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World War One research

WW1 story

04 August 2014

For the next four years, Black Country Living Museum will be commemorating the centenary of WW1 with a host of activities, research and collections.

This has meant a year long research project by our Collections Team, who have spent many hours looking through local newspapers of the time and online resources to discover the role played by the Black Country in World War One.

This research has provided us with an insight into ‘Real Lives, Real Stories’ of Black Country folk who served in WW1 or worked on the Homefront in the region. Throughout the summer and over the next four years, we will narrate and bring to life these stories through costumed characters within the Museum's canalside village. Each newly introduced character is based upon a real life story of a person with a Black Country WW1 connection, such as Lilian Hodgkiss, who lived in our very own Toll House and during WW1 served as a Munitions Worker at the National Projectile Factory in Dudley.

As part of our commemorative programme, we have launched new webpages, which we hope to continue to develop over the next four years. These webpages highlight our research, collections, buildings, characters and all of our latest events, family activities and news. On these pages, our Collections Team have highlighted objects that are specifically linked to WW1 or are of the time period 1914-1918. Some of these objects can also be viewed in our Rolfe Street exhibition space.

We have also included a few of our research topics onto the website so that visitors can learn about food shortages, coal shortages and childhood during the warThe new WW1 website is part of an on-going project that we will continually develop with new information, resources and activities on a regular basis.

We would also like to invite you to share your family's ‘Real Lives, Real Stories’. If you have any World War One family stories with a Black Country connection we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch and we may be able to help you with some further research and even possibly bring your family history alive here at the Museum.


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