Historians aim to learn what Hartlepool was like after end of war to end all wars

Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square
Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square

Historians are searching for artefacts, memorabilia and personal stories connected with Hartlepool just after the end of the First World War for a new project.

A roadshow for the Rememorial WW1 project has been travelling around the Tees Valley to uncover interesting heirlooms and family tales.

Historian Dr Ben Roberts (left) and Teesside University lecturer Charles Tait, co-leaders of Rememorial WW1 project.

Historian Dr Ben Roberts (left) and Teesside University lecturer Charles Tait, co-leaders of Rememorial WW1 project.

Led by historian Dr Ben Roberts and university design and media lecturer Charles Tait, the roadshow will visit Hartlepool Art Gallery on Friday.

The project focuses on the unsettled period between Armistice Day in November 1918 when the guns fell silent and Peace Day when the treaty was formally signed on July 19, in 1919.

Dr Roberts said: “People always think November 11 was the end of the war.

“There is not really enough focus on what happened next and that’s what we are trying to do with this project.

“You don’t just wake up from a war and everything is back to normal.

“Just about every industry in the area had its moment of unrest. The shipyards were grinding to a halt.

“Ten thousand steelworkers in the Tees Valley were on strike.

“There were various revolutions taking place across Europe and there was the genuine possibility that could happen in Britain.”

Dr Roberts said they want to explore areas such as unemployment and disability faced by the men returning from the war and women’s shifting roles in the workplace.

People can bring along objects from the period and their stories to the art gallery in Church Square between 11.30am and 3pm.

Dr Roberts added: “What we are asking people to do is bring along artefacts or family heirlooms connected to he period and also any family stories of how their relatives experienced the end of the First World War.

“We will evaluate and select certain objects to go in the exhibition next summer and use people’s stories to provide background.”

The project is a collaboration between the history and design departments of Teesside University.

It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more details visit the project’s website at www.rememorialwwi.org