Villagers researching the impact the First World War made on their community have been awarded a grant of more than £4,000.
Clive Thompson, Chairman of Chipping Local History Society, which has been awarded £4,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Then and Now project marking the centenary of the First World War, says everyone is delighted with the news.
He said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund which will no doubt be of huge benefit to the whole community in understanding how past generations in the area dealt with radical changes in society, particularly in this case, village life”.
The aim of the project is to research and explore the stories behind the names commemorated on the village War Memorial and the effect the war had on the local community, particularly on the women and children and also on farming and industry.
Those who served in the armed forces and returned to live in the community will also form an important part of the project.
It will enable local people of all ages who are interested in preserving the memories and heritage of those who lived through the war to come together. They will be invited to volunteer to seek out photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, documents and keepsakes for copying from families and friends of those named on the War Memorial and of those who returned from the war.
Family tales passed down the generations will be important in building a clear picture of what village life was really like at the time. Society members will visit the Lancashire Archives to learn research skills, Preston’s Harris Library and Museum and local military museums. With help from professionals information gathered will be digitally recorded and an on-line interactive archive will be created which everyone can access and contribute information.
The results of the research will be available for future generations through the society website, booklets, indexes and a ‘Chipping wartime walk’ leaflet.
Information boards will be used for exhibitions in the Community Hall and Village Hall.
The society will continue to engage with local groups, in particular the two village primary schools.
Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond.”
“We have already invested more than £45 million in commemorative projects, including local community projects like this one, which will enable people to explore and record their local wartime history and commemorate those from Chipping who were affected by the conflict.”