Children of The Great War

A London-wide Age Exchange project that told and recorded memories and experiences of the First World War passed down through families and across communities

COTGW Installation Panel“Children of The Great War” was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and centred on the Home Front and how family and community life was directly affected by the war, through participation in it, the loss and trauma families experienced at the time, and the effect it had on subsequent generations.

Age Exchange worked with many partner organisations across London to record and share family histories from a diverse range of communities. Partners included museums, theatres, football clubs, hospice care and residential care, and schools. Project activities included reminiscence projects, intergenerational workshops, filming and recording of group and individual interviews, including exploring the theme through sharing personal heritage. There were also open days in eight London Boroughs which enabled the public to contribute family history, images and text to the Europeana 1914-18 international archive. Age Exchange has also integrated the collected memories into a touring exhibition and film installation together with a major intergenerational theatre production.

For in depth information on this project, please visit www.childrenofthegreatwar.org.uk

The project resulted in various creative outputs including:

An intergenerational theatre production devised from the personal family histories of the War shared and recorded during the project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjIJ-Cqj6wE

Short 8 minute documentary behind the scenes of the theatre production:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZECbPnaV_AY

A unique split screen film installation focusing on 13 of the participants who shared their family history from The Great War. The installation toured galleries, museums, and community centres, after its premiere at BFI Southbank:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2VlEZE4bx8

As part of the project Age Exchange worked closely with the University of Oxford, who supported open days across COTGW Intergenerational George Mitchell 2London where the public came to share its family history from The Great War. In concluding the project Age Exchange passed interviews and digitised artefacts with and from the public to www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en as a permanent archive. To find the histories recorded by Age Exchange click on the link and write Age Exchange in the search box.

For information on our follow-on project, ‘Meeting in No Man’s Land’, please visit the project site.