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Community project gets funding to research recently uncovered First World War memorial plaque in Brighton

Posted  4 August 2015 in News  
By Kate Clements

Brighton art gallery Fabrica, in partnership with Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove Library Services, has received £9,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a First World War project, The Boys on the Plaque. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will highlight a recently uncovered First World War memorial plaque situated in the former Holy Trinity Church which houses Fabrica gallery.

Supported by a team of archivists, artists and historians, the local community will come together through research, creative activities and heritage events to discover the hidden histories of the 95 soldiers commemorated on the plaque and consider the personal experiences of ordinary people during the war.

A team of volunteers will receive training and will access local archives to research and collect the stories of The Boys on the Plaque. Through genealogy, photographs, newspaper clippings, documents and letters, as well as family tales passed down, they will build an understanding of what life was like during the war.

Activities with local groups will further explore these experiences and create new legacies for local history. A series of Conversation Café’s with members of The University of the Third Age will explore local knowledge, personal mementos and family history through discussion and shared discovery. Younger people will connect to the personal histories of The Boys on the Plaque at creative graffiti workshops.

A range of public events for all ages will share the findings and provide opportunities for the local community to come together to remember and learn more about the First World War.

The project findings will be digitally recorded and an online archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information. The archive will allow the public to discuss, share and research information about The Boys on the Plaque. Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove Library Services will bring the project to the wider community through exhibitions and resources, to continue the legacy of The Boys on the Plaque.

Commenting on the award, Liz Whitehead, Co-Director of Fabrica, said:

“We’re so delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this two-year project which enables us to explore the history of our building, Holy Trinity Church with and through our local community, especially as the project’s culmination in 2017 will mark the chapel’s bicentennial.”

Visit the Strike A Light website for more information about the project.

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