Following the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Friends of Cannock Chase in partnership with Cannock Chase AONB nearly £10,000 to fund a First World War project, volunteers are now being urged to get involved.
The Reaching Out Arms – The Story of WW1 on Cannock Chase is a project to mark the centenary of The Great War. It will involve guided walks and tours as well as the publication of an information leaflet.
Lisa Davenport, Reaching Out Arms Project Officer, said: “It’s really important that we remember our local history and this project aims to keep it alive.
“Many visitors are not aware that in 1914, two large camps were constructed on Cannock Chase capable of holding up to 40,000 men and probably trained upwards of 500,000 during the First World War.
“The camps had their own church, post offices, a bakery and even a theatre. One of the training trench systems still survives on the Chase, as well as extensive archaeological remains of both camps, including hut bases, former roads and railways that survive fossilised within the existing footpath network or as earthwork features.
“We are now looking for friendly, enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to share the little-known history of Cannock Chase during the First World War with our visitors.”
There are two ways to get involved, either as guided walk leaders or as Great War Hut guides.
Guided walk leaders will take people on walks, telling them about the camps and the people that lived and worked on them.
Great War Hut guides will be indoors opening up, welcoming visitors and sharing information in one of the original huts used on the training camp during the war.
All volunteers will be given full training and are invited to attend a coffee morning or afternoon to find out more and register their interest.
• Tuesday 24 March, 10am – 12noon
The John O’Leary Education Room, Cannock Chase Visitor Centre, Marquis Drive, Hednesford, WS12 4PW
• Saturday 18 April, 11am – 2pm
Museum of Cannock Chase, Valley Road, Hednesford, Staffordshire, WS12 1TD
• Monday 27 April, 1pm – 3pm
The Gatehouse Meeting Room, The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, ST17 0WT
To confirm your attendance or to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Project Officer on 07444171032.