A major village project to research and mark the centenary of the First World War will be lanched this month.
The Bottesford Community Heritage Project has received £34,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support a two-year community wide programme of research and events commemorating the centenary of the First World War.
To mark the official launch of The Bottesford Parish First World War Centenary: People, community and memory, a community meeting will be held on Sunday, September 28, at the Bottesford VC Hall, Belvoir Road, Bottesford, from 4pm to 6pm. The project provides opportunities for all, no matter how long they have lived in the parish of Bottesford, to learn about and help in preserving the memory of the First World War within the local community.
Volunteers from local societies, church and chapel congregations, schools and youth organisations will seek out stories about the impact of the war on families and the community.
Biographies will be written about the people who served in the armed forces from the villages of Bottesford, Muston, Easthorpe and Normanton, from over 220 men including the 40 who lost their lives.
The staging of concerts, heritage trails and school activity days will recreate and illustrate the massive community effort that went into supporting soldiers at the front.
Exhibitions and commemorative publications will display and interpret family photographs, letters, postcards and other WW1 mementoes, to open up a window on village life during the war.
Everything collected and recorded during the project will remain permanently accessible on the Bottesford Living History website and on-line archive (www.bottesfordhistory.org.uk).
Project co-ordinator David Middleton said: “We are thrilled and privileged to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will enable the community to preserve the hidden history of the First World War - the memory of the people who served and those at home who loved, cared and coped.
“The community response is impressive. More than 20 volunteers are already working on the project. We are all looking forward to the official launch. It gives us the opportunity to discuss in detail the project with local residents and to recruit more volunteers.”
Established in 2007, with the aid of Heritage Lottery Funding, the Bottesford Community Heritage Project has worked with local organisations to preserve community heritage. Its website (www.bottesfordhistory.org.uk) has over 11,000 regular visitors and the heritage project maintains an extensive online archive of historic photographs and local memorabilia.