COMMEMORATIONS of the “war to end all wars” have been given a £1m boost as preparations continue for the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The North Yorkshire home to some of the most important regimental collections in the UK has been awarded £999,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The York Army Museum will use the investment to transform its collections and reveal stories of national and international importance ahead of the Great War centenary and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015.
The project will focus on the collections of the Royal Dragoon Guards and Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, which reflect the roles of the cavalry and infantry in the region over the past 328 years.
The former Territorial Army drill hall opposite Clifford’s Tower in the centre of the city became a military museum in 1984. The project will involve opportunities for volunteers as well as create learning programmes exploring the impact of the First World War in Yorkshire and beyond.
There will also be new displays and themed audio visual “experiences designed to give fresh insight into key battles and individual stories of conflict.
They will include the first action of the war, at Casteau in Belgium on August 22, 1914, and the story of John Harrison, a professional rugby league player posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Project director Major Graeme Green said the lottery cash had provided a “fantastic opportunity.”
He added: “Over the last 328 years, from the Boyne to Basra and Hougoumont to Helmand, the soldiers’ lives and equipment will interpreted through modern, thought-provoking educational media.
“This will add yet another jewel to York’s glittering crown of top-class attractions and is an exciting prospect that the museum staff and volunteers are looking forward to.”