Communities asked to share their family wartime memories

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Published Date: 

1 May 2014 - 14:56

Argyll and Bute Council is calling for community support in pulling together an extensive and unique series of exhibitions about World War 1. The project is part of the council’s commitment to commemorating the Great War with a series of events in partnership with communities, individuals and organisations.

During the next four years – mirroring the period of the Great War - the libraries and information service will collect material relating to local people and communities affected by the war. The memorabilia collected will form a comprehensive record of the impact of the war on the people and communities of Argyll and Bute.

There are two main areas where the public may be able to help: we are looking for volunteers who are willing to devote time to collect and research information from local war memorials, rolls of honour and wartime services such as auxiliary hospitals. Volunteers are essential to the success of this major project.

In addition to this vital research, the council needs help from people who are willing to share family photographs, stories, diaries, medals, documents and other memorabilia. Memories, too, of homecomings would be important. There should be no concerns or worries about these items being given permanently - originals will be scanned or photographed and returned.

The type of information, collated and presented, will help to decide the content of a series of exhibitions to feature in libraries until 2018.

Included in these will be an exhibition about the Hermitage House Auxiliary Hospital in Helensburgh Library in October 2014 marking the centenary of its opening.

An exhibition about the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (8th battalion) will visit main branch libraries during 2015.

Plans are also in place to prepare an exhibition about the sinking of the troopship HMS Otranto off Islay, with the loss of 431 lives, to mark the anniversary in 2018.

Please come forward if you feel you are able to help in any way, by talking in the first instance to staff at your local library. Alternatively, please contact information and local studies librarian Eleanor McKay at library headquarters in Dunoon – telephone 01369 708663 or email