Gresham’s School in Norfolk has recently been awarded £10,000 through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) ‘First World War : Then & Now’ programme to create a dedicated website as part of its commemorations for the Centenary of the First World War. This award will enable the School to provide an interactive website devoted to the 110 pupils and three staff who lost their lives, with profiles and supporting documentary evidence, plus a database of information on the 500 from the School who served. They will also be able to carry out essential conservation work on important sources, such as the roll of honour and photograph albums, to make sure they are available for future generations.
The School Archive is a fantastic resource for historians of all ages to study the conflict, including letters from the front and obituaries published in the Gresham Magazine, as well as photograph albums, a vellum roll of honour, home front accounts, and biographical material donated by family members. Thanks to a project developed with Charterhouse, Year 9 pupils are fortunate in being able to use the collection to enrich their WWI history lessons, and Gresham’s would like to extend this opportunity to pupils in other schools. The new website will provide digitally recorded materials which will give access to schoolchildren, historians, people researching their family histories, and the local community to study the conflict and its impact on the School. Pupils will be involved in researching information for the website and members of the public will be invited to contribute their own family photographs and documents to add to our knowledge.
In conjunction with Holt Library, Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Regimental Museum, Gresham’s will be taking part in a family history day on 5th May. This will be a great opportunity for local people to use online and written records to find out about their WWI military ancestors with help from professionals. There will also be an opportunity to visit the School Archives and to see some of our WWI collection in the afternoon.
Liz Larby, Gresham’s School Archivist