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University of Kent launches 'Gateways to the First World War' and want to hear from you

'Gateways to the First World War', is one of five Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded centres designed to enhance public engagement to mark the centenary of the conflict. Gateways is based at the University of Kent and brings together a team of researchers from the Universities of Portsmouth, Brighton, Greenwich, Leeds and Queen Mary, London.

Aims of the project

One of the key aims of the Gateways project is to encourage academics and the wider public to work together to discover connections between the local and the global during the First World War. As Gateways’ Director Professor Mark Connelly stated, the conflict was, for Kent and the South East in particular, a ‘global event with global repercussions’ which took place ‘on the doorstep’.

The Gateways team is now looking forward to developing its work with local groups and organisations on a range of First World War projects across the UK. The Centre aims to encourage and support public interest in the conflict through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, providing access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support. 

How to get involved

If you are a group or organisation developing a First World War project then the Gateways team would like to hear from you. They will be running regular events to provide information, support and publicity to First World War commemorative activities.

Gateways can help you explore the following areas:

  • Memorials, commemoration and memory
  • Life on the Home and Fighting Fronts
  • The medical history of the First World War
  • Wartime propaganda and popular culture
  • Maritime and naval history
  • Operational and military history

Gateways will be running a number of events relating to the First World War, including talks, open days and study days; please keep an eye on their events page for details.

Get in touch

Visit the Gateways website at

The Gateways team can be contacted on and via Twitter and Facebook.

Funding & Support

Gateways does not have budget for funding projects directly, but it is working very closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund which is very keen to see its 'First World War: then and now' scheme used to support community projects and collaborative activities between institutions and community groups. 

Gateways does have budget for open days, study days and the like and so is very interested to hear from any institution wishing to host such activities in order to explore the potential for collaborative events of this nature. It should be noted that this budget does not cover individual time costs, but is to support elements such as travel, hospitality and publicity costs.

Forthcoming events include

  • 19th July 2014 – 25th January 2015 – ‘Lest We Forget’, an exhibition in conjunction with Portsmouth City Council
  • 13th September 2014 – A Family History Day at Brighton Museum in conjunction with Brighton Museums and Pavilion
  • 28th September 2014 – Gateways to the First World War Public Open Day, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich 
  • 12th December 2014 – ‘Representations of the Christmas Truce’, a one day symposium at the University of Kent

More details of these and many other projects can be found on the Gateways website at, or take a look at the Gateways booklet below:

Gateways_Booklet_Exploring the History of the First World War

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