War project seeks ‘citizen historians’

Project to research the lives and wartime service of ‘Geordies’

A global project has been launched which will research the lives and wartime service of ‘Geordies’ – from the North-East of England – in the armies of Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Canada during the First World War.

Dominion Geordies in World War One – funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council – will seek to ‘crowdsource’ research by recruiting volunteer researchers in Canada and overseas.

“The first stage of the project will involve collecting information that will help us build a comprehensive and fascinating insight into the stories of so many of the local men and women of the North East who, having left their native land in the three decades or so before the war, found themselves volunteering to return and fight for the homeland in the campaigns of the war across the world,” explained Dr. James McConnel, history lecturer at Northumberland University, where the project is based. “By better understanding their complex identities, we hope to get a clearer picture of a fascinating aspect of the First World War that has been almost completely forgotten.”

Take, for example, George Burdon McKean. Originally from Willington, County Durham, he was a student at the University of Alberta when the war broke out and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Military Medal and, after he was commissioned as an officer, the Military Cross – making him one of only a handful of people who have won all three and survived the war.

The research will consider not only individual ‘migration histories’ like these, but also the way that individuals and communities saw their own identities – as ‘Geordies’ and Britons, but also Australians, Canadians, or New Zealanders.

The information for the database will be gathered by ‘citizen historians’ and the 12-month project is open to anyone – all you need is an interest in the First World War.

 

Using this information, the project organizers plan to produce a short film and write a number of research papers in order to profile the men of the North-East who fought in the armies of the Dominions.

 

“It will be an interesting and challenging project to work on,” said McConnel. “We want to get as many people as possible involved – from experienced researchers to first-time historians. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to research the lost stories of these service men and women’s lives and to work with other researchers across the world.

“We are confident that anyone who can take the time to learn just a little about the scale and impact of the war will be encouraged to play a part in the project.”

To volunteer to be part of the ‘Dominion Geordies in World War One’ project or for more information, please visit http://dominiongeordiesinww1.co.uk/ or contact james.mcconnel@northumbria.ac.uk

 

Just Posted

Looking for crafters for the Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair in Courtenay

Calling all youth crafters and entrepreneurs! The Gnarly Little Spring Craft Fair… Continue reading

Courtenay supports church renos, lunch program

Council approves $25,000 request from St. George’s United

The Hub Organ Trio coming to Courtenay

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society features an amazing trio at the Avalanche… Continue reading

YANA a blessing for Michaela, Harley, and Baby Violet

Comox Valley association a pillar of the community

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Kickers beat Meralomas in quarter-final

The Comox Valley Kickers women’s rugby team defeated the Vancouver Meralomas 56-5… Continue reading

Most Read