In February 2014, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £22, 500 under the Young Roots grant scheme for young people to explore and creatively interpret stories relating to Richmond during the First World War and stage their own public exhibition ‘In Their Footsteps: Richmond’s First World War’ at Orleans House Gallery.
This project saw young people launch the borough’s four-year commemoration of the First World War Centenary, inspiring local residents to share their First World War stories through hosting a public event and launching a borough wide initiative to capture and share this important heritage.
The exhibition opened on 4 August 2014, the day the UK entered the First World War a century before, and young people marked this occasion through a ‘Lights Out’ dance performance as part of the national ‘Lights Out’ initiative.
Young people took the lead on all aspects, from the initial project concept, planning research trips to staging a public exhibition. The young people visited different heritage sites, researched archives and online records, and met local historians and local residents to uncover real life local stories. This enabled them to directly engage with original artefacts and meet heritage specialists in exciting and new environments. The young people worked with photographer Othello De’Souza Hartley to then creatively interpret the rich but relatively undocumented First World War heritage they had researched.
Updated: 26 April 2017