Heritage Lottery Fund

Heritage Lottery Fund

Cheltenham College has received £9,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project, ‘Research and Exhibition: Old Cheltonians go to War; 3,540 served but 675 gave more’, in Cheltenham College. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on digitizing and preserving the 13 volumes of photographs of Old Cheltonians who died in the War, researching the stories of the 3,540 Old Cheltonians who served, and mounting an exhibition to tell those stories. 

As part of Cheltenham College’s centenary commemorations for the First World War, the Archive and History Departments will lead this research project. The College Archive is a largely unknown resource of both local and national importance waiting to be unlocked and the digitized photographs will form the basis for Key Stage 3 curriculum resources. Pupils and community volunteers will then research the Old Cheltonians who served, gathering anecdotes and documents that will be preserved in the College Archives for future generations. The research will culminate in a public exhibition in November 2015 which will tell some of the fascinating stories discovered - stories of both local and national interest.  There will also be leaflets, a guide, talks for visiting schools and groups, and QR codes linking to further information. It is also hoped to publish a ‘real time’ daily blog featuring entries from an Old Cheltonian’s war diary, and to stage a public musical performance featuring memories of the conflict. 



The project will provide a wide range of opportunities for volunteers and project leaders are looking for more people to help. Much of the research can be done at home, so anyone who would like to help should contact: c.leighton@cheltenhamcollege.org.

Commenting on the award, Jo Doidge-Harrison (Head of History) said: “The support from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be of immense help in putting faces to those who served. The human connection across one hundred years is made immeasurably more tangible when one looks at the albums, which are now not really in a condition for the level of handling and wider access that digitisation will allow. When the Old Boys’ faces are then in addition put to the names History staff and pupils are in the process of identifying on headstones and memorials across the Western Front, the poignancy of the College’s sacrifice, within a national and imperial context, becomes ever more real.”

Commenting on the grant award Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, 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 £57million in projects – large and small – that are marking this global Centenary; with our small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved at Cheltenham College to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

For further information regarding Centenary events, please click here

About the Heritage Lottery Fund 
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 36,000 projects with over  £6 bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. 

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