Funding boost for war focus

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GROUPS of teenagers will be exploring the World War I heritage of Ponteland and Northumberland in depth thanks to a major grant.

The Ponteland High School project has been awarded £6,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF’s) First World War: Then and now programme.

The students taking part will gather family tales passed down, collate archive material and carry out research at key local heritage institutions, including the Discovery Museum and the Northumberland Fusiliers at Alnwick Castle.

Deputy headteacher Sally Taverner said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the HLF in this project, which will help students understand the role of local people in the First World War and, hopefully, gather further personal information about the contribution made by relatives of our community.”

To mark the centenary of the conflict, young people across the North East between the ages of 13 and 18 will carry out research to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived and fought through the First World War, which ran from July 1914 to November 1918.

Themes will include the Home Front, Northumbrian battalions, local men and their service histories, recruitment and the impact the war had on the wider community and those left at home.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “The First World War changed the face of modern history, touching the lives of everyone in this country and beyond.

“HLF has committed to funding a variety of projects, from organisations large and small, that will create a deeper understanding of the heritage of the conflict.

“Some of these will capture the memories of individual soldiers or regiments, some will explore the importance of local war memorials, while others like this project in Ponteland will encourage local young people to capture the memories and stories of their relatives who lived and fought during the conflict.

“We have already provided over £32million for projects across the United Kingdom and will continue to support as many applications as we can afford that want to commemorate the centenary.”

For more information about the programme and to apply for funding, visit www.hlf.org.uk/thenandnow