Walk, sit, drift and meander from the Harris to the Cenotaph to experience this new sonic art work. Take part by collecting headphones from the Harris Library.

Homing is based on the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of World War 1, from the archives of Lancashire Infantry Museum. Follow @homingpreston for daily quotes from the soldiers’ writings.

The letters demonstrate the attempts of soldiers and their loved ones to keep in touch despite the war. The distance was not only physical; the longer the war continued, the greater the distance in life experience between soldiers and those at home. Each letter represents an attempt to bridge that gap and, as much as is said, more is left unsaid or is unsayable.

Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home.

The experience begins at at the Harris’ Roll of Honour and moves out onto Preston’s Flag Market and the Cenotaph.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beyond the War Memorial

Beyond the War Memorial:

Life, Work and Study in Preston during the First World War



The Preston Remembers project, with its teams of volunteers, have made a huge contribution to our understanding of Preston’s war memorials and the lives and service of some of the people who are recorded on them. We now want to look for some different stories of the First World War and how it affected those who lived, worked and studied in the town.

A collaborative project between Preston Remembers and UCLan historians is now focussing on the people who attended the Harris Institute, the main provider of higher and technical education in Preston and district, and forerunner of the university. These students lived in the same streets, sometimes came from the same families, as the fallen, yet their experiences of the war are likely to have been quite different.

The UCLan archives hold a splendid resource, the Harris Institute Class Registers, which provide details of the names, ages, addresses and occupations of the students who attended, as well as the courses studied. This information for the war years has now been transcribed into a database that can be researched by volunteers. The main focus of the project will be to research this database, to understand better the changes to education as it was affected by the war, and to find out more about the people who attended.

Those who have previously worked on the memorials may find evidence of brothers, sons and increasingly sisters and daughters of those who fought and died. Many students may also have served and come home again. New researchers may discover an aspect of the war not usually represented in the centenary commemorations.

We hope that the project can reveal evidence of the impact of the war on education, work, service and opportunity. Were there new opportunities for study? Who took advantage of the changing situation? How did they use the new education acquired? We also hope that new stories and perspectives of the town at war can complement that discovered by the memorial research.

Over the coming months, there will be a series of study sessions to introduce volunteers to this source. Local and family history research can then help to fill in some of backstories of the students. As novel or interesting results and case studies come to light, these will be posted on the website. A showcase event will be held in the Autumn to highlight some of the key findings

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Oliver Wilkinson on:


The project is funded through the University of Hertfordshire First World War Engagement Centre:

Thursday, July 7, 2016