A MUSEUM has been awarded a grant that will allow it to uncover a century of history in East Dorset.

The Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne has received £56,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to complete project The One Hundred Year Heritage of the First World War for Wimborne and East Dorset.

The initiative, which will enable members of the public to research the effects of the war in the area, will begin with two ‘we want your stories’ days on August 23 and 25 between 10.30am and 3pm.

Admission to the museum will be free for anyone attending the event.

David Morgan, chairman of the Priest’s House Museum Trust, said: “This project will help to mark the centenary of the First World War and remember the extraordinary sacrifices made overseas and at home by the people of East Dorset. “With the help of the local community we aim to record new stories to add to existing research, and make both accessible through a series of activities encouraging all to participate in. We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this possible.”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists 254 men who died of wounds or were killed in action whose next of kin were in East Dorset.

Project organisers also want to find out more about other casualties of the war, such as those buried with no known grave or commemorated elsewhere but who had family in the area.

The initiative also aims to research the roles played in the war by women and children.

Photographs, letters, diaries, postcards, medals and other links to the war made available to project researchers will be documented, ensuring that all information can be preserved for future generations.

Nerys Watts, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Through our grants programmes, we are enabling more communities like those involved in Wimborne and East Dorset to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local people broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”