Friday, 1 August 2014

New websites and exhibitions

Outbreak 1914, DLI Museum in partnership with the National Army Museum
Outbreak 1914, DLI Museum in partnership with the National Army Museum
As we near the anniversary of the start of the war, there has been a flurry of new websites in the last month or so as well as information being released of events that will be taking place.  Below I have summarised some of local relevance and some national ones that have caught my eye.  The last link is to a press release from January that promises exciting things to keep a look out for in August.

Outbreak 1914!  Durham Light Infantry Go to War
The DLI Museum has been working  with the National Army Museum to create a new exhibition about the outbreak of war and how the Durham Light Infantry responded.  During the school holidays, the museum is open 10.30am-4.00pm Tuesday to Sunday
Adult £4.00
Adult Concession £3.00
Child (4 - 16 years) £2.00 (under 4 years free)
Family Pass (2 adults and up to 3 children) £10.50
Group bookings by arrangement.

Sunderland in the First World War
Sunderland City Council have launched their First World War website which “aims to show how the First World War left its mark on Sunderland during the period of 1914-19. Within these web pages details can be found of key dates, events and personalities unique to the Wearside area.   It aims to acknowledge and pay tribute to the bravery of the men, women and children whose lives were cut short by this terrible conflict.”
They have also produced an exhibition banner that will be touring the are and is available to view online.

Wor Life 1914-1918
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, in partnership with Sunderland Museums and Heritage, have unveiled the Wor Life project which involves community engagement intiatives and a series of exhibitions including ‘Rivers at War’ which looks at the shipbuilding industry during the war period.

Tees Valley First World War project: Remembering Our War
For information on what’s happening in the Tees Valley area, the Remembering Our War website is now live.

A significant event in Teesside’s First World War history was the bombardment of Hartlepool on 16 December 1914.  As well as Hartlepool, further down the coast Whitby and Scarborough were also targeted.  The Remember Scarborough! project is working with sites in Scarborough and Whitby, as well as Heugh Battery in Hartlepool to commemorate the events of that day. 

Tynemouth World War One Project
Just north of our area, the successful Tynemouth Project has its database online and also has a physical presence on Tynemouth’s Front Street, next to the library.

North East War Memorials Project
NEWMP continue to update their website with new information, particular Every Name a Soldier which aims to provide information about the individuals whose names appear on the war memorials.
It is also worth checking their noticeboard for news and events that are happening in the region.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission now have additional content when you search for a name.  They have opened up their own archive and provide digital images of the records that make up the information provided on the site.  Sometimes there is additional information provided – where graves have been relocated, there is information about the original location.
They also have a new website which provides information about locations of the war and further information on visiting cemeteries.

Replica tank bank at Murton, County Durham, from the Easington People Past and Present project (Murt0249)
Replica tank bank at Murton, County Durham, from the Easington People Past and Present archive (Murt0249)

RBS Remembers 1914-1918
The archives of the Royal Bank of Scotland have created a new website that not only commemorates the men who worked for the thirty historic banks that make up the RBS name today, but looks at the financial aspects of the war, for government, business and individuals.  It also looks at the working life of banks during the war from air raids to the impact of women joining the workforce.  As well as an interesting resource on finance, there are men from County Durham and the Durham Light Infantry featured in their commemorative section that we intend to link to when our website goes live. 

International Committee of the Red Cross
In January 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross posted the press release linked to below stating outlining the work they had been doing since 2008 on scanning the index cards and lists of First World War prisoners of war.  The piece ends with the statement ‘Once this project has been completed, more efficient research methods can be developed and time will be saved in accessing the information. Thanks to the online application, anyone will be able to search the archives directly on the internet as of August 2014.’  As we reach August, there has been no further information as to an exact date or how the system will work and what, costs are involved.  I have seen just some of the cards in the museum in Geneva, and it has been a massive undertaking – all nationalities, not just British POWs – and as a charity I expect they will need to recoup their costs.  I expect it to be a great resource – the records have not been available since the scanning began and prior to this it was a costly and lengthy process to find out if there was information.   This is one to keep checking back on.
UPDATE: I've been alerted to an article on the ICRC website that says 4 August for the launch of these records.

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