Approaching centenary brings growing interest

The whole nation is now being alerted to the massive planned programme of commemoration and reminiscence of the events of 100 years ago.

At the time the country was plunged into a conflict the tragic outcomes of which the population could have had no imagination in the warm summer of 1914.

Locally, the Tynemouth project has an ongoing range of activities which have awakened a strong interest in the local community in many aspects of the Great War.

These events include academic lectures at Northumbria University, where the project will conclude its landmark series of 2013-14 in May, when Professor Joanna Bourke, of Birkbeck College of London University, will deliver the final lecture; appropriately entitled ‘Armistice and disability’.

Her conclusion of the series will review the aftermath of the conflict.

The lectures are free to attend and the final one takes place at 6.15pm on Tuesday, May 13, at the City Campus East, opposite Manors Metro station.

And Anthea Lang will be looking at two local men of the area who had interesting parts in the conflict.

Her talk is part of the popular series at theLow Lights Tavern on Brewhouse Bank, Fish Quay, North Shields.

It is entitled ‘Saint or Sinner – but which was which?

Anthea is looking at two local men from Gateshead, Brigadier Roland Boys Bradford VC, the youngest man to achieve ‘field rank’ in the war, aged only 25, and a man named Rix, unknown to almost everyone.

The talk takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 29, and tickets re free but must be obtained in advance from the Low Lights Tavern, the project workroom at the Linskill Centre or from Keel Row Bookshop in Fenwick Terrace.

Anyone interested to learn about the sources of Forst World War materials which have been assembled by the Europeana Project across the continent, from all nations involved in the conflict, can hear a free talk from Alun Edwards of the University of Oxford’s Academic IT Services at 5.30pm on Thursday, April 24, again being given at the Northumbria University’s City Campus East.

The vast archive of materials gathered (mostly free to download) includes material of a local nature as well as from the battlefields.

As the project’s major events approach the volunteers are preparing to open a public information point in Front Street, Tynemouth, in the vacant property adjacent to the library.

This will, when open, be a place where local residents and visitors can learn about the project’s work and forthcoming events.

Initially it will be open on weekends and Bank Holidays from May 3, but it is hoped it can be open during weekdays in the school holidays if sufficient volunteers are willing to staff the information desk.

Anyone who might be able to help is asked to contact the project at the workroom in the Linskill Centre.

The shop will display some of our small exhibitions of materials gathered over the past three years, as well as giving visitors an opportunity to view the project’s critically acclaimed database of family biographies of local men killed in the conflict.

Anyone with information about anyone who was killed or died as a result of the war is asked to contact the project.

The 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.