Chatsworth: Legacies of War

In October 2014 the Devonshire Educational Trust received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £9,800 to develop an outreach programme for secondary schools to explore the impact that World War I had on the Chatsworth estate.  The Legacies of War project used research from the Devonshire Collection and archives, uncovering little known stories such as that of the Belgian family of refugees who lived at Chatsworth during the war; Lady Maud, who was very involved in welfare of the people on the estate and the convalescent officers who stayed on the estate at the suggestion of Duchess Evelyn who wrote to her husband in 1915 stating that ‘the house is being rather wasted and our menservants really have very little to do’.

The Legacies of War outreach programme was designed for Year 7 – 9 pupils producing a resource pack for schools which included some never seen before photographs of soldiers in Egypt, Palestine and Italy – created from the Chatsworth archives.

The Legacies of War educational programme was launched at Chatsworth in April 2015, on the eve of the centenary of Gallipoli. Children from Pilsley and Curbar primary schools visited the estate to hear the story of Eddy Hartington, the future 10th Duke, who fought in Gallipoli as part of the Derbyshire Yeomanry and wrote many letters home to his family describing the conditions. They also took part in activities to learn about the estate workers, such as gardener Sydney John Chandler, who enlisted in Sheffield in 1915 and became a Lance Corporal, and took part in the attack on Turkish trenches. On 19 August, he was ordered to attack an entrenched position 700 yards in front of their lines. He died the same day, and his body was never recovered.