Poole Grammar School History Research Group

“It was a sobering experience, yet one that left us enthused to continue the project” Thomas  Spiers, Poole Grammar School student.

Poole, the First World War and its Legacy is a project to build a website and alongside this a major aim is to engage the community to learn and discover more about their First World War heritage.

Throughout the project we want to work with local schools, community groups, church groups and the general public. We want to encourage research, explore local stories, promote the website and allow people to make a connection with this aspect of their heritage.

Poole Grammar School are one of the first schools to become involved with the project.  The History Research Group have visited Poole History Centre at Poole Museum on two occasions to experience hands on research using primary and secondary sources.

Here is an account of their visit from student Thomas Spiers:

The history research group at Poole Grammar School recently went on a visit to Poole History Centre to further investigate the war dead of 1914-18 that attended the school.  This being original research, we went open to the possibilities that the archive might present: we had little idea of how our work would proceed.  That said, with the help of several sources, including the internet genealogy database ancestry.com and the complete collection of the East Dorset Herald throughout the war, most were able to locate their subject and identify a line of enquiry.  However, the most rewarding part of the trip was the surprise of unexpected evidence and other records, such as photographs, which really brought home the personal ramifications of the research.  It was a sobering experience, yet one that left us enthused to continue the project.

Feedback from the students has been positive, showing that they value the chance to undertake original research.  For example, when asked- did you enjoy the session? One student responded “Very much, I found out more than I anticipated.”

This research into the lives of past Grammar School boys who went to war will be included on the new website.  Learning about boys from the same school who fought and died will potentially have an impact on today’s students.  This will ensure that the First World War remains within their collective consciousness.

Please contact us if you are a school, community group or individual interested in joining the project, researching Poole ancestors or memorials or just curious to find out more about the project: localhistory@poole.gov.uk / 01202 262621


First steps towards creating a Poole, the First World War and its Legacy website

This week, David Watkins, Local History Manager at Poole Museum, travelled to Cardiff to meet with Imaginet- the web design and development agency who will create the website for the project (David Watkins pictured centre with the Imaginet team)IMG_0003.JPG

The website will be an invaluable resource which will ensure that the First World War remains within the community consciousness.

We will tell the story of Poole, the First World War and its Legacy through a definitive roll of honour commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice, alongside a roll of service also telling the stories of those who returned.  We will relate places in Poole to the world- showing where Poole people served, worked in war industry and even how individual streets in Poole were affected.  Finally we hope to create a timeline, by  relating events in Poole to events worldwide, through the war years and the period of social change immediately after.

The trip to Imaginet was an initial kick off meeting to discuss our wish list and needs with the development team.  Imaginet have previously worked on the New Forest Remembers website, also funded by the Heritage Lottery 


We are very excited about developments and looking forward to the website progressing.  Of course once the website has been built that is just the beginning.  It will be an ongoing process for staff, volunteers and the local community to research and add information and stories.

Watch this space for more updates, ideas about how to get involved and events that we will hold to showcase and promote the project.



Poole Museum Honours the Sacrifice of the First World War

Poole Museum has been granted £50,600 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to launch a project on Poole, the First World War and its enduring legacy.
The project will see the creation of a brand new website which will provide resources on how the war affected all involved; from those who fought, and made munitions in the factories, to the nursed soldiers and fishing boats crews. The resources will touch upon all those in Poole.
The website will also chart the nature of post-war Poole, with stories from those who mourned the 1,000 Poole men who fell, the tales of returning servicemen, and memories of the women who had supported the war effort, but found they were no longer required at the end of the period. This was a time of enormous social change that helped to shape our modern society.
With support from volunteers, community partners including local schools, and local residents, the new website will be available for use from Spring 2017, and will continue to develop over time.
Members of the public have already started to bring in mementos of the war.
Michael Spender, Museum Manager, Borough of Poole, is delighted that Poole has received this grant. “Poole’s history during and after the First World War is an important part of our community story. We are very pleased to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable us to create a website that will help us remember and learn from the legacy of the War. We hope it will encourage more people to engage with Poole’s past and the town’s role during this critical period of history.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support this project which will record, for the first time, the heritage of the First World War in Poole and share a diverse range of perspectives on the lasting legacy it had for communities.”

More information about Poole’s First World War project can be obtained from Poole History Centre. Call 01202 262621/ 01202 262613, email localhistory@poole.gov.uk or tweet @WW1Poole

Image: Christmas card was sent to George Stokes by the Vicar of Hamworthy. George, a private in the Rifles Brigade, survived the war.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. http://www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported