A GROUP set up to mark the centenary of World War I has been given a huge boost after being awarded over £30,000 in lottery funding.

The Marlow Remembers World War One association received has been given £32,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for its four-year effort to commemorate the conflict.

The volunteer led project - focussing on raising awareness of the impact of the war on the town and its residents - will research the lives of the 800 Marlow men who fought in the war, during which 200 died.

Andy Ford, chairman, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are looking forward to engaging the local community in the research and the project more generally.

“I’m most looking forward to researching the impact of the war on the women and families who stayed behind in Marlow - this will be a new angle on the war, one which has not been researched before.

"To make sure we involve as many different sections of the community as possible in the project we will work with groups in different ways and respond to their needs."

Research will also be conducted on the impact on women and the families of Marlow with a further emphasis on businesses like the Wethered Brewery, which became a munitions factory for the duration of the war.

Engaging all sections of the community, part of the research will look at local sports and societies in the war. 

And the association is presenting talks and workshops that will encourage people to share their own stories and family histories.

The research will be displayed in the town’s museum, changing every three months over the four years, after which the displays will be moved to new venues, including schools and local employers.

Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, added: "The effects reached many different aspects of family and community life and we’re pleased to support Marlow Remembers as they explore and share these stories and create a lasting memory of their community during the conflict."

Projects that the group is supporting over the next 12 months include:

- Marlow’s Heritage Day on 13 September – members will display their research and show visitors their methods in the hope this will encourage people to get involved in their work  

- A talk organised by Archaeology in Marlow on September 18 concerning the practice trenches in Marlow and Berkhamsted

- A Remembrance weekend at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in November.

- Interpretation visits to the local training trenches in the summer of 1915 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of their creation

- Support to the Council for a British Archaeology initiative to identify and record heritage assets associated with the war, such as local hospitals