Belfast Telegraph

Unique Living Legacies project to create database of Belfast's First World War stories

By Kirsten Elder

A unique project to help people share folk memories about the First World War has come to Northern Ireland.

The Living Legacies project aims to help people tell their stories and share these stories with others, as well as helping communities rediscover the forgotten First World War heritage in our landscape.

It will also help people find out why and where people moved as a result of the war and will seek to express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre.

The Living Legacies Engagement Centre is a UK wide research collaboration between Queen’s University of Belfast, University of Ulster, Newcastle University, Goldsmiths, University of London, National library of Wales and National Museums Ireland.

This project is a focal point for connecting academic and community researches interested in how the First World War lives on in the twenty-first century.

Dr. Andrew Murrison, the Northern Ireland Office Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, attended an event in Belfast yesterday and addressed the audience on Living Legacies.

Dr. Murrison said: “The great thing about this is exploring our shared history and it makes it possible to bring communities together.”

He added: “The Great War was such a terrible time, paradoxically almost, we have an opportunity in commemorating its centenary.”

The project’s purpose is to work with community projects across the United Kingdom to achieve greater levels of outreach far beyond the communities’ immediate localities.

At these events throughout the year there will be many academic experts explaining how WW1 items such as medals, photographs and letters can be digitally stored. They hope this will make it possible to keep treasured items for longer to pass on to generations to come.

Museum experts will be on hand to talk to people who bring along WW1 items, here they can discover the real history behind them.

The project also aims to make people affected by the First World War feel comfortable talking about and sharing their stories from their ancestors who fought in the Great War.

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