Project takes students back in time

30 June 2016

Young people in the Ribble Valley have the chance to work on a creative project that will help them to understand what it was like for people their age during the First World War.

The Lost Generation project will result in the creation of new artwork, film and writing to be exhibited at Clitheroe Castle Museum from Thursday 20 October 2016 to Sunday 29 January 2017.

Artist Andy Farr came up with the idea to make the 100th anniversary of the First World War more relevant to today's young people and has already been working for more than two years with schools and colleges.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: "The Lost Generation project is focussed on young people. It is trying to give them the understanding that their own generation would have been massively affected by the Great War in every way. The truth was that if you were a teenager in 1914, a third of your friends would have been a casualty of war within the next four years.

"Those who did survive would have been physically injured and mentally scarred.

"Working on this project, inspired by the lives and experiences of teenagers during the First World War, will hopefully make what happened more relevant to today's young people and help them to connect with them.

"Andy has already been engaging with the young people, making sure that they have a good background to help them with the project."

Work produced can include artwork, film or writing.

Photography, music, poetry and drama workshops will take place to help the young people.

Ribble Valley Mayor Joyce Holgate said: “The Battle of the Somme had a profound impact on young Lancashire people and the loss of life was devastating.

“My father Thomas Henry Lawless fought at and survived the Somme with the 1st East Lancashire Regiment aged 20 and his recollections of life in the trenches were graphic.

“The horrors he witnessed and endured were unspeakable and he went into battle not knowing that his younger brother, Francis, had been killed at Gallipoli aged just 18.

“The Lost Generation project will bring the horrors and futility of war into sharp relief in a meaningful manner for today’s young people and enhance their understanding how their generation would have been massively affected by the First World War.”

Figures from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show that 193 soldiers aged 21 years and younger, from Lancashire regiments of the time, were killed on 1 July 2016.

This project forms part of Lancashire County Council's and Ribble Valley Borough Council's Somme centenary commemorations, including a day-long vigil on July 1 at Clitheroe Castle’s Unknown Soldier.

At 7.30am, a whistle will blow marking the start of the vigil, just as it did 100 years ago when solders went ‘over the top'. But instead of going into battle participants will stand on a plinth next to the Unknown Soldier for two minutes as a mark of respect.

At 7.30pm, the end of the vigil will be marked with a reading of Lancaster-born Laurence Binyon's poem 'For the Fallen' and the sounding of the Last Post by Clitheroe cornet player Alison Cowking.

For more information please phone 01200 424568 or email [email protected].

Alternatively, visit

Clitheroe Castle Museum is managed by Lancashire County Council's museum service, on behalf of Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Information about Andy Farr is available at

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