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13 May 2015


Australian munitions workers were employed in Cheshire during the Great War.


A University academic is piecing together a patchwork of untold stories that capture the life and times of people in Cheshire during the First World War.

Dr Jessica van Horssen - a Senior Researcher in the Department of History and Archaeology - is calling on local heritage groups and historians to contribute memories, images and artefacts to Diverse Narratives, a specially commissioned website that focuses on the forgotten experiences of minority groups in Cheshire from 1914 to 1918.

Dr van Horssen explained: “Diverse Narratives is a research project designed to engage the people of Cheshire in researching and writing the local history of the Great War.

“By minority groups, we simply mean anyone who doesn’t ‘fit’ the traditional stories or narratives of the First World War, perhaps because of ethnic, religious or ideological differences.

“The website is hosted by the Department of History and Archaeology, which has a long tradition of excellence in military history and close ties with local heritage organisations.

“It’s a virtual meeting place for those who are interested, a place where we can shed light on the forgotten histories of the region, build a more comprehensive picture of life in Cheshire during the First World War and share this research with the wider public.”

She added: “The people of Cheshire are crucial participants in this project. Working together, we can create a lasting mosaic of narratives detailing unique characters and moments in time in the region from 1914 to 1918.”

Diverse Narratives is part of the Gateways to the First World War network and the Hidden Histories WW1 network which were both established by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

They were set up to engage with and support communities as they seek to commemorate and reflect upon the century-long legacy of the First World War.

To get involved in Diverse Narratives, please contact Dr Jessica van Horssen by email at j.vanhorssen@chester.ac.uk, or via Twitter @Historiamagoria or by post: Dr J van Horssen, Department of History and Archaeology, Binks Building, The University of Chester, Parkgate Road, CH1 4BJ.

For more information about Diverse Narratives, see: www.diversenarratives.com

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