The Zebedee Troupers explore wartime disability

Three young people in war era clothing

Heritage Grants

CLEETHORPES, Yorkshire and The Humber
Zebedee Performing Arts CIC
£50000
For the Zebedee Troupers – Abled Not DISabled project, young people with disabilities discovered the role disabled people played during the two world wars.

The 20th century’s two world wars claimed millions of lives. They also left thousands changed by injury and amputations, "shell shock" (post-traumatic stress disorder) and gas-induced lung disease.

Specialist training enabled the Zebedee Troupers to research this history at Lincolnshire’s archives, libraries and museums. They also investigated their ancestors’ war experiences through online research and by interviewing family members and collating photographs.

Six young people salute
Zebedee Troupers stand to attention

“Soldiers and loved ones were injured and returned home as war heroes, which helped alter attitudes to how people were treated, and empathy for other people with disabilities grew." 

Caption from project film

The 11-25-year-olds drew inspiration from viewing several war-related plays and films before interpreting their research in dance, singing and acting workshops.

They showcased their findings to a wider audience by creating a photographic exhibition at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre and through a drama performance at Parkway Cinemas. They also recorded and starred in a documentary film shared on social media.

The project highlighted how the UK has changed in its care for people with disabilities since the First World War. It was led by Zebedee Performing Arts CIC in partnership with Friends of Cleethorpes Heritage and Lincs Inspire.