Hertfordshire and the Great War

Events at Hertfordshire Archives and Libraries

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies  and Libraries across the county are organising a wide-ranging programme of events and activities contributing to WW1 commemoration activity. 

Saturday 13th Sep: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies 10 – 16.00: Study Day: When the men marched away £10

How were the people of Hertfordshire affected by the First World War? This study day explores life on the home front in our county. During the day there will be a programme of lectures, mini tutorials and special events.  Topics include conscientious objectors, poetry and animals, £10.00, please book in advance.

Monday 22nd Sept.: Royston Library 7.30pm: Spies of World War 1: Under cover for King and Kaiser: James Morton Tickets £5.00/ Concessions £2.50

Thursday 25th Sept.: St Albans Library 7.15pm: Finding the Moon Field: Love, War and No Man’s Land: Judith Allnatt talks about her latest novel. Tickets £5.00/ Concessions £2.50

Thursday 9th October: Stevenage Library 7.15pm: The origins of WW1: Dennis O’Shea gives an illustrated talk on the beginning of World War 1. Tickets £5.00/ Concessions £2.50

Tuesday 14th October: Watford Library 7.15pm: Catherine Hall: Talking about her latest novel The Repercussions. Tickets £5.00/ Concessions £2.50

Tuesday 28th October: North Watford Library 1.30- 4.00pm: Children’s craft event to create a remembrance display using recycled materials from WRAP (Watford Recycling Art Project). Free event

Saturday 8th November: Welwyn Garden City Library: World War 1 displays and online family history sessions. Free event

Thursday 13th November: North Watford Library: World War 1 Commemorative event to include talk by Keith Collman on his book Great War Portraits and online family history sessions. Free event but please book a place.

There will also be displays in many libraries. We also have a WW1 Commemorative Blanket knitted by a Knit & Natter group at Chorleywood Library which will be used for displays.  

Tickets for events can be booked at the venue or by telephone on 0300 123 4049


The exhibitions are free to view in the foyer at Hertfordshire Archives during our normal opening hours.

1 July – 30 August: WW1 recruitment and conscription

4 September – 31 October: Zeppelin raids

4 November – 28 November: VC winners

On the Beat

The aims of the On the Beat project are to conserve a nationally important set of police records from the World War I period and make them available to the public through an online archive. Fascinating stories are emerging as the records are investigated and the public come forward with their recollections of Hertfordshire policing at www.hertspastpolicing.org.uk

Exhibition at Bishops Stortford Museum

Stories from the police archive will be brought to life in graphic novel format in this major exhibition to mark the centenary of the Great War.

Exhibition opens Monday 4 August

Lunch and Listen sessions at HALS, selected Mondays, 12.30 – 13.15, FREE 

Bring your lunch to munch if you wish whilst listening to these lectures.  

15 September: Is there really a war on?

13 October: A policeman’s war

10 Nov: Memories of the beat


Tours at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies 

We are very happy to arrange bespoke behind-the-scenes tours with a Great War theme for local societies and groups. Please contact us  via hertsdirect@hertfordshire.gov.uk for details.

Herts Memories Community Archives

Help record Hertfordshire’s World War I experience and history through Herts Memories online community archives where you can contribute articles, photographs and comments. Look out for letters and diaries from the First World War which will be published throughout the commemoration period to coincide with the 100th anniversary of each document. You will be able to read letters home from the Martin Leake brothers, one of whom served as a doctor in the ambulance corps and the other was in the navy.

Herts Names Online

Information is being added to this online index resource to help with your World War 1 research. This first tranche of these will include details from the Absent voters lists. Started in 1918, these record details of men in the army. Volunteers have been indexing the names and these will be added to Hertfordshire Names Online in July 2014 to tie in with the centenary of the First World War.

Hertfordshire Museums

Many museums in Hertfordshire have planned exhibitions and events to commemorate the Great War.  Topics covered by the events and exhibitions that are planned are varied and include an exhibition at St Albans museum called Keeping the Home Fires Burning and focuses on life in St Albans and their twin town in Germany during the First World War whilst the exhibition at British Schools Museum in Hitchin has focussed on the 56 boys who attended the school and made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.  

In developing events museums have worked with a wide range of community partners and funders including HLF; Western Front Association and Herts at War.  Further information can be found on individual museum websites – links on www.hertfordshiremuseums.org.uk

Herts for Heroes

Hertfordshire County Council is supporting a number of events designed to remember those who were affected by the First World War in this, the centenary of the start of the War. These include working with the government and our districts to honour Victoria Cross recipients with commemorative paving stones, planting Flanders poppies to support the Royal British Legion’s campaign, and taking part in LIGHTS OUT, a national invitation to everyone to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4th August, leaving on a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection. More information is available on www.hertfordshireheroes.org.

This page was added on 24/07/2014.

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