Friday, 22 November 2013

Lest we forget

Next year will see the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, a conflict which is rightly seen as one of the defining moments of modern history. What has come to be called the Long Nineteenth Century came to a cataclysmic end which, it’s probably true to say, changed everything about western civilisation. It’s right that the conflict is commemorated nationally, regionally and locally.

Hull has its own First World War history. Many of the themes will be familiar, including the sacrifice of the Hull Pals, the Zeppelin raids and the anti-German riots. However the stories of the local people whose lives were changed by the war are less well known.

Detail from scrapbook (Ref C DIAH/1) with the report
from 2 June 1916 that J. Hirst was wounded
Here at the History Centre we hold some records about the activities of local people and organisations during the war. But we are aware that these don’t come near to telling the full story. For instance the remarkable scrapbook which City Architect Joseph Hirst assembled, of news cuttings and other documents relating to his son Captain Joseph Hirst of the East Yorkshire Regiment, tells only one story among many.

In the run-up to the start of the commemoration, we’re hoping that people with archival material relating to ancestors who served in the First World War might consider depositing them with us, so that they can be preserved and made accessible for future generations. 

‘Lest We Forget’ is not just a reminder of remembrance on a war memorial. It is also the best reason I can think of for preserving the records of the ordinary people of Hull who fought in that terrible conflict.

If you do have material that you would like to deposit with us please contact us.

Martin Taylor
City Archivist

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments and feedback welcomed....