• James Parry

YLJ teams up with Northumbria University World War I research project


PHOTO COURTESY ROSIE WINNAL

Spearheading the project at Northumbria University is Dr. James McConnel, who says he welcomes the participation of Your Local Journal in his 12-month research campaign.

Calling all Geordies whose families immigrated to our region from the North-East of England prior to World War I. If someone in your family served during that 'war to end all wars' from 1914 to 1918 in whatever capacity, Your Local Journal would love to hear from you.

Why? Because in support of an exciting global 12-month project titled Dominion Geordies in World War One just launched by Northumbria University in Newcastle and supported by the Living Legacies First World War Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, we are hoping to learn more about the fascinating lives of these service men and women who could well be featured in a film and a number of research papers to be produced by the university next year.

Explains Dr. James McConnel, History Lecturer at Northumbria University, “The first stage of the project will involve collecting information that will help us build a comprehensive and fascinating insight into the stories of so many of the local men and women of the North-East who, having left their native land in the three decades or so before the war, found themselves volunteering to return and fight for the homeland in the campaigns of the war across the world. By better understanding their complex identities, we hope to get a clearer picture of a fascinating aspect of the First World War that has been almost completely forgotten."

The research, he adds, will consider not only individual ‘migration histories' like these, but also the way that individuals and communities saw their own identities as Geordies and Britons, and also as Canadians, Australians, or New Zealanders.

Informed that the names of 121 men who left our local community to serve overseas during World War I are listed on a plaque in the entrance to the Hudson War Memorial Library – 25 of them never to return – McConnel, told YLJ yesterday, “I very much welcome the interest shown by your newspaper in the project. Hudson’s contribution to the First World War was obviously a significant one and since something like 60 percent of those from the North-East who served in the Dominion armies we’re researching were in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, there’s a good chance we might find one of our Geordies among them.”

To learn more about the project, go to http://dominiongeordiesinww1.co.uk/. Here at Your Local Journal, contact editor@yourlocaljournal.ca.To see more historical WW I photos submitted by Hudsonite Peter Stephenson see our Facebook page.

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