Beth McGhee – Policy Development Intern

I was a late addition to the project team, joining in November 2015, 18 months after the website launched. 

I studied History at the University of Sussex, so I was really excited when I found out that part of my new role would be working on a project to commemorate WW1. WW1 was, however, one area of history that I had never really studied. Rather coincidentally the only lecture I ever attended about WW1 at University was given by Dr Chris Kempshall on the way European states have commemorated WW1 since it ended.

I studied a lot of ‘intellectual history’ at University, a very broad and different sort of history to the grass roots history explored and created on this site. For this reason I have found this project fascinating. When I started I was impressed by the level of community involvement that the site had generated and the number of people who had got involved to share their own and their families’ stories.

Joining the team late I had the fortune of reading through the treasure trove of stories and sources collected so far, and I’ve loved reading about the people that aren’t written about in history books, but who played a vital role in our local and national history and are just as worthy of commemoration.

One of my first tasks when I joined the team was to write the story on homosexuality during WW1. Not only did I enjoy researching history again, I really appreciated the opportunity to research a part of our nation’s and counties’ history that so many of us know so little about. I hope to make more contributions to the site in the future and I look forward to reading all the fascinating stories about East Sussex in WW1 that I know are out there and are just waiting to be added to our wonderful existing collection.