Young people in Bolton trace their roots back to Gallipoli

Young people in Bolton trace their roots back to Gallipoli

Bolton residents learning about the role local soldiers played in the Battle of Gallipoli

The project, based in Bolton, will focus on young people researching families who had relatives who lost their lives during the first two years of the First World War in the Gallipoli campaign, which cost the lives of thousands of British and Australian soldiers.

Helping to mark the Centenary of the First World War, this project will enable local young people in Bolton to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the soldiers who died in the Gallipoli campaign. In the first two years of the Great War, 800 soldiers from Bolton lost their lives.

The first task will be to identify those who were killed at Gallipoli, then the young people will research their lives before they joined up and, by tracing family descendants, the effect this had on families and the stories and memories that have been handed down. We want to preserve these by recording them on to CD and producing leaflets. With help from professionals, the information gathered will be digitally recorded and an online interactive archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information.

The project came about when one volunteer found an old Bolton newspaper dated 29 December 1916. It had in it 800 photographs of young men who had died in the war in the first two years, with their names and the streets where they lived. When it was shown to some of our young students, they were intrigued and wanted to know more. During the next 12 months, 20-30 young people will, with the help of a consultant, put together a worthy documented history to honour these young heroes.

Staff and volunteers at DBBC, said: ’We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting our project. These soldiers were so young and it is only right that today’s young people pay tribute to them.

Commenting on the award, Mrs Dorothy Martland MBE, founder and voluntary chief executive of DBBC, said: "We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and many young people in Bolton will be able to remember Bolton’s past heroes with pride."

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Head of HLF North West, Sara Hilton, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15million in projects – large and small - that are marking this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in DBBC’s Tracing Your Roots Back to Gallipoli to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Notes to editors

HLF-funded First World War projects include:

  • First World War Centenary Project, IWM London
    An HLF grant of £4.5m is transforming IWM London (part of Imperial War Museums) by creating new ground-breaking First World War Galleries
  • Flintham Society – Keeping the Home Fires Burning?
    Keep the Homes Fires Burning? is a community history project looking at the impact of the First World War on life in the Nottinghamshire village of Flintham
  • Tank Museum – Access all Areas, Dorset
    Holding the world’s finest tank and armoured vehicle collection, The Tank Museum is a popular visitor attraction in the heart of Dorset. HLF’s grant is being used to house 130 ‘at risk’ vehicles, putting the entire collection indoors for the first time

Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It will provide grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

UK Government Centenary plans

In June 2013, the Government set out its plans to mark the centenaries of the First World War commencing in 2014. These plans include a £35m refurbishment of the First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum (IWM); The Government’s principal partners in the commemorations will be the Heritage Lottery Fund and the IWM, but will encompass support for a multitude of other initiatives, large and small, as they come together in the months and years to come.

Further information

DBBC: Dorothy Martland MBE on 01204 373107, email:

HLF press office: Laura Bates on 020 7591 6027, email: