2014 is set to be a poignant year, as we commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. This year, we honour the hundreds and thousands of men and women who fought courageously on the front line and at home, in order for us to be free today.
The National Trust is hosting hundreds of events over the coming months, ranging from exhibitions, talks and displays to guided walks and poppy planting, and will be sharing the stories of those who were there on the battlefield and on the home front.
Your can find more information here, but here are some great examples of events around this great country.
‘The Terry’s and The War’
Goddards: Learn about the Terry family, and how life at their famous chocolate factory fared during the war.
One hundred years on from the start of the First World War, Goddards is telling the story of how the Terry family and life at their famous chocolate factory were affected by war with new displays throughout the house. The story opens in Noel Terry’s former library and charts the start of the First World War and takes extracts from letters, photographs and mystery items that the men used in the trenches. Discover a poignant collection of stories, loaned items and memories about the Terry family that highlight some of the effects of war on local people.
‘First World War: Remembrance Poppy Seed Sowing’
Visit this historical park and woodland and help to create the Sheffield Park commemorative poppy field in memory of all those who lost their lives in the First World War. A donation will be made to the Royal British Legion for every pack of seeds purchased.
‘Waddesdon at War’
At Waddesdon, you will be able to delve into the archives of personal letters an photographs, to learn more about those who went to war.
Marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, take a look at the nineteenth century French chateau and estate from the perspective of the staff and the family. You can delve into the archives of many personal letters and photographs to learn more about those who went off to war, and those who managed the Manor and estate through the war years. The exhibition explores the impact the war had on the wider Rothschild family.
‘Wings Over Stonehenge’
Walk in the slipstream of the early pioneer military aviators at Larkhill. You’ll be able to see where the Bristol Boxkite made its first flight in 1910 and where the first British military aeroplane unit was formed in 1911. These walks will cover how aviation developed on Larkhill from 1909-1914 and how the British Expeditionary Force slowed von Kluck’s advance towards Paris. These walks aim to recreate the period with contemporary photographs, maps and include viewing the early hangars and crash sites.
Visit this grand house built on the site of a medieval priory this Easter holidays to help the property grow its own vegetables. Help the gardeners dig, sow and harvest, and learn more about the vital role the children played at harvest time during the Great War. You can also find out more about your own First World War ancestors with the help of volunteers and the ancestry stations. Read some of the poignant messages visitors to Nostell have left on the meadow wall in the Old Kitchen. The red poppies and white butterflies speak powerfully of the profound sacrifices made by so many during the First World War and you can remember your ancestors with a red poppy or a white butterfly on the commemorative wall.
WW1 Family History Day
Discover the fascinating war stories of the Winn family of Nostell Priory during this period. The First World War was a time of heroism, sacrifice and scandal for the family and you can discover their story at this treasured house just a few miles from Wakefield. You can also trace your own family’s First World War ancestors and remember them with a red poppy or white butterfly on the commemorative meadow wall.
‘Stamford Military Hospital’
Stamford Hospital ‘rules’.
During the First World War, this Georgian house, set in a magnificent deer park, was transformed into the Stamford Military Hospital from 1917 – 1919. It was a sanctuary from the trenches for 282 ‘Tommies’ – the rank and file soldiers who passed through its doors. To commemorate the centenary Dunham Massey has been transformed back into the Stamford Military Hospital and will, for the next two years, offer a unique opportunity to discover what life was like in a military hospital, the stories of soldiers who stayed there and the three remarkable women who ran the hospital .
Women and the Great War, 16 May, 7pm – 9pm
Explore an Elizabethan gem in the heart of industrial Lancashire this May. A fascinating presentation based on the new publication ‘Great War Fashion – Tales from the History Wardrobe’ by Lucy Adlington talks about the lives of women during the war, their stories and their clothes which will be on display. This exhibition is moving and amusing, with many anecdotes and a unique display of costumes and uniforms. Signed copies of the ‘Great War Fashion’ will also be available to purchase at this event which is part funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. Ticket price includes refreshments. Booking essential, all Tickets £5
‘Heroes of Adventure’
Visit this exhibition which explores Quarry Bank, one of Britain’s great industrial sites, throughout the First World War. Discover stories from the Greg family, the workers, the villagers of Styal, and the Mill itself. With photos, letters, and belongings from the Gregs and the workers, discover more about a story of hope, courage, loss and love.
‘World War One at Nymans’
Enjoy a wonderful day out at Nymans and discover the stories behind how the war affected the people who lived there.
This exhibition will tell the story of the people that called Nymans their home and how the War affected them. From Ludwig Messel who was deeply saddened by the conflict between the two nations he loved to the soldiers in the Buffs, trained by Ludwig’s son Leonard who was unable to join the soldiers on the front line because of his German ancestry. Find out about the letters Leonard received from those who saw combat and why his father Ludwig is said to have died from a broken heart from the conflict.