LIFE in the First World War has acted as inspiration for a class of Malmesbury school children for their Dancing Back to 1914 project.

A small group of year nine students from Malmesbury School were given the opportunity of a private tour with Ruth Butler and Emily Malcolm of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre for the WW1 centenary in Chippenham.

The trip was organised as part of the Dancing Back to 1914, a Heritage Lottery Funded project which was launched in April of this year. Dance classes all over Wiltshire are exploring WW1 and The trip was a chance to look closer at what life was like for people living in the country before, during and after the war.

Hannah Brown, one of the visiting students, said: “I enjoyed learning about how they keep documents safe and the precautions to protect them from fire and floods. I also enjoyed reading letters and journals which were written during the First World War and finding out about the lives of people living at the time including soldiers, school children and teachers.”

The students were given a tour of the facility to learn what happens there, before looking at maps, photos and personal items and logs which gave a further look into WW1. Once the group had completed their research They also created a fact sheet for their dance pieces.

Another Student, Oliver Farquharson, said: “I enjoyed walking around and seeing the inside of the archives, which the public don’t get to see. I found seeing a Tudor manuscript absolutely amazing; it looked like something out of a fairy tale. It was also incredible getting to read personal letters and look at sketch books from the trenches.”