Friday, 5 February 2016

Exploring some of the least well known stories from Manchester and the Great War

Now I have gone asking for help from the archivist of the Together Trust as I begin to write the new book on Manchester and the Great War.

The Trust was originally called the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges.

It was established in 1870 to help destitute children in the twin cities and expanded into almost all aspects of child welfare, providing homes and training for young people along with actively campaigning against the exploitation of children.

I first came across it when I was researching the role of charities in the 19th century and since then have regularly drawn on the assistance of the archivist who maintains an excellent blog which highlights the history and the continuing work of the Together Trust.*

During the Great War many of those it helped volunteered and some of their stories have regularly appeared on the  blog.

But what I had not fully appreciated was the pressure the War put on those voluntary contributions that the charity needed to do its work.

As the archivist of the trust points out in the recent blog post, “the outbreak of the First World War however, saw the charity buffeted on many sides. 

Fighting for donations against the various War funds that were set up, it saw its financial income cut drastically; an increased number of children needing aid and those boys previously cared for head across the seas, some never to return. 

Despite heavy debt it spent the next four years fighting to continue to provide for those children in Manchester left desolate by the War..”**

So there is a story here which as far as I know has not  been addressed in books on Manchester and the Great War.

All of which has taken me back to the archives and Liz Sykes the archivist who has kindly agreed to help.

Location; Manchester.

Picture; courtesy of the Together Trust,

*Getting down and dusty,

** Carrying on for Children’ from the blog, Getting down and dusty,

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