First World War soldiers kept in living memory thanks to Calne Heritage Centre

Sue Boddington with a Calne woman’s lodging book filled with signatures of trainee pilots from Yatesbury Camp

Sue Boddington with a Calne woman’s lodging book filled with signatures of trainee pilots from Yatesbury Camp

First published in News by

A long-term history project documenting the lives of those who lived through the First World War is to begin at the Calne Heritage Centre.

It will run from August 4 this year to November 11, 2018, mirroring the beginning and end of the conflict.

Visitors and residents are being encouraged to produce an A4 document with details of any relatives who lived through the war.

These will be part of an exhibition at the heritage centre and will be archived.

Curator Sue Boddington said: “The soldiers who came back didn’t really talk about the war. The attitude was that children didn’t need to know about it, so the next generation didn’t find out what they could have done.

“One of the ladies I was speaking to said ‘both my grandfathers died in the First World War and my grandmothers had to bring up their children on their own, but I don’t know anything about them’ and I said ‘you have just told me a story’. That’s what brings it to life, these personal memories.”

Museum visitors and residents are asked to choose a date in the war that would have been special to their ancestor.

They need their ancestor’s name and age at the time, a brief description of how the war affected their life and a photo if possible.

Chippenham Museum and Malmesbury’s Athelstan Museum are also launching their own projects thanks to a Wiltshire-wide £74,400 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The money is for the Wiltshire at War: Community Stories project, which aims to gather and share stories exploring the impact of the First World War on Wiltshire.

The two museums are developing the project along with Trowbridge Museum and Wiltshire Council.

A series of touring community exhibitions will start from November and run over the next five years. They will be accompanied by activities in libraries and schools.

For information on the Calne project visit www.calneheritage.co.uk or write to email@calneheritage.co.uk

To contact Chippenham Museum call (01249) 705020 and to contact the Athelstan Museum call (01666) 829258.

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