Share your family’s history of the First World War

Residents are being encouraged to share the stories of their family’s experiences during the First World War.

Merton Heritage Service is holding an event to gather information and digitise photographs and artefacts about Merton residents who fought for their country during the Great War. Historians also want to find out more about what life was like in Merton between 1914 and 1918.

At the free event in Morden Library on Saturday between 11am and 4pm there will be exhibitions including a display about Merton combatants at the Battle of the Somme. Visitors will be able to handle wartime objects and historic documents and watch filmed interviews from the archives about the war stories of Merton families.

Other highlights of the day will include:

  • 11am-2pm – screenings of the documentary Meeting in No Man’s Land
  • 2pm – A talk called Unsung Heroes: Black and Asian Troops in World War One.
  • 15pm – A talk entitled In Their Own Words: Readings from memoirs of the Great War

The event is part of the Carved in Stone Project which is uncovering the life stories of people commemorated on war memorials and gravestones across the borough. The project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is also recording people’s experiences of life on the Home Front in Merton.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Culture, Councillor Nick Draper said: “It’s a real privilege to share a borough with volunteers and council officers who bring Merton’s past to life so brilliantly. It’s important to preserve the memory of our wartime generations, not only to honour their sacrifice but also to create educational resources and archives for the benefit of current and future students of all ages.

“We are keen to collect information about those who fought for their country and war workers from the Merton area as well as hear the family memories of current Merton residents, whose relatives may have travelled from other parts of the world to fight or support the war effort. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who may have stories or memorabilia to share.”

For more information, visit the Carved in Stone website.