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Campaigns ‘Away from the Western Front’ explored in new project

Posted  28 February 2017 in News  
By Liz Robertson
(Q 54756) British troops guarding Turkish prisoners at El Arish after their arrival from Magdhaba, 1917. Copyright: © IWM

Away from the Western Front, a registered charity, has received a grant of £99,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its dynamic First World War centenary project, which will explore the heritage of the men and women from Britain and its former Empire who served in the campaigns of Salonika, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and Africa.

The Western Front has remained the main focus for European commemoration of the First World War but the campaigns which took place away from the Western Front place the war in a global context. A central aim of the ‘Away from the Western Front’ project will be to understand what made the conflict a World War.

This project will also enable people to research and tell stories of specific soldiers, their families and regiments from all sides of the conflicts, including the diverse ethnic communities who are now living in Britain.

The project will offer contrasting perspectives on the campaigns and provide fresh opportunities to engage with and learn about the common heritage of involvement in this global event. People from a very wide spectrum of communities were involved in the campaigns away from the Western Front, both fighting for and against the Allies, and the project will work with many of them, including Iranian, Iraqi and Turkish communities in the UK.

Several local and regional partners have already been identified in Devon, Lancashire, Berkshire, Sussex and London. Local museums and National Trust properties in these areas will work with community groups, youth groups and schools with funding from the grant to research the lives and stories of those who served in these far away campaigns.

The project will look at the political and social impact of the war on the Middle East.  It will also look at themes such as medicine, humanitarian aid and the link between faith and war.

In addition to the HLF award, the project is being supported by grants from the Centre for Hidden Histories at the University of Nottingham and the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (Gertrude Bell Memorial).

The local, regional and national outputs from this project will be presented on a dedicated website offering a long-term digital archive designed for public access and learning.

For more information about how you can get involved,  contact trustee Mrs Lyn Edmonds: aftwf1418@gmail.com and follow @aftwf1418 on Twitter

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