Help St Michael & All Angels Tell The Stories Of Locals Who Died In WW1

The church needs information on those commemorated on its three memorials


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St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, is seeking the public’s help to tell the stories of the 118 men and one woman commemorated on its three World War 1 memorials.

Following months of research by its own assistant archivist David Beresford, it is inviting volunteers to help extend the research; produce exhibition material and artwork; and provide computer skills to develop its schools interactive teaching modules.

The church has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its project “Honouring the lives lost in WW1 from St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, and Bedford Park”.

Violet Long, who lived in Abinger Road, London W4, and conducted first aid courses in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall, became the Deputy Chief Controller of Queen Mary’s Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. She was drowned while on duty on an Armed Ambulance Transport Ship, Warilda, when it was torpedoed off Selsey Bill.

Her story – and those of 118 others from Bedford Park - will be shared with those in the community today, through presentations and exhibitions at St Michael & All Angels and in local schools, where pupils will be able to undertake their own research ideas.

The project will be funded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, instigated to mark the Centenary of the First World War. It will draw on parish and local archives, newspaper reports, on-line source material and, where possible, interviews with relatives and their collections of contemporary artefacts.

Fr Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael & All Angels, one of whose predecessors lost two sons in the war, said “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to extend our research and help bring these remarkable stories to a wider audience.

“We invite all those with expertise in relevant fields to help us make this project truly inspiring for younger generations, as it develops over the next two years.”

The first exhibition will be held in St Michael & All Angels Church in the first week of November, leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching every corner of the UK. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £58million in projects – large and small - that are marking this Centenary. Our small grants programme is enabling even more communities like those involved in the project at St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, 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.”


September 12, 2014

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