This heritage project focuses on the hidden and unrecognised histories and stories of the Black, Asian and ethnic minorities’ involvement in the First World War, from a regional perspective. The focus will be on identifying, researching, and disseminating the primary evidence that will be found by volunteers from these communities in order to create a fuller representation and story of the involvement of people from
the colonies in the Great War.
This would consequently root these minority communities further into the region
as well as British history itself. Through the sharing of histories, not only will these lives and their contribution be given value and recognition, but these communities can gain a sense of ownership, a sense of belonging, from these new stories.
This is a valuable heritage project because it not only aims to unearth new stories but
because culturally diverse people will be involved in the research and dissemination of this new found knowledge. There is the potential for new skills and knowledge to be learned at the same time as attitudes and behaviours being changed.
People might not be directly connected to these stories in a personal way but
there will still be a sense of connection to the story through being part of a shared community.
We live in a culturally diverse country; young ethnic minority children, as well as white children, should be told about their history, about their ancestors contribution to British history. This has the potential to captivate the next generation by experiencing those stories anchored in facts.
This is a valuable project at this time because the actual individuals who were involved in the First World War are no longer with us, but we have the opportunity to capture the stories and memories of their relations, their families, while there is still a primary connection to this first generation. The time to capture this living
history is now, before it slips out of our grasp. The evidence is there, but few people have actively worked to discover this rich seam of heritage and history until now.