We’re delighted to announce that we’ve recently awarded the CWGF, which is the charity arm of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a significant grant to develop three ambitious projects which will provide a living memorial to men and women of the GPO who died in the two World Wars.
Using the names recorded in the PORF’s Remembrance Memorial Books as a starting point, The Foundation aims to uncover and disseminate hundreds of individual untold stories, through a range of innovative, interpretive channels. The Foundation’s Executive Director, John Grain, explains:
“This grant enables us to develop hugely exciting education and outreach programmes, both here in the UK, at the sites of historic remembrance and even globally – reaching out to new and existing audiences. It is a tremendous endorsement for the Foundation from the PORF and we thank their trustees wholeheartedly.”
The three projects which PORF is supporting in 2023 are:
Tracking the Post which involves the creation of a unique series of Post Office Heritage Trails highlighting the contribution of the 12,830 postal workers employed by the GPO who are buried or commemorated in cemeteries and on memorials worldwide, for example, at the Post Office Rifles Cemetery in Festubert in France. Each trail will make full use of digital technology, incorporating original video and audio content for audiences to access, as well as giving them the opportunity to ‘visit’ virtually.
Delivering the Post which encourages volunteers to work alongside Commission staff, archivists, educators and historians, researching records – including the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance Memorial Books – to identify personal and group histories of Post Office employees. These emerging narratives will be developed into presentations used in the Foundation’s Speakers and Tour Guides’ Programme, a service offering free talks and tours to a wide range of groups across the country.
Collecting the Post which entails collaborating with developers to create an accessible, digital portal where anyone – individuals, communities, families, researchers – can share their stories, memories, pictures, photographs and ephemera about the GPO employees who lost their lives in the two World Wars. This user-generated approach will result in a rich and diverse repository, with the potential to bring each individual’s story to life through the abundance of personal, anecdotal and third-party information waiting to be revealed.
We anticipate that this collaboration between the PORF and the CWGF heralds the start of a productive long-term partnership through which the Foundation will engage a wide range of people and encourage them to discover, as well as contribute to, the stories which encompass our shared history.