There were a number of components to the project, which included:
• Local History Groups associated with each of the venues researched the local history of the area and people stories associated with WW1.
This information was used to form a display at the events.
• For each venue, a leaflet was written, giving an overview of life locally during WW1.
This leaflet formed part of the event programme – free for audiences to take away.
• A small booklet was produced, as an extended programme, and then formally published,
including all of the leaflets, chapters on the music and poetry of the period, and information on the theatre production so that other groups, schools and societies can perform or adapt for future Remembrance occasions.
• Period refreshments, such as Trench Cake and Sand Cake were available at the venues and most volunteers and contributors were in period costume.
! REMEMBER !
was presented during Remembrance Week 2014
at the following venues in and around Cambridge:
• St Mark’s Church, Newnham Cambridge
• St Mary the Virgin Church, Godmanchester
• St Margaret’s Church, Hemingford Abbots
• Great St Mary’s Church, central Cambridge
• and the final performance was in Ely Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday.
We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund
for their support for this project with the award of a grant.
Profits from our events are donated to the British Legion
who were present at each event with their own display.
Heritage Meets Theatre
There were two halves to each event.
The first half took the form of a 'heritage event',
providing those attending with background information on the local history and the people during the First World War.
This set the context for the second half
- a staged production of music and poetry from the era
'They'll Never Believe Me'
Further information about the Remembrance Production can be found
on the "Remembrance Production" tab at the top of this page.
Heritage on Show
! Remember ! was presented
during Remembrance Week 2014 (November 5 - 9)
at the following venues in and around Cambridge:
Wednesday November 5th
St Mark’s Church, Newnham Cambridge
Thursday November 6th
St Mary the Virgin Church, Godmanchester
Friday November 7th
St Margaret’s Church, Hemingford Abbots
Saturday November 8th
Great St Mary’s Church, central Cambridge
Sunday November 9th
Ely Cathedral, after evensong on Remembrance Sunday
The Heritage Publication
! Remember !
Our Heritage and Theatre booklet is now published, and a second print run is to commence soon.
We were delighted to receive so much support from
many local history groups and organisations in the area.
Many interesting facts and photographs were discovered, and used in our Heritage Displays, Leaflets and Publication.
Hemingford Local History
Hemingford Local History Society ("HEMLOC") has undertaken a great deal of research into life in and around the two villages of Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbotts during the war years.
The research identified a poem written by a local lad to the Vicar just before joining up, and explored the poor state of housing in the area that quickly followed the outbreak of war.
Fundraising became an important part of life in the war years with some examples of fundraising activities found, and the fate of the the well-known 'Hemingford Regatta' is now detailed for the war years.
Clearly the role of women and even schoolchildren was affected by the absence of the men, and some interesting details have been unearthed.
Key items from the research were put together into the programme leaflet, and the more extensive chapter in the Heritage publication.
Ely Local History
Members of the working group of the Ely society are very active in exploring how the war affected those in and around the city.
Here are some examples of what they have already established:
Education was rather limited due to the lack of teaching staff.
“Many male teachers enlisted in the early days of the war. In just one small rural district for example, the Isle of Ely in the Fens, three headteachers and 13 assistant masters had volunteered
by the end of 1914.
A Board of Trade Report noted that of the 54,000 male teachers in the labour force nationally 34% had enlisted by July 1916.”
When giving the report to the Local Council in 1916, the medical officer repeated his view that Ely urgently needed an Isolation Hospital.
In his report scarlet fever heads the list of notifiable illnesses.
St. John’s Isolation Hospital, St John's Road, Ely was opened in 1917
at the sole cost of William and Mrs. Emily Ann Cutlack,
Scouts were enlisted to guard railway crossings, water supplies
and other essential facilities.
In Ely the Assistant Scout Master, on the right in this photo,
was issued with a revolver!
Cambridge Local History
Research for our project by a local historian has already provided many details about aspects of Cambridge life as the war took hold.
For example, the "Cambridgshire Regiment" was formed of local men, drawn together and billetted in some interesting locations within the city.
Cambridge flooded in 1914, a particular problem for both the soldiers billetted here and the Belgian Professors who came to Cambridge after the invasion of Belgium.
Colleges of the University were all involved in the war effort in some way, and life in general within the city was greatly disrupted.
Research by Gt St Mary's is also bringing forward many interesting details, for example:
Christopher Cooke was a 14-year-old naval cadet from Cambridge who was at Osbourne Naval College when war broke out.
He was immediately posted to the cruiser HMS Aboukir as a midshipman.
On 22 September 1914 he had just come off night watch when the Aboukir was hit by a torpedo and began to sink. Christopher survived in the North Sea,
wearing only his pyjama trousers!
Alfred William Kirkup was the eldest son of a chimney sweep who lived at 75 King Street with his wife Alice. He had eight siblings, and worked as a draper’s assistant at the Co-operative store in Burleigh Street.
Alfred William Kirkup was in the 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment, and died in the Battle of Passchendaele in September 1917. His body was never found.
There are 23 men remembered on the Gt St Mary's War Memorial.
They reflect a congregation that embraced both town and gown.
Details of the impact of the war on daily life are continuing to arrive, and these are now being compiled into the production leaflet and more expansive publication.
Work is also nearing completion on the plans for the exhibition diplay to enlarge upon and support the story of WW1 in Cambridge.
Godmanchester Local History
Our research team of volunteers from the Godmanchester Porch Museum
is being led by Kate Hadley.
Godmanchester is set on the edge of the Fen, a small town with a population of around 6000 people, which, rather unusually, received a Charter from King John in 1220.
An intensive period of research has provided a wealth of information that will eventually feed into the production leaflet and the more expansive publication.
Here are a few 'tasters' from what is to come.....
Stories about how Godmanchester men looked after the young German Prisoners of War, took them to work on the farms and taught them mechanics so they would have a job when they got home.
"What is particularly entrancing are the photographs these families have tucked in their attics and I have been able to research and been loaned wonderful pictures, really the kind you dream about."
Lord Lovat’s Scouts, Highland cavalry were stationed here:
Horses watering in the river
Even today, if you buy flowers at Thelma’s Flowers and you ask for white and red flowers, they will stop you if they can and say
‘No! Blood and bandages’ ....... which is straight from World War I.
The nearby Portholme Meadow, a natural aerodrome,
attracted glamorous playboys and pilots of international reputation.
Did you know there was a Hunts Cyclist Battalion?
A Police Constable - Chichester - turned his house, The Grove, into a Military Information Centre for local families who had not heard from their men.
The Centre would also help trace those who were reported missing.
There is also identified a Croix de Guerre medal winner and the tale of his bravery.
We are all looking forward to reading more details from the exciting information being gathered, and of seeing the exhibition in support of the leaflet and publication that will contribute to the ongoing legacy.
The Porch Museum is run by a small team of enthusiastic volunteers who work together to record the town’s history and its people.
Godmanchester is the premiere Roman town in the area, and the Porch Museum has a marvellous collection of Roman, Anglo Saxon and Neolithic artefacts.
TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILBLE FOR PURCHASE
for our Remember events at:
St Marks, Newnham
Great St Marys, Cambridge
We are expecting a high demand for this event at all venues.
Please book early to avoid disappointment
You can go to our ticket information and booking page by clicking on the ticket here:
The British Legion
We are supporting the British Legion by donating profits from
our ! Remember ! project to them.
We are pleased that they are intending to contribute to our heritage event, and details will be included here as soon as available.
Linton Local History
The research at Linton has established a wide range of interesting information, in readiness for their display at the event, for example:
Linton was the main centre of administration for the surrounding villages,
and therefore at the start of the war and again in 1916
ran a recruitment office to conscript men into the armed services.
On the first day of the battle of the Somme, over 30 men from the local villages were killed. Telegrams informing familes of the deaths took about three weeks to arrive.
Shirts for wounded Belgian soldiers were made by ladies of Linton village at working parties at the home of Mrs Chalk.
The Linton War Memorial was unveiled in 1921.
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