The project aims to reconnect people of West Indian and African origin with the role their forebears played in the First World War in order to allow them a sense of ownership of the war that many may have felt they lacked.
We aim to achieve this through an oral history project where we hope to interview people of West Indian and African origin who can recall their parents or grandparents telling them about their experiences in the war, using a team of trained volunteers. We will also be searching archives for additional information, but our emphasis will be on gathering first-hand information which may not have been published before, adding the important, but so far missing, aspect of personal experiences to the existing published material.
We are actively seeking people whose parents or grandparents may have fought in the war and who are prepared to volunteer information about their experiences. We aim to create an archive of this information, which can be made available for generations to come.
We believe it is also important to present information gathered by the project in forms which are accessible and easily understood, so will also be publishing books and pamphlets, presenting public displays and talks, and producing a DVD and internet resources. We also hope to organise an exhibition which some of our interviewees may wish to participate in.
The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is due to run until July 2016.