Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, will be travelling back in time this Autumn, providing the face for an online memory project by Liverpool John Moores University. Merseyside at War 1914-1918 aims to put together a picture of life for those at home and at the front during WWI in the Merseyside area and are inviting people to submit their own memories. McGann is a self-declared WWI enthusiast having developed an interest while working on BBC period drama, The Monocled Mutineer and from talking to veterans about their experiences on the Western Front.
The First World War has only just ceased to be within living memory, the last trench soldiers have just died. …I was privileged enough to know them for the last twenty years of their lives.
…I just think generally, that perhaps more than anything it’s shaped the century that we were born in and the effects are still being felt now even a hundred years later.
There’s something enchanting about the idea of ‘living memory’ – that someone can relive an historical event in their mind and tell it how it was. And there’s a powerful sense of nostalgia in the way McGann talks about the period and the “genuine stories” that can now be told by any documents, letters, photos or other memories that people might have at home.
If you or relatives lived in Merseyside in the period and would like to be involved, you can email WWI & WWII expert Professor Frank McDonough directly at the university (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don’t worry about being asked to part with valued documents – from November you will be able to upload documents to the website. Right now you can find an online form here http://ljmu.ac.uk/merseyside-at-war/ alternatively you can email the LJMU history department directly at Merseysideatwar@ljmu.ac.uk
(Via Liverpool Echo.)