Crowds make Dublin’s WW1 roadshow the biggest yet

Nachdem das Projekt mit großem Erfolg im Jahr 2011 in Deutschland angelaufen ist wird es 2012 auf mindestens fünf europäische Länder ausgeweitet.

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Crowds make Dublin’s WW1 roadshow the biggest yet

Dublin’s WW1 Family History Roadshow has been declared the busiest event to date - with more than 100 contributors queuing with their memorabilia in the first hour of the event opening.

Many people set off at dawn, from as far afield as Enniskillen, Limerick and Wexford to share their loved ones’ memories from the 1914-1918 war at the National Library of Ireland.

Medals, war records, photos, cap badges and a kitbag were among the hoards of items arriving with grandchildren and great-grandchildren eager to keep those memories alive for future generations on www.europeana1914-1918.eu.

Katherine McSharry, the library’s head of services, said of the response: “It’s absolutely astonishing. We knew there was a lot of interest from the amount of press coverage we’d had before the event - but we could not have anticipated this number of people arriving.”

By 11.30am, the library’s main entrance hall was packed with crowds of chattering people carrying bags full of items and picture frames with regimental emblems.

Everett Sharp, a military historian from Oxford University, which leads the digitising and cataloguing part of the project, said: “The Irish people are very keen to tell us about their family history - something they haven’t been able to talk about until recently.

“Many of them had relations in British Army, but after the war - because of the Troubles - they weren’t able to discuss it with their friends and neighbours. It was a hidden history and remained so until today.”

The event, which has been given widespread coverage by the media, attracted even more reporters from the BBC, RTE, radio and broadsheet newspapers who were keen to talk to the contributors.

Jon Purday, senior communications advisor at Europeana, said: “This has been the most amazing event. People are so eager to share their family history and to have that acknowledgement of their involvement in WW1.

“We are so grateful to everyone who turned up, even though for many it has involved a wait of some hours before they were seen.”

By Jackie Storer 

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