The Home Front (1914-1918) and its Legacies Pilot Project

The University of Bristol and the University of York have won funding from English Heritage to conduct a Pilot study to assess the material remains of the First World War on the Home Front. This nine month project will seek to develop a methodology for use by volunteers to record the physical legacies of the First World War within their localities. Two test areas have been chosen in which to base the Pilot: Staffordshire and the Lea Valley, an area in the north east of London.

The project is being managed by Dr Nicholas Saunders of Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Dr John Schofield, of the University of York, with Emily Glass also at Bristol, serving as project officer undertaking the research.

The co-ordination of volunteers will be tested during the pilot stage through a systematic identification, recording and data input of sites. It is anticipated that many different types of sites will be located and documented which will vary from obvious military structures to the more ephemeral which include: any building created as a specific response to the First World War, bombing or crash sites, requisitioned country estates, military airfields, transport sites, hospitals, wartime graves and cemeteries, street shrines, rolls of honour and places of commemoration and memorialisation.

This information will be entered into a database which will complement and enhance the existing record. On completion of the project, it will be made available to professionals and researchers through the relevant local Historic Environment Records. The project will then be expanded to a national level between 2014 and 2018 if further funding can be secured.

Aeriel view of Lydd Military Training Campt in Kent

Aerial view of Lydd Military Training Camp in Kent, Feb 1920 (Ref: EPW000066) English Heritage (Aerofilms Collection)

For further information see the University of Bristol’s Press Release