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Friday, September 05, 2014

We're asking local people to tell their stories about World War One to mark the 100th anniversary

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One and Council staff want to hear stories about local people who fought on the battlefields and life on the home front.

West Lancashire Borough Council’s Housing and Regeneration Service is working on its annual report detailing how the service has achieved its targets over the last year. The publication will be packed full of news and information for tenants on a range of projects and support available to them.

To commemorate the anniversary of the start of the Great War, the publication will contain information and stories about West Lancashire and the war.

The First World War made a big impact on communities across West Lancashire and across the whole of the UK as men left their families to take up arms. Regiments were formed made up of local men including 2/5th Lancashire Fusliers 164 Bde and 55th West Lancashire Division. Lathom Park became a Remount depot used to train 210,800  horses for active service on the frontline  battle after they had been shipped to Liverpool from America, Canada and Ireland. Many men who enlisted at Lathom Park retrained for the infantry, and a  total of 5,649 men who passed out through the depot served on the Western Front.

The Great War saw the emergence of the first real Home Front in British history supporting the Army and the Navy. The war also had a huge impact on the lives of women, who prior to 1914, were most commonly employed as domestic servants. They joined the Women’s Land Army to provide a workforce to run the farms, while nurses tended the wounded at the front line. Suffragists and suffragettes suspended their campaigns for the vote to support the war.

Councillor Jane Houlgrave, portfolio holder for Landlord Services, said: “There were many local men who fought in World War One. But the role played by men and women who remained at home and worked in every aspect of life from farming to transport was also very important. We want to hear stories or information about West Lancs men in the trenches and local life on the home front during 1914-1918.”

Councillor Andrew Fowler, portfolio holder for Housing (Finance), Regeneration and Estates, said: “The war had a huge impact on family life and we want to hear people’s stories about that. If anyone has any World War One artefacts handed down from generation to generation we would love to see them.”

If you have local family memories or mementos from the First World War that you would like to share please get in touch with Pamela Holstein, Communications & Digital Inclusion Officer, West Lancashire Borough Council Housing and Regeneration Service, Elson House, 49-51 Westgate, Sandy Lane Centre, Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, WN8 8LP. Or you can email tenantparticipation@westlancs.gov.uk.

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