The Tynemouth World War One Commemoration project was given major regional coverage on the BBC 1 earlier this week.
Monday evening’s ‘World War One at Home – Despatches from Tyneside’ showed the work of the volunteers in piecing together the history of the more than 1,700 men who died as a result of the war, and the impact the conflict had on the communities at home.
The programme can still be viewed until Monday, June 9, on the BBC iPlayer.
The half hour documentary presented by Chris Jackson was a superb synopsis of the effects of the war on Tyneside, from the mass recruitment to the forces and consequent need to bring women into the workforce to replace men gone to war.
It also showed the almost pre-eminent importance of the Tyneside ‘arsenal’ economy to the war effort, which met the needs of the forces for ships and munitions.
Tyneside bore not just physical but deep emotional scars from the Great War.
And these were demonstrated through the effective use of the Tynemouth project’s casualty mapping initiative, which is gaining widespread recognition for its arresting impact; showing how just one community was affected by the terrible loss of life that left no street or district untouched.
The programme drew upon a number of poignant stories uncovered during the three years of research by the project and soon to be available through its website for public access.
The database will be officially launched at North Shields Customer First Centre (library) at 10am on Saturday, June 28, when the project will also be staging another public information day with several organisations with an interest in the conflict present to give advice and answer queries.
The information centre in Front Street, Tynemouth, next door to the library, showing some of the mini-exhibitions, will be open this weekend from 11am to 4pm.
The centre now has a range of second hand First World War themed books for sale and has details of all forthcoming events, including tickets for the production of Death at Dawn, the full-length play commissioned by the project and written by well-known north east playwright Peter Mortimer.
It will be on at Linskill Community Centre from September 1 to 6, at 7.30pm, with a matinee on the Saturday.
Tickets are also available online – see the project website – and from Keel Row Bookshop, North Shields Customer First Centre, Northumberland Square and the Linskill Community Centre reception.
Anyone with information about anyone killed or died as a result of the war is asked to contact the project.
The project workroom at Room B9, Linskill Community Centre, Trevor Terrace, North Shields, is open from 10am to 4pm each weekday for visitors and for anyone interested to learn more about the project or how to get involved.
The address for correspondence is c/o Essell, 29 Howard Street, North Shields NE30 1AR.