How The First World War came to Wymondham

How The First World War came to Wymondham

With the help of a £30,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) their investigations coincide with the approaching centenary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Young people attending the 12 Wymondham Cluster schools will research aspects of the war and their discoveries will be used to create an original drama production, written accounts, artwork, a documentary, dance, choral music and a country fayre as well as a film of the project.

Pupils from each school – which includes infant, primary, junior and high schools – will be exploring the stories of local families to see how the conflict affected them by looking at the men that went to fight in the trenches and the women and children that were left behind on the Home Front. There will be visits to the Norfolk Records Office, the Wymondham Town Archive and the Heritage Museum to gather information.

The young history detectives will work with a professional journalist and scriptwriter, a theatre director with a national reputation and a TV documentary producer to turn the facts they discover into drama and film. The older children will also be involved in costume and set design.

All the children’s work will then feature in The Great War Festival Day due to be held on 5 July 2014 to commemorate 100 years since the war began. The event will take place at the Regal Cinema in Wymondham. Parts of the project will then tour to Wymondham Heritage Museum and Wymondham Library. The whole festival will then move to the Forum in Norwich on 13 July and stay for a week.

All of the schools taking part, as well as local libraries, will be given copies of the film and a specially produced book detailing the project.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for hundreds of children and their families to discover how local lives and villages were affected by this worldwide conflict. Working with their local museum and archives will make it possible for people to share in these fascinating and often poignant stories.”

Anna Brett, project coordinator for Wymondham Cluster Schools said “This is an amazing learning opportunity for children of all ages in the Wymondham Cluster. They will be working together, not only across schools but also with their local community. This is the most wide ranging project the Cluster has ever attempted and we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing the means to do it.”

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the younger generations in our community to get a better understanding of the sacrifices made by local people in the Great War to protect our way of life.”

Notes to editors

The 12 Wymondham Cluster Schools are:

  • Ashleigh Infant School
  • Barford Primary School
  • Barnham Broom Primary School
  • Browick Road Infant School
  • Morley CofE VA Primary School
  • Robert Kett Junior School
  • Spooner Row Primary School
  • Tacolneston Primary School
  • Wicklewood Primary School
  • Wreningham Primary School
  • Wymondham College
  • Wymondham High Academy Trust

For further information:

HLF press office: Vicky Wilford on 020 7591 6046 / 07973 401 937, email or Phil Cooper on 07889 949 173.

Wymondham Cluster Schools: Sally-Anne Lomas on: 07769 229 668.