Kildwick School WW1 Study Day

At the end of February 2018, Kildwick School had a WW1 Study Day – and members of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers Project were invited to attend.

Graham, the project co-ordinator, gave a talk in assembly – explaining the project and giving the pupils an insight into what life was like during the war, both at home and at the front.

The pupils then spent the day participating in three activity areas: baking, weaving & knitting, and drawing.  Graham and Helen, the project’s administrator and former pupil of Kildwick School, helped out with the activities.

We will be publishing a slideshow of photographs taken during the whole day soon.  For now, here are a few of the highlights.


After hearing how WW1 food shortages meant that people had to innovate when making bread, the pupils turned their hands to traditional bread- and biscuit-making.  At the end of the day the produce was sold and the money raised added to the school’s book fund.


Making biscuits

Making biscuits

Weaving and knitting

At assembly the children heard how many of the men who fought in WW1 worked in local mills.  They also learned how pupils at the school during the war had taken up knitting to make socks and scarves for the men at the front.

Studying weaving techniques

Studying weaving techniques

Helen Moran from the project helped with the knitting

Helen helped with the knitting

Artwork — Portraits, maps and airships

The project has collected photographs of a number of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers.  The pupils used these to create some portraits of their own.

Drawing portraits

Drawing a portrait

The Farnhill WW1 Volunteers came from all parts of the village.  This was used as the starting point for investigating how maps of the area have changed over time.

Learning about maps

Learning about maps

The pupils heard how, in 1918, a pair of British Naval airships passed over the school.  They decided to find out more about airships and do some drawings.

Drawing airships

Drawing airships

End-of-day Assembly

Graham & Helen with two pupils who are related to Farnhill WW1 Volunteers

Graham & Helen with two pupils who are related to Farnhill WW1 Volunteers

Pupils displaying work done during the day

Pupils displaying work done during the day

More photographs from the Kildwick School WW1 Study Day will be published as a slideshow soon.

Our Year 1 Report

Our report on the first year of our project has been sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We are doing wonderfully well.  Here are just some of the highlights:

  • We have established good relations with the local press and have received excellent coverage.
  • We have had good attendance at our events and received positive feedback from people.
  • We have had a good level of participation in the project, and in the first year participants put in 72% of the total hours anticipated for the entire 2-years.
  • Our research findings have far exceeded what we originally expected to achieve.  The results of making contact with relatives have been particularly gratifying.
  • Our project website is getting “hits” from around the world and is proving to be robust and easy to maintain.
  • We have either achieved or exceeded all the targets we set for the project in Year 1 and we are well on target to achieve those we set for Year 2.

In addition to all this we are underspending on the project budget.

A proposal has been put forward to the HLF for a way in which an additional project goal might be achieved by re-targetting this underspend.  The HLF have already given their agreement in principle for this extra piece of work, and we hope to be able to bring you more news just as soon as they agree the details.

Click to view the full Year 1 Report, in PDF format.

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Re-purposing a WW1 notebook

John William Dawson served in the Royal Field Artillery during WW1 and kept a signals training notebook. After the war his wife Annie put the book to a different use, using the blank pages to record recipes and household hints, starting at the back with the pages turned upside down.

A slideshow has been created showing both uses of the notebook.

Slideshow – John William Dawson’s notebook



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Literature, learning and leisure – 1914 to 1918

In a second article for the project lookng at life at home during WW1, Isobel Stirk examines what both adults and children were reading, how they were spending their leisure time, and what children were being taught about the war at school.

Article – Literature, learning and leisure – 1914 to 1918



100 Years Ago in Farnhill & Kildwick

The Farnhill & Kildwick Local History Group maintains a month-by-month diary of events in the two villages.

The diary begins in May 1914 and provides information not just about the men that went off to fight in WW1, but also how the impact of the war affected the village.

You can view the diary at:

John Spencer Whitham’s motto for 1918

John Spencer Whitham, of Bucklar Hill, served as a stretcher-bearer in WW1 with the Duke of Welington’s (West Riding) Regiment. He survived the war and when he died, in 1950, this motto was found tucked away inside his bible. As we approach the start of 2018, with the centenary of the end of WW1 coming in November, it is a reminder of the state of mind of Farnhillers 100 years ago.

J.S. Whitham's 1918 motto

J.S. Whitham’s 1918 motto


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George Holliday the Farnhill milkman – and his assistant

Either side of WW1, George Holliday – one of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers – was a milkman in Farnhill and regularly had to get milk up Starkey Lane, Mary Street, and the other steep, narrow streets of the village.  He came up with an elegant solution to the problem – he employed an assistant to do the heavy hauling for him …

Article – George Holliday the Farnhill milkman, and his assistant



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Where the Volunteers lived and went

A few months ago, in a news report we looked at whereabouts in the village the Farnhill Volunteers lived at the time they signed-up to serve in WW1.

We’ve now expanded this piece of work to examine what happened to the men after the war.  Did they leave the village and, if so, where did they go ?  What was the trigger for them moving away ?

Article – Where they lived and where they went



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Volunteers who died during WW1

Our project is researching the lives of all the 68 men from the village of Farnhill who volunteered to serve prior to the introduction of mandatory conscription early in 1916.  Of these men, just seven died while on active service during the war.

In this article, published 99 years after the signing of the Armistice, we use Regimental war diaries and contemporary newspaper reports to examine these men’s military careers and look at how and when they died.

Article – Volunteers who died on active service


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Kildwick Old Boys football team 1919-1920 season

A little while ago the project started to research the post-war 1919/1920 season Kildwick Old Boys football team, which contained a number of men who had just returned from the war.

This research is now complete and an article on the team, and its progress to the top of the championship table, is available for you to read.

Article – The return of football – 1919-1920 season