Commemorating the Unremembered of World War One's Labour Corps

Local visually impaired people wanted to do something to commemorate the ending of the First World War. When the opportunity to be part of the Unremembered wreath-making challenge arose we thought it was a great way of becoming involved.

SVI members start on the wreath

We ran a tactile arts workshop for visually impaired and learning disabled people to be part of a project to design a wreath. Our wreath commemorates all of the Labour Corps members who transported food, water, fuel, ammunition and weapons to the fighting soldiers. Without the Labour Corps bringing these vital supplies, the Army would have been unable to fight, defend or advance.

We made a wreath from yarn and other materials depicting the wheels of transport. Without wheels, the Labour Corps would not have been able to transport vital supplies from docks, railways and airfields to distribute to depots, storage points and the front line of the fighting. Most of the transportation would have involved vans, trucks and carts so the wheels on our wreath represent these vehicles.

Our wreath

It is important to remember this aspect of the Labour Corps work because it often placed the workers in great danger. This is because it involved transporting supplies to and from places which were high risk prime targets for enemy attack.

Our members really enjoyed the activity and intend to design another wreath to be used at the West Bromwich Remembrance Day event at the Town Hall.

The Unremembered project logo

Feedback from the Unremembered Project about our participation was very positive

Ruth said: "Thank you so much for all your hard work and thoughtfulness to create a wreath to remember the Labour Corps across the Commonwealth who served during the First World War. The Unremembered wreaths are a moving and beautiful tribute from the people of Britain today honouring the vital contributions of the labourers from across the Commonwealth in the First World War.

"We love the way you depicted wheels on your wreath to represent the transport the labour corps would have used to carry supplies through the war, and would have put themselves in danger by doing so. It seems like your group really engaged with the story of the labour corps through this project. We hope you have enjoyed this project, and that everyone who participated will be inspired to discover more about the Labour Corps for years to come."

The Unremembered project is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and and led by Big Ideas. Big Ideas have received a National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund to make the project UK-wide. This community engagement project is a campaign to raise awareness of the contribution of the Labour Corps as part of the World War One centenary which launched in 2017 and is continuing until Armistice 100.

Find out more about the Unremembered Project and Big Ideas

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