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Ilkley Grammar pupils' appeal for memorabilia from the First World War
9:16am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
The centenary of First World War is to be commemorated in Ilkley and local residents are being asked to contribute information and memorabilia.
They will be included in an upcoming exhibition that will mark 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.
Ilkley Library and Ilkley Grammar School are working together on the project. They will gather information and individual stories of men and women to honour those who fought in the conflict and lost their lives and loved ones.
The project will also build up a greater understanding of life in the Ilkley district during the First World War.
The exhibition will go on display at different locations in the town including the library, Grammar School and White Wells cafe from August 2014.
Grammar School history teacher Jeffrey Pancott, who each year leads a group of Year Nine pupils on a week-long trip to visit wargraves and battlefields, taking in Ypres and the Somme, is particularly interested to find out more about former school pupils who either died in the First World War or those who lived through it and what they went on to achieve, through items such as letters they sent home or photos.
Mr Pancott said he hoped people who could help would contact him via Ilkley Grammar School.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s executive member responsible for culture, said: “It is important that we mark the centenary of the start of World War One and remember the sacrifices made by local men and women. I hope that people will be able to come forward with information and memorabilia to make this upcoming exhibition a great success.”
Like many towns, Ilkley adapted to the changing circumstances brought about by the First World War as local boys and men signed up and those at home worked to support the war effort. The first party of Belgian refugees arrived in Ilkley in September 1914 and many attended local schools.
The Holmes Fields had been home to army training camps for many years before the outbreak of war and military processions marching through the town’s streets were a familiar sight. The Drill Hall had opened in November 1911 and served the town through both the First and the Second World Wars. In addition, fundraising campaigns were organised and the Convalescent Home on The Grove was converted into a Military Hospital.
Anyone who has any information or memorabilia to contribute to the exhibition is encouraged to contact Caroline Brown, Bradford Council’s Heritage Outreach Officer, at Ilkley Library on (01943) 436225.