The Deepings First World War Commemoration Project started in 2013 with a group of people wanting to mark the centenary of the ‘Great War’ and to promote the local community’s heritage. Above all was the wish to honour the memories of those who were linked by birth, by family or by residence to Market Deeping, Deeping St James and West Deeping in South Lincolnshire, or Deeping Gate in neighbouring Cambridgeshire.
We knew some of their names, from the memorials and rolls of honour in our churches. We knew that many more served and survived to come back to their families. We searched for the human stories that would enable us and future generations to understand better the impact this war had on our local community.
The challenge was to present the research, our tribute, in an interesting way. The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918 exhibition was presented over the weekend of Remembrance Day in November 2014. Its centrepiece was the Deepings Roll of Honour, including a poster gallery and dossiers for all those from the Deepings who served their country a hundred years ago.
Community involvement and individual commitment were the distinctive features of this project, but financial resources were also key to its achievement. Funding from Market Deeping Town Council and Deeping St James Parish Council enabled the group to publish a vintage recipe book, which in turn helped to raise funds for events. The exhibition was made possible by a ‘First World War Then and Now’ grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, backed up with sponsorship by The Boundary and Riverside Restaurant in Deeping St James.
A commemorative book and an accompanying DVD was produced to provide a lasting record for the community and for all those who participated in The Deepings Remember 1914 to 1918.