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£42,000 boost for the town as First World War is remembered

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: July 09, 2014

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MORE than £40,000 of lottery funding has been pledged to help Ashbourne commemorate the impact of the First World War.

A small group of volunteers has been busy organising events which will begin next week as part of the nation's remembrance of the outbreak of the war.

Work has begun to set up permanent reminders of the part Ashbourne played in the global conflict.

The money will allow the group to create a legacy during the four years from the commemoration by researching the war graves and memorials within a 10-mile radius of the town.

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The results will be recorded digitally for future generations.

Some of the cash will help pay for events taking place from Saturday, July 26, to ensure they are free for everyone.

Commemoration group leader Caroline Cooper said: "We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"And we are confident that the project will enable residents, particularly young people, and visitors to Ashbourne to understand how the events of the Great War affected a small market town in Derbyshire.''

The group has received support from Derbyshire county councillors, Derbyshire Dales district councillors and has held its own fund-raising.

The projects will run until 2018.

Topics will focus on the importance of the ''home front'' and the reliance placed on quarry workers who were in demand for specialist mining and engineering work on the frontline in Belgium and France.

Ashbourne also had a hospital for returning wounded and the role of women running farms and businesses will be highlighted.

The aftermath of the war, demands for better working and living conditions and a changed position for women in local society will also be covered by the commemoration and research projects.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has offered a total of £42,700 to help the group run the projects.

Group member Trilby Shaw said: ''As far as I am aware, we are the only place in Derbyshire that's going to be doing anything of this size.

''I've every faith in the people of Ashbourne that if there's something going on that's important to the town, then they will come out and support it.

''We want people to come out and enjoy it as much as we've enjoyed organising it.''

Starting on Saturday, July 26 events including exhibitions, displays, talks and a quiz will run throughout the week.

Among the highlights will be a special one-off Shrovetide football match, re-enactments and a family party in the park.

Pick up next week's News Telegraph for a full run-down of events and a look at how Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School is getting involved in the commemorations.

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