Wakefield Cathedral in Lottery win to unveil lesser known WW1 stories

Wakefield Cathedral has received a grant of £9,200 thanks to National Lottery players for a special project called ‘Then and Now, There and Here: The Imprint of the First World War in Wakefield’.

Awarded through The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) First World War: Then and Now programme the project will ask local people to help uncover the lesser known stories of Wakefield’s experience of The Great War.

Following the huge community interest in the Cathedral’s World War One Poppy Project in 2015, the Learning Team at Wakefield Cathedral felt there was a desire in Wakefield for more opportunities to explore the First World War and its impact closer to home. This new project will mark the Centenary of the First World War by enabling local people in Wakefield to come together and find out more about the role the city and its people played; discovering the impact of the First World War on the people of Wakefield both at the time and in the 21st century.

Volunteers will help with the research and uncover the stories around local events and people. The project will explore the use of the local girl’s school as a military hospital, the impact of refugees who came to Wakefield seeking sanctuary, the roles they played and how they interacted with the local communities and will investigate the impact of conscientious objectors arriving from all over the country who were housed in Wakefield. Alongside the research there will be opportunities for volunteers to get involved in discussion groups, events and exhibitions.

With the help of professionals, the information gathered will be digitally recorded and booklets, exhibitions and on-line resources will be created allowing access for people across the district.

Commenting on the award, Tracey Yates, Community Learning Manager, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this opportunity to work with local people to tell the untold stories of Wakefield and its people here at home during the First World War."

Said Tracey: “Today Wakefield is a culturally diverse city and we want to emphasise the role of people from different cultures during the Frist World War by engaging with different local communities to discover and share their stories. “


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