National Lottery support for Lincs Inspire Libraries to mark First World War Centenary

Issued: Friday 31 August 2018

Lincs Inspire Libraries has received a National Lottery grant of £10,000 for a project In Ruhleben Camp based in North East Lincolnshire. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on the Civilian Internment Camp at Ruhleben, Germany where many men and boys from Grimsby and the surrounding area spent the duration of the WWI as prisoners. Many local merchant seamen and trawlermen were captured at sea at the outbreak of the war and this project will explore their experiences with their descendants and the local community.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project will enable local people in North East Lincolnshire to come together to share their memories and passed down family stories of the people who lived through the First World War, incarcerated in Ruhleben Camp. These ‘memories and Artefacts’ sessions will be accompanied by a series of talks and workshops on all manner of aspects of life in the internment camp.  There will be opportunities to attend Family History workshops to explore the tools for research.

The project will conclude with an exhibition and a newly commissioned theatrical work based on the lives of local men who spent the duration of the First World War in Ruhleben.

Many local men and boys spent all or the best part of the war in this camp. This project will seek to show what that experience was like, by providing a series of talks and workshops, research opportunities and a theatrical production based on that research to give local people, many of whom descend from those imprisoned, a real understanding of life in Ruhleben and life at home awaiting their loved ones return.

Thanks to National Lottery players the information gathered will be digitally recorded and an on-line archive will be created where everyone can access and contribute information. The archive will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about Ruhleben.

Commenting on the award, Derek O’Connell Development Manager for Lincs Inspire Libraries said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players, this gives us a great opportunity to explore and create a shared understanding of a very important local aspect of the First World War.”

David Renwick, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF has already invested more than £90million to more than 1,700 projects – large and small - that are marking this global Centenary; with our small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in the ‘In Ruhleben Camp’ project to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local people to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

For more information please contact Derek O’Connell at Cleethorpes Library on (01472) 323628 or email: