Friday, 12 September 2014

Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers - Project Update

I am very pleased to tell you that our bid for the second stage of the First World War Project - 'Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers' - has been delivered to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We expect to have a decision very early in 2015 and will then be able to start on this ambitious and exciting project.

Over the last few months our consultant has been engaged in consultations with a wide range of different groups. We are really pleased to say that the reaction has been almost unanimous; the proposed project is a great idea and an appropriate way to reflect on and commemorate the Great War. This support from communities across the County is hugely encouraging and we have already been receiving requests to register as a volunteer and other offers of support.

We have developed a structure for the planned website and have a working model for the searchable database which will contain all the information about the people who have a Great War connection with Surrey. The database is linked in to the county's Historic Environment Record so war memorials will be flagged up on any planning applications taking place in the local area. We have been working closely with colleagues in East and West Sussex to develop systems that use the same underlying principles so that data can be exchanged quickly and easily. We have also continued discussions with the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War team and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with a view to creating automated links with their data.

A new element in the planned project is the digitisation and indexing of a range of Surrey newspapers from the 1914-22 period. A great resource for anyone researching Surrey in the Great War period.

We will continue to keep you informed about project developments. If you know of anyone doing research about Surrey in the Great War and you think they may not be on our mailing list please ask them to contact the Surrey Heritage team at Surrey History Centre. We will then ensure that they are contacted and consulted once the project starts.

Many thanks to all of you who have already contributed ideas, research material and comments on the planned project.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail, call or write to us.


Phil Cooper
Exploring Surrey's Past Officer

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