Saving and 
Sharing Borders WW1 stories

A photograph of a stricken tank forms part of the Saving and Sharing Scottish Borders Stories of World War One.
A photograph of a stricken tank forms part of the Saving and Sharing Scottish Borders Stories of World War One.

As another Remembrance Day approaches Borderers are being urged to share family stories of First World War experiences.

Live Borders museums, archives and library services are running a two year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Armed Forces Community Covenant. They want to document the region’s social and family heritage of this momentous period by recording material in various formats so that it can be made widely available and secured for future generations.

As part of the ‘Saving and Sharing Scottish Borders Stories of World War One’, a free event is being held in Selkirk Parish Church Hall on Saturday, November 12, between 10am and 2.30pm, when members of the community are invited to bring along their WWI letters, diaries, photographs and more and share their family’s story.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Live Borders, explained: “This is an opportunity for us all to recognise the contribution to the war effort made by individuals and families across the Borders.”

As part of the Selkirk event John Nichol and Hilary Bell will perform extracts from ‘War and Glaur’ at 11.30am and at 1.30pm Alan Cumming will present his popular talk on ‘Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the First World War’.

There will be a chance to step back in time with the Scots in the Great War Living History Society. Meet characters from the time, see their large collection of artefacts and learn all about WWI.

The Selkirk and Ettrick Forest branch of the Royal British Legion will be providing refreshments, with all proceeds going to the Poppy Scotland appeal.

They will also be asking for help to reunite WWI items from their collection with family members.

For many, both at home and on the front line, poetry provided a means of expressing the extreme experiences of war. The Saving and Sharing Project will also be exhibiting a selection of Borders WWI poetry in libraries in early 2017 and is looking to complement this with three contemporary pieces.

For the past two months’ members of the public have been submitting poems inspired by the Borders’ experience of the First World War and, with a closing date of midnight on December 1, there is still time to send entries in.

Project officer Morag Cockburn said: “Throughout the Saving and Sharing Project we have been struck by the prevalence of poetry in a range of sources, from newspapers and publications to private letters home from the front.

“Poetry, in a range of styles, seems to have been a tool to help Borderers make sense of the conflict. 100 years on this competition will encourage people to reflect on the impact of WWI on the Scottish Borders.”

Members of the public can also contact The Heritage Hub, Kirkstile, Hawick, TD9 0AE, telephone 01450 360699 or email: archives@liveborders1.org.uk to take part in the project.

Entry forms for the poetry competition can be collected from any Live Borders Library or downloaded from www.liveborders.org.uk/libraries_and_ archives.