World War at the front and at home in an exhibition which runs from the 19th July 2014 to 25th January 2015.*
Portsmouth City Museum, in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, was awarded £97,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Lest We Forget project which encourages community groups, families and individuals to contribute to the exhibition.
The starting point for Lest We Forget was the museum and archive collections which hold First World War material relating to over 200 individuals who experienced war at the front or at home. Dr Brad Beaven, a Gateways Co-Investigator and guest curator of the exhibition, explained how the project evolved. ‘Work for the exhibition began earlier in the year when we put a call out to community groups and schools for help in researching the individuals and objects in the collection. The response has been fantastic and we have a really impressive level of community engagement from researching timelines to choirs singing war songs for our “sound showers” in the exhibition’.
Visitors to the exhibition are also encouraged to get involved. ‘Research hubs’ have been set-up in the exhibition to allow people to research names of individuals and objects in the collection. Dr Beaven commented that ‘with over 200 names in the exhibition we have gaps in our knowledge and we’d encourage visitors to add to our growing collection of personal stories’.
How you can get involved
Add details of your ancestors and details of your World War One projects to the Portsmouth community history website.
Please do let us know if you are working on a local community history or schools project relating to the First World War – we can list your project on the web site. We are also working directly working with some community groups to support their projects.
The project coordinator would be pleased to visit your group to tell your more about the project. Let us know if you are interested.