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Project to uncover hidden First World War memorials across the Waveney Valley

PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 April 2014

The Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group has been awarded a grant to work with communities across the Waveney Valley on a First World War project

The Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group has been awarded a grant to work with communities across the Waveney Valley on a First World War project

Archant

A unique project to uncover hidden memorials to the First World War is set to be launched by Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group following a £8,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, and the WVCAG, which formed just over a year ago, will be working with communities across the Waveney Valley from Diss to Lowestoft, to seek out, record and protect overlooked and forgotten traces of conflict.

The aim is to connect communities with tangible but often forgotten links with their past, showing the impact of a Europe-wide conflict on local people and their towns and villages.

Lorna Richardson, an archaeologist from University College London and one of the project coordinators, said: “After the First World War a massive programme of memorial building took place across the whole of England. Every parish in the country has stone monuments and graveyard memorials inscribed with the names of the fallen, and today it is these memorials that remain the focus for all annual commemorations.

“But alongside these formal monuments were many hundreds of more discreet and personal memorials to losses suffered by our communities. It is these we want to bring to wider attention.”

The hidden memorials can take many forms: from the rededication of a local amenity, such as a village hall, to the keeping of a Roll of Honour or Flanders Cross within the parish church. They also include street names and street signs, parks, hospitals and bowling greens.

The four-year project will create a digital archive of material which will be made permanently available to local communities, authorities and the public.

Andrew Macdonald, also coordinating the project, said: “There will be an online archive, digital resources, local travelling exhibitions and guided trails of the more significant discoveries, allowing people to learn about and understand the wider impact of the First World War in a local context.

“We also aim to train participants in the skills needed to create this important record, such as archival research, digital mapping, website creation, standing building recording and photography.”

Do you know of any hidden memorials to the First World War in the Waveney Valley? Email amy.smith@archant.co.uk

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