The Island of Ireland Peace Park at Messines, Belgium: dedicated to the soldiers of Ireland, of all political and religious beliefs, who died, were wounded or missing in the Great War

University of Ulster: stories needed for First World War legacy project

Posted on on 21 April 2014
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Researchers at the University of Ulster are encouraging community groups to take part in a major international research project on the First World War and its legacy.

Historical societies and other groups with a story or artefacts relating to the Great War are being invited to contribute to a Centenary commemoration initiative.

Based in Belfast, Living Legacies 1914-1918: From Past Conflict to Shared Future, is one of five World War One Engagement Centres in the UK.

University of Ulster migration researcher, Dr Johanne Devlin Trew, said: The aim of the project is to assist local communities to tell their stories and share them with others; rediscover the forgotten WWI heritage in our landscapes; find out why and where people moved as a result of the war and express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre.

“I’m keen to hear about individual life stories from the home front and at war that connect us at the local level to the larger WWI story.

“The World War One project provides an opportunity for the University of Ulster to contribute to the legacy of this pivotal event in the 20th century."

The research will be used as a basis for creating outreach programmes and activities over the next three years.

Canadian-born, Dr Trew is a migration expert. She recently published the first book to detail Northern Ireland’s migration history, Leaving the North: Migration and Memory, Northern Ireland, 1921-2011.

Island of Ireland Peace Park: pillars commemorating the casualties who served in the British Army

Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies at the University of Ulster, would also like to link up with museums, local people or community groups with artefacts, letters, diaries or photographs associated with the First World War.

She said: “If you are interested in displaying your photograph or letter collections, for example, as well as interpreting and sharing their significance, then please get in touch with me.“

Living Legacies 1914-1918 is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Ulster, and National Museums Northern Ireland. It's funded by £500,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The centre will be officially launched with an event at the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus on 19th May 2014. 

A public lecture will be given by Professor Richard Grayson, a specialist in 20th century British and Irish history at Goldsmiths, University of London. His books include Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War.

More details about about Living Legacies 1914-1918 can be found by clicking here

Source: University of Ulster

Date of press release publication: 18th April 2014

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News