Middleton Remembers

68 residents and 100,000 headstones
Middleton remembers those who died in World War 1

Middleton Parish Council has received a National Lottery grant of £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Middleton Remembers project. Awarded through HLF's First World War then and now programme, the project will find out as much as possible about the soldiers of Middleton who died during the First World War in time for the centenary of the end of the war in November this year.

Applications are invited for the position of
Heritage Researcher - Freelance
Closing date midnight Sunday 17th June 2018

Brief for research

Background and context

Middleton Parish Council has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a Commemoration Project to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. This is made up of three elements:

1 A heritage research project to find out as much as possible about the soldiers of Middleton-by-Wirksworth who died in the First World War.

A longer term research project will be to develop knowledge about those men from the village who were killed or wounded in the 1914-18 conflict and develop an understanding of social and economic life in the village at the close of the war and the years immediately afterwards. This research will help us to appreciate the lives led by these soldiers as boys and young men, the make-up of the village at the outset of and during the course of the conflict; how the war impacted on the community and what happened to it in the immediate post-war period.

Following the decision of the War Graves Commission to adopt a policy for war graves, the Hopton Wood Stone Company in Middleton produced over 100,000 headstones which were sent to cemeteries over the world. The plan is for this element to be completed by December 2019.

2 The project will create a new memorial to those who died on the village green, this will be an appropriate tribute and focal point for future remembrance and reflection.

3 A commemoration event and Remembrance Day ceremony to dedicate the new memorial.

Heritage Researcher's brief

A key aspect of the bid for funding is to use the services of a professional researcher in order to:

i) Develop knowledge about those men from the village who were killed or wounded in the 1914-18 conflict;

ii) Develop an understanding of social and economic life in the village at the close of war and the years immediately afterwards.

In putting these two bodies of knowledge together, we will be better able to appreciate the lives led by these soldiers as boys and young men, including the family and extended family structures in which they were raised, the schools, clubs, institutions they attended and through this, the social activities typical of their age cohort. Furthermore, we will construct expectation profiles that each of them may have had with respect to school, occupation, leisure, marriage, parenting, as well as their geographical and social mobility. In doing these things we will generate a heritage that will be known to future generations living in the village, including the children attending the primary school. A heritage that goes beyond the memorial to the dead to one designed to shed light on lives led in a Derbyshire quarrying village, in which the famous Hopton Wood marble was quarried and fashioned to produce, ironically hundreds of thousands of headstones to mark the dead.

Approach

To do this work the professional research will use Derbyshire Records Office in Matlock to investigate census records, street directories and other reference works in order to create a village database comprising all of the people that lived in the village at that time. The 1901 and 1911 censuses contain data on families living in the village, the age of family members, their gender and occupations, a notable feature of which is how many families share the same surname. These records, then, will list those children/young men who then became soldiers. The database will be published on the Parish Council website as will the detailed profiles of each of the soldiers killed.

A second heritage outcome will be the production of a 20,000 word book bringing together the information collected about the lives of the fallen soldiers. It will set these men in the context of their upbringing. The book will be authored by the heritage researcher in conjunction with a small group of heritage researchers from the village. The heritage researcher will work closely with this group under the auspices of the Parish Council. They will be expected to help organise the volunteers, conducting training in database organisation and methods and support the volunteers in writing tasks.

A final heritage outcome will be an exhibition. The heritage researcher will use their expertise in visual display to support this venture. The exhibition will showcase the findings of the historical research and feature historical photographs to tell the visual story of the village that the dead soldiers left behind them.

The Heritage Researcher will support the development of a Local History Group to share the research tasks. The Heritage Researcher will help organise the volunteers, conduct training in research and database organisation and methods and provide them with relevant training to investigate public sources, including local newspapers, census records, births, deaths and marriages data, industry/employment records, wartime civilian control methods, church records and war grave records. The HLF made a specific request that Oral History training should be provided to assist with the collection and recording of oral histories.

Example of collections, written records in archives, libraries or museums, to be consulted:

  • Derbyshire Record Office
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archive
  • Wirksworth Heritage Centre
  • 6th Sherwood Foresters archive collection

Outputs

  • Detailed profiles of each of the soldiers killed
  • A village database comprising all of the people that lived in the village at that time
  • Training for volunteers
  • Write up of research

Timetable and reporting arrangements

  • Initial profiles of each of the soldiers killed in readiness for Centenary commemoration – by 31 August 2018.
  • Village database and write up of research – by 1 November 2019.

A detailed timetable will be agreed between the Researcher and the Parish Council.

Progress will be reported to monthly meetings of the Parish Council.

Skills and experience required

  • Experience of working on similar heritage research projects with success relating to community engagement
  • Experience of setting and meeting targets
  • Experience of record keeping
  • Experience of co-ordinating and managing volunteers
  • Experience of delivering relevant training including oral history training
  • Experience of arranging exhibitions and events
  • Knowledge of archival management
  • Good organisational skills with the ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to prioritise and to work methodically
  • Ability to produce reports and documents that are well written, presented and tailored to the appropriate audience
  • Ability to interpret, analyse and organise complex information and present conclusions clearly and logically
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • The ability to work flexibly
  • The ability to think creatively and provide new ideas and solutions to problems
  • It is essential that the Heritage Researcher has a commitment to equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory behaviour.

Payment

The funding available for delivering this work will be in line with the final approved bid which has funding for 150 hours of research @ £30 per hour. No additional costs will be included.

The work will be done on a freelance basis so the researcher will be responsible for all tax, National Insurance payments etc.

A payment schedule will be agreed between Heritage Researcher and the Parish Council.

Application process

  • Provide examples of relevant previous work and CV including contact details of two references.
  • The application should be no more than 4 sheets of A4 paper.
  • Email completed applications to: clerk@middletonbywirksworth-pc.gov.uk

Closing date: midnight Sunday 17th June 2018

Further information;
Project Brief and Approved Purposes

Project summary

The focus of this project is a community commemoration of the end of the First World War and this is made up of three elements.

1 A heritage research project to find out as much as possible about the soldiers of Middleton-by-Wirksworth who died in the First World War - this will be completed by November 2018.

A memorial in Holy Trinity Church lists the names of 41 parishioners who died, however this does not include those who were not part of the congregation and at the annual Remembrance Day service, the names of 68 are read out.

A longer term research project will be to develop knowledge about those men from the village who were killed or wounded in the 1914-18 conflict and develop an understanding of social and economic life in the village at the close of the war and the years immediately afterwards. This research will help us to appreciate the lives led by these soldiers as boys and young men, the make-up of the village at the outset of and during the course of the conflict; how the war impacted on the community and what happened to it in the immediate post-war period.

Following the decision of the War Graves Commission to adopt a policy for war graves, the Hopton Wood Stone Company in Middleton produced over 100,000 headstones which were sent to cemeteries over the world. The Prince of Wales visited the Quarry and stone works in 1928. The plan is for this element to be completed by December 2019.

2 In its capacity as a producer of headstones for war graves, Middleton has a unique role in supporting the remembrance of those who died in the First World War yet does not have a memorial to all of its own parishioners who died in the conflict. The project will create an appropriate tribute and focal point for future remembrance and reflection.

Installation of a memorial on the village green that will record the names of all 64 men who died in the first world war together with the 4 men who died fighting in the second world war. This memorial links to two other replica headstones being erected; one at the Steeple Grange Light Railway, formerly the mineral railway which carried the gravestones away from the stone works; and one in nearby Wirksworth. The memorial will use local stone and traditional skills.

3 A commemoration event and Remembrance Day ceremony. This will include the recreation of a mineral railway wagon and transport of 3 reproduction headstones from near the site of the original quarry, along the restored railway line, from where they will be transported to where they will be dedicated – at Steeple Grange Light Railway, Wirksworth Memorial Gardens and Middleton Village Green. The Remembrance Day ceremony will include the dedication of the new memorial on the village green.

Details of main contact person

John Rowe, Parish Clerk

07717 137526

Email: clerk@middletonbywirksworth-pc.gov.uk

www.middletonbywirksworth-pc.gov.uk

2a What is the heritage your project focuses on?

64 men from Middleton died in the First World War. As a small village, these losses would have dramatically impacted on the community. One element of the project is a heritage research project to find out as much as possible about the 68 men who died in the First World War to be completed by November 2018.

A longer term project will be to research the make-up of the village at the outset of and during the course of the conflict; how the war impacted on the community and what happened to it in the immediate post-war period. We will construct expectation profiles that residents may have had to generate a heritage that will be known to future generations living in the village, a memorial that goes beyond the memorial to the dead to one designed to shed light on lives led in a Derbyshire quarrying village. Following the decision of the War Graves Commission to adopt a policy for war graves, the Hopton Wood Stone Company in Middleton produced over 100,000 headstones which were sent all over the world. This undertaking was a further impact on the community as it brought new workers to the village. The Prince of Wales visited the Quarry and stone works in 1928. The plan is for this research to be completed by December 2019.

Installation of a memorial on the village green that will record the names of all 68 men who died in the first world war together with the 4 men who died fighting in the second world war. This memorial links to two other memorials being erected; at the Steeple Grange Light Railway, formerly the mineral railway which carried the gravestones away from the stone works; and in nearby Wirksworth. The memorial will use local stone and traditional skills.

3a Activities:

Using collections, like historical artefacts, objects, or written records in archives, libraries or museums, as well as those held by people in the community.

Derbyshire Record Office has archive material on the Hopton Wood Stone Company, articles on the visit of the Prince of Wales to Middleton in 1928 and numerous trade journal accounts of quarrying activities in Derbyshire. It has early ordnance survey maps that reveal how the area looked at the time and also holds parish records, local newspapers and old photographs. The collection will also be used to research parish council minutes, census records and street directories.

At their archive in Maidenhead, the Commonweath War Graves Commission has identified references to firms engaged in Hopton Wood headstone production. The database of war dead will be searched for information on the local men who died, where they are buried, their relatives and street addresses.

Period photographs will be located, accessed and scanned, as a contribution to the record of life in the village, and the quarry and stone works as places of work. Another good source of local information will be Wirksworth Heritage Centre.

The men of Derbyshire generally served with the 6th Sherwood Foresters and their collection will be consulted.

Talking to and working with heritage experts to hold workshops, talks and sessions exploring your heritage.

Due to the timescales involved, and to get the project off to a strong start, it is proposed to use the services of a professional researcher in order to develop knowledge about those who died and develop an understanding of social and economic life in the village. The professional research will investigate census records, street directories and other reference works in order to create a village database. The heritage researcher will work closely with a group of volunteer researchers from the village, under the auspices of the Parish Council. They will help organise the volunteers, conduct training in research and database organisation and methods, and support the writing up of information.

The History group, to share the research tasks and report back monthly. They will help to investigate public sources listed above, including local newspapers, census records, births, deaths and marriages data, industry/employment records, wartime civilian control methods, church records and war grave records.

Derbyshire Record Office has an archivist who works with schools. This service will be used to develop a bespoke session to support pupils of Middleton Primary School who will contribute to the project. Staff at the Derbyshire Record Office will also deliver a workshop at the collection for volunteer researchers.

It is proposed to bring in experts to work with the school children to inspire and support their learning. A workshop at the school will provide an immersive experience for pupils and teachers alike to help teach about WW1 in an appropriate and memorable way. A visiting poet or author will also inspire their creative writing.

We have been in touch with the Commonweath War Graves Commission. They are in the process of recruiting a regional team as part of their public engagement work and a member of staff covering the Derbyshire area should be in place by April 2018. We have registered our interest to work with this team when it is established.

Recording things like people's memories

A number of surnames dominate the list of those who died and some descendants still live in the village. Their memories will be captured, together with those of other residents who have moved into the village and have memories of different experiences and stories, for example a father who served as a pharmacist making up medicines who served in Egypt, Turkey and Sudan. His brother had emigrated from South Wales to Australia and served with the Australian forces in Gallipoli.

The families of many children at the primary school will have lost loved ones in WW1. The project will support children to research their families to identify relatives who fought in the war and follow the family history through to the present day. There will also be interest in looking at families who are recorded by no longer known locally. Links between family histories will help to illustrate social changes and patters of work in the village over 100 years.

Other - Commemoration and dedication

Middleton had a unique role in supporting the remembrance of those who died in the first world war from across the world by quarrying and producing over 100,000 headstones for the war graves and yet does not have a memorial to all of its own villagers who died. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported in 1919 on the forms of memorials that were being decided upon in the Matlock area. It outlined proposals in Middleton for a village hall – which was built – and a tablet containing names of the fallen, to be erected on the village green. This tablet was never erected and the reasons are not currently known. However the centenary is an appropriate time to bring this original proposal to fruition and the project will finally deliver a memorial, using traditional stone and skills, to create an appropriate tribute and focal point for future remembrance and reflection.

3b How we will share what we have done with the wider community

Community events

Celebrating the project's achievements

Website

Display boards

Exhibitions

Leaflet or Book

3c Provide more details about how you plan to share what you have done as part of your project.

The first priority is to research into the soldiers who died in time for the centenary of the end of the First World War. Information will be developed into a display to form part of the commemoration event on Remembrance Day 2018 which includes the dedication of a new memorial recording the names of all those who have died.

A booklet will be produced summarising the information discovered about those who died and distributed to all households with the Village Newsletter in time for the Remembrance Day commemoration.

An account of the village that the soldiers were brought up in, and the role of village in relation to the quarrying and production of headstones will follow in the form of a 20,000 word book which will bring together the information collected about the lives of the fallen in the context of their upbringing.

The research will be brought together and disseminated at an event in the village hall. It is proposed to also invite an expert speaker from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Display material will be developed which can be displayed in the village in the school and church, but also as temporary displays at the nearby National Stone Centre and Carsington Water Visitor Centre.

The village produces a monthly 8 page newsletter which is distributed free to all households and this will be used to promote and share activities and opportunities to get involved.

Biographies of soldiers and an account of the village they were brought up in will be produced in printed form, published as a pdf on the Parish Council website and a copy deposited at the Derbyshire Record Office together with all relevant research material.

3d Who do you plan to share with?

Information booklets with biographies of those who died will be shared with all households in the village.

Mobile exhibition material will be developed which will be displayed at venues in the village which will reach residents and external visitors – the school, the Village Hall, Holy Trinity Church, The Nelson Pub.

Temporary display material will be exhibited at the National Stone Centre, which borders on the village. This attracts 1000-2000 visitors per month. Elements of the research which explore the quarrying of the war grave headstones and the economic and social impact on the village will become part of the static display as it will complement the current displays of the National Stone Centre and its focus on geology.

Temporary displays will also be hosted at Carsington Water Visitor Centre which attracts over 1 million visitors per year. The Visitor Centre produces a quarterly programme of activities which could promote the display as part of its autumn events.

3e How many people will be trained as part of your project?

A History group will be formed, members of which will be trained to share the research tasks. It is anticipated that around 20 residents will be involved in this.

3f How many volunteers to you expect will contribute to your project? ( need to cross reference with spreadsheet)

Parish Council members/Steering Group – 6

Village Green Committee – 8

New History Group – 12

Church Youth Group – 2 adults, 11-14 age group – 8 young people

Middleton Primary School –– Key Stage 1 – 40 children; Key Stage 2 – 50 children

Friends of Middleton Primary School – 2

Project Management – 1

Steeple Grange Light Railway - 6

Wirksworth World War 1 Committee – 8

3g How are you planning to promote and acknowledge National Lottery players/ contributions to the project?

Funding will be acknowledged in line with grant requirement guidelines. An acknowledgement and logo will be included as required on all printed, display material and website pages. Media releases crediting funding received will be produced on any funding being awarded and as part of the associated events and commemoration activities.

4a What outcomes will your project achieve?

Local people will know a lot more about the lives of the fallen soldiers and the village in which they lived and mostly worked. A rigorous permanent record will be created and archived.

In its capacity as a producer of headstones for war graves, Middleton has a unique role in supporting the remembrance of those who died in the First World War yet does not have a memorial to all of its own villagers who died in the conflict. The project will create an appropriate tribute and focal point for future remembrance and reflection.

Around 50 new houses have been built in and on the edge of the village in recent years that have brought new people with new skills to offer to the area. The project will create an opportunity to integrate these new residents into the life and history of their village. They will discover and learn more about the local heritage from families who have lived here all their lives. This will also create awareness of and interaction with other existing groups in the village. Led and co-ordinated by the Parish Council, this project will support greater partnership working between the various groups in the village, as well as those connected to the village – Steeple Grange Light Railway and Wirksworth Town Council.

It is considered that involvement of young people is key and the project will provide opportunities for children in the primary school to get involved in activities to inspire and support their learning. The leader of the church-based youth group for 11-14 year olds is also keen to get involved to support their activities.

The project will develop interest in heritage and bring people together to increase community cohesion.

Volunteers and participants will deliver a project that they can be proud of.

5a What will happen to the things that you produce after the project ends?

Final documentation will be printed and uploaded onto the Parish Council Website. Research material and any resulting printed document will be archived at Derbyshire Record Office. Display material will initially be displayed locally, for example at the church, school and Village Hall. After this, it will be offered to the nearby National Stone Centre and Carsington Water Visitor Centre - Staff have already expressed an interest in having the display material there.

The memorial will be placed on the village green which is owned by the Parish Council and tended by a dedicated Village Green Committee. The memorial will become a Parish Council asset and will come under its existing arrangements for insurance and programme of maintenance.

6 – Project timetable

Project Start date: 1 April 2018 Project Finish Date: 30 December 2019

Partners:

County Councillor – Cllr Irene Ratcliffe

District Councillors – Cllrs Mike Ratcliffe, Peter Slack

Middleton Primary School

Holy Trinity Church, Middleton

Derbyshire Record Office

National Stone Centre

Wirksworth Town Council

Steeple Grange Light Railway

Heritage Lottery Fund – Approved Purposes:

  • High visibility acknowledgement of the Heritage Lottery Fund on site, online and in all activities. As well as using the project to acknowledge and thank National Lottery players.
  • Take proactive measures to be inclusive, remove barriers to access and reach new and diverse audiences through the delivery of this project
  • Conduct a programme of research that explores First World War veterans from Middleton-by-Wirksworth, the war's social and economic impact, and the role of Hopton Wood Stone Company
  • Recruit a professional researcher to lead on research and work closely with volunteers.
  • Organise a First World War commemoration event and Remembrance Day service.
  • Install a memorial on the village green recording the names of all from Middleton-by-Wirksworth who died during the First World War.
  • Coordinate visits to the Derbyshrie Record Office, Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archive and Wirksworth Heritage Centre.
  • Work with Middleton Primary School to deliver a workshop with Derbyshire Records Office, oral history interviews, a creative writing session with a visiting author and an outreach visit from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Collate and share project findings via a bood, DVD, Parish Council website, and temporary exhibitions at the National Stone Centre and Carsington Water Visitor Centre.