Press release

Online guide to help communities learn about their shared WW1 history

New online guide to help communities learn about their shared First World War history.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

First World War Centenary

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Imperial War Museum have launched a new online guide to help local community groups, museums and libraries bring their community together and discover their shared history by organising World War 1 commemoration events.

The guide - Suggestions for organising a ‘Bring a First World War object’ event - offers practical advice to organisations like community groups, museums, schools and councils on how to successfully organise a ‘Bring an Object’ event where members of the public can bring their own World War 1 mementoes and learn more about their treasured items as well as their own community’s World War 1 history. The British Army during the First World War was made up of people from across the globe including 1.3 million people from pre-partition India. ‘Bring an Object’ events are a good way to bring diverse communities together to discover more about our shared First World War history.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

A hundred years ago men from across the globe fought side-by-side in defence of Britain, and the liberty of the world. Their sacrifice not only defeated tyranny and oppression, it also built the foundations for modern Britain, where people from all backgrounds can live together in peace.

These ‘Bring an Object’ events enable communities across the country to honour and take pride in the achievements of the past. But they also ensure we can celebrate what makes Britain a great place to live today, and remember that the mutual tolerance and respect we value was bought at a price.

The guide is split into easy-to-read sections which offer advice on:

  • when and where to hold a ‘Bring your Own’ event
  • what to offer visitors to excite and engage them in the history of World War 1
  • who to target and invite
  • how to conserve historical items
  • advice on how to publicise the event to get as much of the community attending as possible

The guide is available to members of the Centenary Partnership Programme. Sign up at and download the guide in the members’ area.

DCLG and the Imperial War Museum have also launched an online resource to help people find out about some of the most commonly held family heirlooms from the First World War and guidance on how to research these objects further. To find out more visit the Imperial War Museum website.

To find out about all of the World War One Centenary events visit the calendar on

Further information

  1. 2014 will mark 100 years since the start of the First World War. To honour and remember the lives of those who served in and were affected by the war the government is leading a national centenary programme of ceremonial events, cultural activity and education.
  2. For more information on how the government is building a fitting commemoration of this significant milestone in world history, please see First World War Centenary.

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Published 26 November 2014