The lighthouse and the sea at Orford Ness

Remembering the First World War 


Heritage Lottery Fund offers help to communities wishing to commemorate the centenaries of the First World War. 

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has this week launched a campaign to encourage organisations to apply for funding to commemorate the centenaries of the First World War.

HLF has launched a booklet (download available in right hand column) and online information designed to demonstrate what funding is available to communities who are thinking about how to mark these important anniversaries and to encourage them to apply. Over the next week, HLF will be contacting hundreds of organisations across the UK to tell them about the funding and support that is available and inspire them with examples of projects that are already going ahead with HLF support.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “We’re deeply committed to supporting the many aspects of remembrance that will be developed as the centenaries of the First World War approach. We anticipate that there will be greater interest than ever before in honouring the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in the First World War. We are working in partnership with IWM (Imperial War Museums) and other organisations to ensure that groups large and small know what funding is available to them to help them commemorate these events which shaped the modern world.”

HLF is actively seeking and welcoming applications for all kinds of heritage projects, large and small, that aim to mark the anniversaries of the First World War. 

HLF can provide funds to help groups explore the history and legacy of the war and its impact on communities across the UK, especially their own. We can help groups trace links between local areas and the conflict, help young people lead projects that bring the history alive, or help conserve and improve online access to archives and collections.

Projects of all sizes can be funded through our open grants programmes, Your Heritage and Heritage Grants; as well as through Young Roots which aims to get13-25 year olds involved with their heritage. We can provide funding for the conservation of a war memorial as part of a wider project which will increase understanding of the stories behind the memorial. 

Projects already funded by HLF include:

  • The restoration of the Nicholson War Memorial in Leek, Staffordshire, built in 1925 by Sir Arthur and Lady Nicholson in memory of their son, Lieutenant Basil Lee Nicholson, who was killed in action at Ypres in 1915. The memorial also remembers the men of Leek and District who fell in the First and Second World Wars.  The project includes a programme of activities involving local schools with the restoration being completed in time for the Remembrance Parade on 13 November 2011.  HLF grant: £178,000.
  • In North Yorkshire, an out-of-print 1919 book commemorated every known soldier from the Craven district who fell in the First World War. To help preserve the rare publication, volunteers have digitised and published it online. Research by local people revealed over 1,000 more soldiers whose names have now been added to the local roll of honour. HLF grant: £24,600.
  • The ‘We Were Brothers: World War One a Shared Heritage’ project explored the heritage of soldiers from both the Unionist and the Nationalist traditions in Northern Ireland who served side by side with the British army in First World War, as members of the Ulster Battalions or the Irish Volunteers. The project included a play, DVD, interactive website and youth project.  HLF grant: £30,590.

Notes to editors

• HLF is working with IWM to support local community groups and organisations to commemorate these centenaries. On 11.11.11, IWM is launching the First World War Centenary mark – a new logo that is exclusively available for members of the FWW Centenary Partnership – an IWM led initiative for all organisations that are marking the hundred year anniversary of the First World War (2014 – 2018)
• HLF can fund restoration and conservation work, but such projects must also help people learn about heritage.  For example, a commemorative garden or local memorial to those who died as a result of the war could be restored (perhaps building in training opportunities too) or artefacts, military vehicles or historic documents could be preserved in order to help people understand them. 
• Funding that is solely for the restoration and refurbishment of memorials is available from the War Memorials Trust and other organisations.

Further information

• Please contact Natasha Ley or Katie Owen, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6143 / 6036. Out of hours mobile: 07973 613 820.

A community-theatre project helped to tell the story of the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest battles of the war 
A community-theatre project helped to tell the story of the Battle of the Somme. Photo Nadia Attura, Somme Theatre – Old Vic New Voices