Today, Cheltenham Civic Society has received a National Lottery grant of £9800 for a First World War memorials project in Cheltenham. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on conserving 23 wooden battlefield crosses currently located in Bouncers Lane Cemetery.
The grant from the Fund will cover the cost of having the crosses professionally conserved by Artefacts Conservation Services. As well as input from the Civic Society, significant preparation has already made by the student team at Pittville School, led by history teacher Hannah Taylor, and supported by local historian and expert on WW1, Neela Mann.”
The pupils will study the importance of conserving heritage items and how this is carried out; then research the individuals named on the crosses, their lives before the war, the Regiments they joined, which battles they fought in and how they died.
The project will be completed by November when the centenary of the 1918 Armistice is commemorated, when exhibitions will be held in the School and at the Parmoor House home of the Civic Society. A booklet will be published by the school, a website will be created and learning materials will be put online for other schools to use as teaching resources.
All of the information found as part of the project will be digitally recorded and an online archive will be created where the wider public can have access to it.
Speaking about the news, Freddie Gick, WWI Project Lead for the Civic Society said ‘I’m thrilled that we’ve received this award, not only so that we can save these vitally important vulnerable memorials to men from Gloucestershire who gave their lives 100 years ago, but also because a current generation of pupils will learn so much from their work on the project and make their findings widely available to inform and inspire others of their generation’.