Monday, October 27, 2014

WW1 stories - the Long Shadow

Stories are coming in thick and fast for our Long Shadow project, which aims to collect people's family stories of the effect of WW1. I am gradually putting them up on a board at the back of church, so do pop in to have a look if you are passing. There is still time to add your family story, though, so please do send it along. The form to use for the story is here.
There are many stories of those who fought, of course, some surviving, some not, some wounded or traumatised, some gaining medals for gallantry. But there are also stories coming in of women nursing the wounded, and of those on the home front, trying to keep the family going, or waiting anxiously for the return of a soldier who never arrived. Stories for the Long Shadow project don't have to be long. While some people have written long accounts, many have  have just written down a name and their relationship to the person they are remembering, or have photocopied a old family photo to include (please don't give us any originals - I can't guarantee their safety.)

I know that quite a few people are still working on their stories, often finding out all sorts of things they didn't know as a result - it is a fascinating process. Some are using genealogical websites like Ancestry  or Find My Past , or the national archives - many of the sources they give access to are free, and they are quite easy to use. Google can often tell you a lot about the background to your family story- try googling the regiment a serviceman served in, or a campaign you knew they fought in, for example, and that can sometimes tell you about the kind of experience they must have had.

The stories we collect, which don't have to have any connection with Seal, will be displayed for Remembrance Sunday, and left up until Advent, when I will gather them together into a display book which will be kept in church.

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