Leeds Stories of the Great War

The ‘Leeds Stories of the Great War’ project involved six research groups exploring different aspects of the war in Leeds.

On 28 March 2014 we held a celebratory event at the Tetley sharing the findings of the different groups. Some groups wrote leaflets and websites, others produced performances or films. You’ll find links to these below. We also commissioned a series of films that were made by film-maker Martha Jurksaitis of Cherry Kino


The Tetley brewery research group, who worked alongside Dr Laura King (History), explored in particular the role of alcohol in the war and the experiences of women workers at the brewery. Their findings will be published shortly.

The University of Leeds in the War group, led by Dave Stowe and Prof Graeme Gooday, looked at the wide range of war work carried out by the University, including research into munitions production, chemical weapons development, training of men and women in agriculture and other war work and interpreting. Their project will also form part of an Exhibition, ‘The University in the War’, which will take place in October 2014 in the Parkinson building.


© Care Amor

The Belgian refugees project worked with two schools, Allerton Grange and Roundhay School. Led by Prof Alison Fell, different groups of students explored what life was like for the thousands of refugees who came to Yorkshire during the war.

They added information to the WW1 Leeds Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/WW1Leeds. See the link to the side of this to see two fantastic films some of the students made.


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Homeless theatre company Urban Sprawl, who worked with Dr Claudia Sternberg, produced a compelling performance of a short improved play based around the theme of recruitment and volunteering.


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The research of the Morley First World War research group, who worked with Dr Ingrid Sharp, is ongoing as they recently secured a Heritage Lottery Grant  http://www.hlf.org.uk/news/Pages/MorleyandtheHomeFront.aspx#.U9N6E75wbIU . An enthusiastic team of volunteers have been working their way through newspapers and archives to discover different aspects of life in Morley during the First World War. Along with Leeds Museums and Galleries and a host of local organisations and volunteers, we held an Open Day for the general public in February 2014 that features as part of the AHRC film about our project Leeds Stories of the Great War AHRC film


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The Seacroft Arts and Literary Society, who worked with Dr Jamie Stark, have researched local stories of soldiers who were killed in the war, as well as the history of Seacroft hospital in the war. They responded to their research by writing a song and producing a book http://seacroftliteratureandart.wordpress.com/ which is available to buy.


© Care Amor

Please see a repository and record of the project on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LeedsStoriesOfTheGreatWar

The following Word Cloud gives a taste of what the project entailed through participants keywords:

Wordle: Leeds Stories of the Great War Experiences

For the halfway update on the project visit the blog post here

see our Prezi here