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Archaeology Matters

Recording the changing face of the Home Front during the First World War

Local historians and amateur archaeologists are being asked to harness their local knowledge to help to record some of the lesser-known sites and structures and their associated stories of the First World War using a new app and site recording guide.

Women-workers-at-the-National-Shell-Filling-Factory,Chilwell (c)-IWM-Q030040

These tools have been created as part of the Home Front Legacy project, an initiative funded by Historic England and supported by the Council for British Archaeology, that uses the centenary of the war to record and map the remains of the conflict on the Home Front. The resulting contributions will help us better understand the impact of the First World War across the United Kingdom.

“The Home Front during the First World War receives far less attention than that during the Second World War or the front line itself. Even within this relatively under-explored subject there are hidden heroes: those structures created or re-purposed during the war to cope with wartime necessity. They could be pre-fabricated factories, temporary housing, defences or military facilities which were quickly forgotten and fell into disrepair once the conflict came to an end. There are also many sites closely associated with ‘events’, such as air crashes, bombings, naval raids and strikes that receive no formal heritage protection.

All of these sites help us to understand a vital part of our history and it is our responsibility, and privilege, to make sure that we record them before they are lost forever. This free app and guide gives you the tools you need to contribute your local knowledge for future generations so please get out there and protect your country’s heritage”

Mike Heyworth, Director of the Council for British Archaeology

The app is free to download and use, and together with accompanying guide, allow you to record site locations, descriptions, stories and photographs. You can also add documents, maps, plans, historic photographs and postcards, to add more depth to the historical record, enriching the historical knowledge of your local community, and building up the larger picture of “total war” when the whole nation was mobilised. You can find out more and download the app and guide at: http://www.homefrontlegacy.org.uk/

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