Tag Archives: Labour Corps

The Unremembered – Project dates for Brighton

Project Details:
We’re pleased to have been commissioned to become a hub in Brighton and Hove by the Big Ideas Company to develop activities with local community groups to explore the history of the Labour Corps – service personnel during World War I, and often forgotten in this part of history.

Events:

Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will deliver workshops in October and November 2018 (We will confirm dates very soon) in Brighton and Hove with ten different groups in ten different venues across the city to look at the theme of The Unremembered. We aim to commemorate the Labour Corps service personnel and their experiences.

Free drop in families puppet making sessions (at following venues and times):

  • Monday 29th October – 1.45-4.15pm: ONCA at The Barge, The Waterfront, Brighton BN2 5UU
  • Thursday 1st November – 12-3pm: Brighton Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU
  • Saturday 24th November – 12-5pm: Black History Day at The Dome, Brighton.
  • Sunday 25th November – 11-1pm: Jubilee Library, Jubilee Square, Brighton.

and

Monday 19th November 2-3pm: Talk on Labour Corps and Sussex at Strike a Light, Brighton Open Market, Studio 8 (Mezzanine), Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU.

*** More dates tbc ***


The Unremembered project background:
This project is about the Labour Corps – Service Personnel in the British Army who have essentially been pretty forgotten and aren’t really commemorated anywhere. The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups.
Who were the Labour Corps?

 
 
 
 
 
 
Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.
 The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.
British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.
Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.
Events:
We are working engaging with freelancers and volunteers to deliver a series of history and resource led activities which focus on the art of making articulated paper puppets (a common past time a centenary ago) with community groups and families.
These puppets are a mixture of pre-printed on cardboard outline templates which can then be designed, created and compiled by participants and for those with dexterity issues or the very young, pre-designed printed templates which can be assembled with support and displayed.  We will use fabric scraps, wrapping paper and wall paper to create overlaid uniforms for these puppets and to bring them to life.
We will also create activities to create dressing paper dolls, so creating the one dimensional paper dolls through templates which are cut out and then one dimensional clothing made relevant to our theme which can then be folded over the puppet body. These dolls were popular during WWI and were still printed then despite paper shortages.
Both these forms of puppet making are ideal for classroom and community projects because they are made with everyday craft supplies and reused materials.
The puppet theme for this project is two-fold – one that it is an engaging and accessible way to teach young people and community groups who are unaware of this lost period of history about the Labour Corps, and secondly that the puppets can be seen as a metaphor for the role of the Labour Corps in terms of having no control over their work or location, that they were moved around like mules and essentially treated as such too. This will be a way to valorise those men and celebrate their role.
This will help to remember some of the soldiers who served with the Labour Corps and their link with Sussex and draw this forgotten history into the light.

https://archive.strikealight.org/projects/the-unremembered-project/

 

The Unremembered project

We’re pleased to have been commissioned to become a hub in Brighton and Hove by the Big Ideas Company to develop activities with local community groups to explore the history of the Labour Corps – service personnel during World War I, and often forgotten in this part of history.

The Unremembered project background:
This project is about the Labour Corps – Service Personnel in the British Army who have essentially been pretty forgotten and aren’t really commemorated anywhere. The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups.
Who were the Labour Corps?

 
 
 
 
 
 
Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.
 The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.
British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.
Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.
 Events:
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will deliver workshops in October and November 2018 in Brighton and Hove with ten different groups in ten different venues across Brighton and Hove to look at the theme of The Unremembered and to commemorate the Labour Corps service personnel and their experiences.
We will do this through engaging with freelancers and volunteers to deliver a series of history and resource led activities which focus on the art of making articulated paper puppets (a common past time a centenary ago) with community groups and families.
These puppets will be a mixture of pre-printed on cardboard outline templates which can then be designed, created and compiled by participants and for those with dexterity issues or the very young, pre-designed printed templates which can be assembled with support and displayed.  We will use fabric scraps, wrapping paper and wall paper to create overlaid uniforms for these puppets and to bring them to life.
We will also create activities to create dressing paper dolls, so creating the one dimensional paper dolls through templates which are cut out and then one dimensional clothing made relevant to our theme which can then be folded over the puppet body. These dolls were popular during WWI and were still printed then despite paper shortages.
Both these forms of puppet making are ideal for classroom and community projects because they are made with everyday craft supplies and reused materials.
The puppet theme for this project is two-fold – one that it is an engaging and accessible way to teach young people and community groups who are unaware of this lost period of history about the Labour Corps, and secondly that the puppets can be seen as a metaphor for the role of the Labour Corps in terms of having no control over their work or location, that they were moved around like mules and essentially treated as such too. This will be a way to valorise those men and celebrate their role.
This will help to remember some of the soldiers who served with the Labour Corps and their link with Sussex and draw this forgotten history into the light.


 
 
 
 
 

The Unremembered project

20180313_160405.jpgWe participated in a great project recently ‘The Unremembered’ to commemorate the brave sacrifices of the Labour Corps especially those from across the globe – in particular black and minority ethnic soldiers, and their heroic contribution to the war effort.
We worked with the Memories Past group in Portslade to create a wreath to remember the sinking of the SS Mendi (a South African troop ship) in the English Channel near the Isle of Wight in 1917, with the loss of most hands on board, some 600 black Labour Corps soldiers from South Africa.
20180313_151004.jpgOur wreath was a collage and cardboard combination with images from those who’d been serving at the time of the disaster and includes all the names of the men lost at sea, along with detailing in the colours of the South African flag.

Trench Brothers project continues

161222-SS_Mendi-1The acclaimed ‘imaginative and inspiring’ Trench Brothers project commemorating the contributions and personal stories of ethnic minority soldiers in the First World War will culminate in Brighton and the South East this year.
Award winning charity HMDT Music is working with Strike a Light – Arts and Heritage, to explore the stories of the impact the Indian Army Military Hospitals in Brighton and the British West Indies Regiment training camp in Seaford, East Sussex had on local communities at the time. We will undertake visits to The Keep archives, The Chattri, Seaford Museum and Newhaven Fort as well as interview Sussex residents who may have links with this theme.
These findings will be captured and showcased as part of the interactive Trench Brothers Exhibition being shown at Newhaven Fort from 4th August 2018, which features a creative response to the research as part of a bigger event.
The final strand is an education project involving eight local schools using puppetry, composition, artefacts, costumed interpreters and cross-curricular learning, leading to them performing a newly commissioned music theatre work by composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor and librettist Tertia Sefton-Green alongside jazz and opera singers, musicians and puppeteers at Brighton Dome on 17th October.
Find out more about this fascinating yet complex period of history and the result of these epic global changes affecting a small corner of Sussex.
For more information about this project contact Project Coordinator: Nicola Benge: strikealight@rocketmail.com
https://archive.strikealight.org/projects/trench-brothers-wwi-project/