Matlock: Archives Aloud, Voices from the Front

Tales of enemy attacks, life in the trenches and thoughts of home, all featured as part of the Archives Aloud: Voices from the Front event held at Derbyshire Record Office on Thursday 7th August 2014.

This read aloud session featured original letters, diaries and poems written by those serving on the front line during the First World War, taken from record office collections. The audience were invited to join in reading aloud or could simply listen to these first-hand accounts from soldiers, field ambulance operatives and prisoners of war; those who survived and those who never returned home.  Often cheerful sometimes melancholy  but always moving, these documents provided a glimpse into life on the front line and into the lives of those loved ones left at home.    People were also encouraged to bring along their own family papers and share their stories.

Earlier in the year the Record Office had a free exhibition, ‘Sue’s Soldier’. This was the story of Rifleman George Henry Slater of Derby, the grandfather of Local Studies Librarian Sue Peach.  Sue told the story of her grandfather’s WWI experiences, through her family’s archive of memorabilia and memories.

From July to September the Record Office had a second free exhibition ‘The Last Summer’, offering a view of Derbyshire during the summer of 1914, displaying material from the Archives and Local Studies collections.