Did you know there was a huge First World War training camp at Shoreham-by-Sea? The team at Worthing Museum and Shoreham have looked for clues and thanks to a £38,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Worthing College students and older volunteers will learn more and show their findings in 2015.
Jason Lee, Film Studies and Creative Media Production Teacher from Worthing College ,said: “This Heritage Lottery Fund supported project is an exciting way of creating partnerships between Worthing College and museums and archives in Sussex and also creating links with our students and older volunteers.
“On a more personal level for the students it is a way to discover and appreciate the events of the First World War in a local and international context.”
Students and volunteers will be trained in archive research, mapping and oral history and visit archives that contain more forgotten clues about the Shoreham Army Camp such as entertainment and mutiny.
In the autumn of 1914 over 20,000 recruits at first lived in tents, then later wooden huts in the area surrounding Buckingham Park and Slonk Hill overlooking Shoreham. Life was very tough for the new recruits who came from all over Britain. By 1916 the British recruits were replaced by Canadian soldiers many who were recovering from trench warfare.
A touring exhibition and film of the findings starts at Worthing Museum in April 2015. Worthing Museum and Worthing College will work with volunteers at Shoreham Fort, Royal Alexandra Hospital Home, Royal British Legion, Archaeology South East and local residents.
Worthing Cabinet Member for Customer Services Cllr Mary Lermitte is excited by the project.
Cllr Lermitte said: “Congratulations to the Worthing Museum staff for successfully bidding for the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. I did not know the Shoreham Army Camp existed until quite recently and I really look forward to knowing more about it.”
Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, says:“The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. In this Centenary year we’re pleased to support groups like Worthing Museum who, through this project, will enable the local community to explore their wartime stories and help to build a lasting physical legacy for generations to come.”