Great War to be focus of lottery funded project

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THE impact of the First World War will be explored in a major library project.

West Sussex library service is being given a grant of almost £90,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to chart how the Great War affected residents.

As the 100th anniversary of the war approaches, the library service is working with the county record office plus volunteers, teachers, schoolchildren and students to create a vivid picture of how towns and villages, families and individuals were affected by what was called ‘the war to end all wars’.

A major focus will be to create 40 case studies telling how the war affected people in different ways – from servicemen to those on the home front.

The project will delve into the family backgrounds of local people involved and try to discover their fate.

Domestic issues such as recruitment, home defence, morale and dissent, internment of foreigners, rationing and the threat of Zeppelin air raids will be explored. So will the effect of the war on the towns and villages of the county.

West Sussex schools will be involved in putting together teaching packs to aid further study.

County newspapers covering the period 1910 to 1925 will be digitised, to cover the years leading up to the war and its aftermath.

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East England, said: ‘As we approach the centenary, many people want to learn more about the individual stories that will make this world-shattering event relevant on a personal level.’