Project to look at life during First World War

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A project looking at the role of local men during the First World War has received a funding boost.

Park View Project has received £8,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project What happened to those men who didn’t go to war – WWI The Bigger Picture in Whitley Bay and Cullercoats.

The project will focus on uncovering documentation of civilians who, through no fault of their own, did not enlist and the response they faced from their own communities, as well as those who became known as conscientious objectors.

To mark the centenary of the war, the project will enable local people to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the conflict.

Volunteers will collect photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.

It will focus on clarifying the experience of those who did not enlist where any failed the criteria to enlist because of illness or disability.

Dr Bob Dennis, project spokesman, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the HLF; this is an opportunity to reveal the true extent of how communities functioned during the war.”

With help from professionals, the information gathered will be digitally recorded and an online interactive archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information.

The archive will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about the Home Front.

Material collected will illuminate on a part of social history that is not well understood.