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Stamford Branch

Stamford WW1 Centenary Commemoration Programme

WW12014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War and plans are being put in place for Stamford to commemorate this anniversary. A project group, led by Stamford Town Council, has been set up with the close support of the Stamford Branch of the Royal British Legion and Ms Sam Roddan, of Stamford-based Art Pop-Up, who is the Programme Director.

The group is working with a wide range of volunteers, drawn from the Royal British Legion, other organisations and individual helpers to deliver an ambitious four-year programme to:
1. Mark the centenary of World War One with a series of projects and events to raise awareness raise awareness of this significant period of history with children and young people
2. Illustrate the impact of the war on Stamford, its people, businesses and commerce, and in other ways
3. Build a fitting and lasting legacy to honour the response to the nation’s call to arms through the creation of an online database of events and deeds of the times and the collation of a Commemorative Book that will be added to throughout the four years to provide a long lasting record of this important event.

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Research

Volunteers are researching the local heritage surrounding the outbreak of the war, investigating over 24 archives and sources such as local newspapers, Town Hall, hospital and school archives.

The local community has responded to a series of roadshows in Stamford in February 2014 to share a wealth of artefacts, photos and documents relating to their families’ experiences of World War 1 and its impact on their life in the Stamford area during the war years.

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This research is an ongoing process and organisers are keen to involve as many people from local community as possible. They invite all volunteers to assist in any and all aspects of the project.

Launch Project 2014

The first stage of these centenary commemorations will deal with the events of 1914, identifying, exploring and recording how the community was involved in and affected by the initial war period.

An education programme, based on the research project findings, will take place from 14 July to 4 August.. An artist will create an installation to collage local schools' and social groups' work together with their own illustrations of the stories uncovered. This installation in the town centre will be open from 14 July to 4 August when the public can explore the local WW1 heritage. Performances, activities and events open to the whole community – social group meetings, Brownies, Cubs etc - will also be hosted there.

The launch event itself will take place on Monday, 4 August, 100years to the day after the British ultimatum to Germany. It will take the form of a small, open-air programme of music, poetry, reading, dance etc on the roadway in front of the War Memorial in Broad Street, Stamford. The tone will be solemn and reflective and form two parts - a part aimed at children and young people and a more adult second half. Local community groups are also invited to stage their own presentations before the event.

Future events

A series of plaques, each of which will commemorate the centenary of a WWI battle or major action involving the then Lincolnshire Regiment. The plaques, upto about 120, will each carry the name and date of a battle and will be fixed, as the centenaries of the battles roll by, to the railings around the War Memorial. Over the four years they will accumulate, giving some impression of the mounting sacrifice year by year during the Great War. After the centenary of the Armistice, we shall remove them and use them to create an obelisk of plaques which, if we get permission, we hope to install as a permanent commemoration in the niche below the steps on the War Memorial.

The project group are also in contact with Stamford AFC and RAF Wittering on a possible recreation of the football match which took place between British and German troops during spontaneous Christmas Truce 1914.

Contact us

If you would like to take an active role in this programme – as a researcher, events organiser – or have any artefacts or family memories and stories to share, please contact any of the following:

Ms Sam Roddan, Programme Director – Tel: 07771 788 098; E-mail: samroddan@artpopup.co.uk

Cllr Max Sawyer, Stamford Town Council - Tel: 01780 765507; E-mail: maxsawyer51@btinternet.com

Mr Steve Bonde, Stamford Royal British Legion – Tel: 01780 757041; E-mail: srbonde@hotmail.com

General enquiries to:
Stamford Town Hall on 01780 753808
or email ww1@artpopup.co.uk

Alternatively, head to the website for more details or follow the Programme on Twitter and Facebook.

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