Help to mark anniversary of start of the Great War

Lord Kitchener strikes that famous first world war recruiting poster pose
Lord Kitchener strikes that famous first world war recruiting poster pose

Wartime tales passed down from your grandparents; old family photos on the mantelpiece; your great-uncle’s military medals tucked away in a drawer...

They all reveal fascinating stories about the First World War. Lots of us have them, and Calderdale Council wants to know about them.

In August 2014, Bankfield Museum in Halifax opens “For King and Country” – a brand new exhibition and series of events to commemorate Calderdale’s wartime contribution and experiences, marking the First World War centenary 2014 – 2018.

Following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid, the top floor gallery is being transformed to display a range of objects, images and archives exploring what life was like in the area 100 years ago.

Members of your family may have served in the First World War, or they might have stayed at home to make weapons, chose not to fight, or to look after the family.

If you have a story to share for the exhibition, the council would love to hear from you.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for communities, Coun Steve Sweeney, said: “The First World War is an important and fascinating part of Calderdale’s heritage, and the exhibition is a great way to bring the memories to life.

“Local people are at the heart of the exhibition and we’re looking for all kinds of stories, from heroism and sacrifice to everyday life during the war.

“It’s a unique chance to proudly showcase a piece of your family history and help people learn more about how the war affected our local communities.

“Alongside the exhibition we’ll be running a series of events and activities, offering people different ways to take part.

“We’re also working with other organisations and local groups who are looking to commemorate the war, by sharing information and expertise.”

Calderdale has a number of unique stories in relation to the First World War.

These include local recipients of the Victoria Cross; the invention of a bomb release mechanism and possibly the first steel helmet; the home of the West Riding Regiment; being a centre for the supply of uniform cloth and blankets to the British army and its allies; the large number of armament factories; and the production of knitting yarn and patterns for the comfort of soldiers.

Bankfield Museum was the home of Colonel Edward Akroyd of the 4th Rifle Volunteers, and houses ‘The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Museum’, the historic regiment of the West Riding.

If you have a story from the First World War or have carried out research into the period which you would like to share, email or call 01422 352334 by the end of January 2014.

l Projects have already been completed and extensive commemoration plans are in hand for Todmorden.