What an eventful few weeks it has been for the Great War Group! Since we had the idea for a brand new historical organisation encompassing coverage of all aspects of the First World War, the pair of us have been rushed off our feet in a whirlwind of support, passion and engagement from so many different people!
We just want to give you a run down of what we have been up to in the last few weeks to help us make the Great War Group the best that it can be. First of all, we were extremely thankful that so many people wanted to offer us with practical support by donating to our Crowdfunder campaign. This helped to get off the ground with certain practical elements that needed sorting immediately such as the first run of our journal and others highlighted further down. So, for that we simply must give all those who helped the biggest possible thank you!
Our first point of order was to get a team of knowledgeable and dedicated people to help us make those executive decisions, and what a team we’ve put together! We’ve got a great set of people, with a breadth of skills that will help us as we are going forward. We have people with backgrounds in finance, software, teaching and guiding, all with a passion for the First World War.
We have been hard at work cultivating an online community on our twitter and Facebook pages. We are keen to ensure that as the group continues to grow, that it is like a family. We want our members to feel comfortable with each other and welcomed into the group with open arms; we believe that this is key for our group going forward.
We have been super busy bringing together one of the key elements of the Great War Group – our journal, Salient Points. We want the group to be truly inclusive and want as many as different people to contribute to our journal about topics they are passionate about. We will have a running theme which will dictate the main elements of the journal but there will be plenty of opportunities for our members to submit articles they want to share. There is no requirement, just that you are interested in the First World War. In similar, very exciting news, we can announce that we will also be publishing a separate magazine for children aged 9-14 with specifically tailored content to encourage our younger members to continue to engage with history. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeve for this, and it is something that we are really proud of! Again, we’ve got another team of select people helping us with editing, writing, formatting etc, to make these magazines the best that we can possibly make them.
We are also developing our ideas for a conference, which we are planning to hold next March (COVID dependent obviously!) This will be an opportunity to meet up with other members of the group, to catch up and to listen to new developments for the group. We will also have the usual speaking element to the conference and will be inviting other organisations along to give a really broad outlook. We also intend for the conference to be a regular event, moving up and down the country to make it accessible to as many members as possible. In addition to this, we are also creating a series of talks with experts in their respective fields, which will have an even balance between information sharing and the opportunity to ask questions.
We are developing a database with museum contacts, who will help members with research queries etc. We are also developing photographic databases for use by members. These are both big projects, that will be developed and continue to grow over time, to make them the best for our members. These will run in parallel with our website which will have a dedicated members section and will had sharing functions, so that topics can be shared and discussed in all parts of the world.
As you can see, it has been a very busy and productive few weeks for the both of us. We hope that the Great War Group will continue to grow and flourish with the help of our members. Thank you all so much for your help, support and encouragement in our endeavour.
Alex & Beth, co-founders