Local Community Group brought together by Corsham Town Council, which comprised of organisations interested in commemorating local involvement and contribution towards the national war effort during the First World War. Groups included the Royal British Legion, RAFA, Cadets, Civic Society, Church, Schools and the local Arts Centre who, together with the Town Council, aimed to share research effort and coordinate local commemorative events. The major Project focus was driven by the names of the soldiers who had died during the conflict and were inscribed on the Corsham War Memorial, together with a War Records Book produced in 1921 that named all Corsham residents who had served during the war. A plaque in the Town Hall also recorded the use of the building as a Red Cross Hospital between 1914 and 1919. The project that developed involved researching the personal histories of the men and families of those that died and the details of the hospital together with the nurses and local people that supported it. Research was undertaken on a voluntary basis. Commemorative events were organised and sponsored by the Town Council including a large exhibition which recreated the Red Cross Hospital and told the story of how the Town and its residents went 'Above and Beyond' to support the hospital and its staff. Further events were organised to recreate the local Recruiting Office and to mark the site of extensive trench digging practice by hosted Royal Scots Guards. Corsham Town Council provided funding for events and coordinated a Heritage Lottery funding application which was successfully gained to produce and publish a commemorative book to bring together the research and stories of the local men that died, to renovate and return a wooden war memorial originally sited at the local Church and to research and exhibit details of local women who served during the war. All of this information is now available on the Corsham Town Council website. www.corsham.gov.uk. The project brought together an organising committee of about 15 people and engaged with school children and arts groups in multiple projects and successfully brought details of the Corsham war history to the whole Town through social media and exhibitions. It was a special project to be part of and it leaves a legacy and an appreciation of the Town's history to be enjoyed for years and generations to come.
'Corsham Commemorates' Project
South West England
Focus and Research
Resources used for research
Archive material and advice from the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Corsham library and local books of reference particulary the 1921 publication of the Corsham War Records Ancestry.co.uk genealogy site (used extensively for searches relating to the personal history of soldiers and their families) Wiltshiresoldiers.co.uk (local website with details of soldiers named on county war memorials) CWGC website cwgc.org (for their excellent cemetery and burial information) Corsham Postcards (local source of postcards and history relating to the history of the Town)