Friends of Birmingham Archives and Heritage has received nearly £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for it’s Birmingham Children of War project. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on experiences of children growing up or being born in Birmingham during the tumultuous years of WWI.
Marking the Centenary of the First World War, this project will enable local people to come together to focus on uncovering the largely untold story of children’s experience of war from a Birmingham perspective, thanks to National Lottery players. The project will be enlisting the help of local volunteers to research archival resources to find examples what life was like for a child living at that time, and the impact war had on their everyday lives. In addition, we will be seeking new material in the form of photographs, diaries, memoirs and other mementoes that can be digitised and shared via an interactive website.
Over 500,000 children in the UK lost their father during this conflict, a tragic statistic that undoubtedly had a huge effect on children’s lives. This project aims to uncover stories about individual children that help us better understand the impact the War had on their lives both immediately and over the following decades.
Commenting on the award, Professor Ian Grosvenor, Chair of FoBAH said: “We are very pleased to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is an important part of the city’s history and huge gaps remain in our knowledge of children’s experiences during and after the First World War. We hope many people join this journey to research and share those experiences”.
Liz Palmer, will be managing the Project which will run until the end of February 2017. The main launch will take place at an event on Monday 12th September, during Birmingham Heritage Week, to which all FoBAH members and the public will be invited. We are hoping that many FoBAH members, together with members of the local community, students and schools will want to get involved with the project by researching archive resources and helping to add to our, as yet limited, knowledge of children’s experiences during the war and in the immediate aftermath.