Support for Derbyshire folk commemorating First World War

Residents are being offered support to stage their own First World War events as part of a Derbyshire County Council project to commemorate the conflict.

The council has been given £84,600 Heritage Lottery Funding to set up Derbyshire Lives in the First World War to support events across the county.

The council says the money will pay for a project manager to work with local community groups, help provide information and advice about staging events and offer groups help to find sources of financial support.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Ellie Wilcox said: “We know that many local history and other community groups have plans to commemorate how the First World War affected Derbyshire and its people and want to help them mark this important anniversary.

“We’re keen to hear from as many residents as possible because their input will help to make this a fascinating project for sharing stories and experiences throughout the county.

“We were delighted to receive Heritage Lottery Funding for this project to recognise the part Derbyshire played in the war and help us make a meaningful contribution to the national commemoration of the First World War Centenary.”

The council has appointed Derbyshire born and bred museum and history expert Glynn Wilton as project manager to co-ordinate Derbyshire’s commemorations.

Glynn (52), of Horsley Woodhouse, said: “The harrowing tales of the trenches are perhaps well known – but what about those people who were left at home? There are many hidden histories around the county such as Derbyshire lead being used for bullets and Derbyshire stone being used for headstones.

“Our mills made underwear and camouflage netting, Chesterfield pottery made jars for rum rations and Belper River Gardens were turned into allotments and also used for bomb throwing practise.

“The county has many fascinating stories and I want to hear from community groups who are already working to commemorate the war and those who are looking for ideas and support.”

Glynn will help groups find sources of funding, advice and information most relevant to their project.

He can also advise on funding applications, how to create effective exhibitions, how best to deal with historic material and point people in the right direction for the libraries and museums best able to help with specific projects.

Glynn will be based at the county council-run Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock which offers a wealth of information including digitised versions of many First World War records.

Derbyshire Lives in The First World War will run for two years. ending in a travelling exhibition that will visit various locations across the county bringing together all the various stories.

Residents can contact Glynn at Derbyshire Record Office, New Street, Matlock, DE4 3FE, call him on 01629 539217 or email