Children are getting hands on with history through a series of new workshops that takes the story of the Durham Light Infantry into schools.
The DLI Collection consists of almost 15,000 items, including over 4,000 medals, 1,100 uniform related items, 2,600 examples of weapons and ammunition, more than 400 pieces of equipment, and over 400 relics, as well as extensive records and documents.
The vast majority of it has never been seen by the public, but through Durham County Council’s culture service many of the items can be taken into schools for interactive lessons and assemblies.
Cllr Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, arts and culture, said: “As part of our efforts to bring the DLI story to the wide audience it deserves we have made a commitment to fund education officers so that the history and heroism of the regiment can be taken into schools.
“It is great to see children having the opportunity to get hands on with our heritage, and I hope many teachers will take the chance to work with our team to help teach young people about the First and Second World Wars.”
A number of different workshops are currently available – including ones titled Durhams’ Duties, Art and Poetry in the First World War, Propaganda and Real stories, Real Lives.
Year five and year six pupils from Neville’s Cross Primary School visited the North East Religious Learning Resource Centre in Durham for the first of those sessions, which explores the impact of the First World War on families and communities through the experiences of six of the county’s people.
Learning support officer Carolyn Waterworth said: “The Durhams’ Duties workshop was a great opportunity for the children to discover how the wars had an effect on the people of the North East, with the chance to handle genuine historical artefacts, and learn through discussion and role play.”
Other sessions are also available, for community groups as well as schools in the region, with the council able to offer bespoke classes and assemblies, half day and full day workshops.
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