99 years ago, almost to the day, Great Britain declared war on Germany, which was a turning point in world history and led to almost seventeen million military personnel being mobilised over the next four years, with nine million of them losing their lives.
Over the next four years, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport will be developing of series of national remembrance events, with partners such as the Imperial War Museums, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and English Heritage.
To keep up to date with what will be happening, check the official website of the Centenary: http://www.1914.org/
Many small organisations and heritage groups with be playing their part in recording and researching the lives of soldiers and other individuals who lives were shaped by these life-changing events.
For me, this is an excellent opportunity to look at the stories behind the names on our local memorials, at St Mary’s Church, Nether Alderley and All Saints Church, Marthall.
Great Warford and Little Warford seem to be a rather unique place, in that throughout the twentieth century, a large percentage of their populations were housed in healthcare institutions, the Mary Dendy Homes, Ancoats Convalescent Home, and the David Lewis Epileptic Colony, employing many local staff to support these.
Because of this, I would also like to investigate what impact the Two World Wars had on these; did they lose many staff to the war effort, or were these occupations “protected”?
The Mary Dendy and the David Lewis Colony became practically self-sufficient through the setting up of poultry and vegetable farms, a welcome addition to the inevitable rationing?
Were patients set to work in producing items for the war effort, and if so, do we know the destination of any of these items?
With such an interesting and potentially, large and time consuming task ahead, I am uncertain how this will be ultimately be presented on the website, but I am looking forward to the challenge!
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