100 years on, We Were There Too remembers the sacrifices British Jews made in the First World War.
A digital archive remembering the lives and contributions made by Jewish men, women and families during the war effort has been launched in Manchester and Liverpool. The project, entitled We Were There Too, was introduced in London in 2016 and has since been extended into the North West thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
King David High School in Manchester and Princess Road Synagogue in Liverpool hosted ceremonies attended by The Mayor of Bury, civic, military and religious leaders and members of the local communities.
Alan Fell, the senior consultant for the project, introduced the digital platform explaining how it will ensure that the stories of the region’s serving Jews are preserved in history for future generations: “Volunteers from Jewish and non-Jewish schools, and informal education groups, will work with adult volunteers to develop the digital project and collect the materials that will be housed on the site. The findings will be interpreted imaginatively to attract, inform and educate visitors about the roles and sacrifices of British Jews.”
A series of readings by young people and members of the community were followed by a moving act of remembrance lead by reserve army chaplain, Rabbi Ariel Abel. We Were There Too aims to provide an insight into Jewish life in Britain in the early 20th century and give visitors easy access to a number of diverse research sources brought together for the first time. As the site develops, more collections of rare material will be added, further enriching the opportunity to explore the period.
“We were fascinated by the number of artefacts that people brought along to the launches, and the stories they had to tell,” said Alan. “We are now asking people to volunteer to help us maintain this important and valuable asset. If you think you have a family member who lived in Britain during the war, or are interested to research a name in the British Jewry Book of Honour, on a synagogue memorial board or a gravestone, then we will help you to find out more about them and build a personal record.”
Further information is available by visiting Jewsfww.uk or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.