Red Poppies and White Butterflies
To commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One and funded by the Hertiage Lottery Fund, we've been working with community groups, local schools, visitors and volunteers to discover the small stories of the Great War. We've been staggered by the enthusiasm and interest shown in our project and overwhelmed by the stories shared. Inspired by such stories, next year we will be holding a series of exciting and innovative WW1 themed events and workshops. There will be lots of opportunities to join in, share your own stories and learn more about life at Nostell during WW1.
Red Poppies and White Butterflies
The inspiration for the title of our project came from this remarkable description of the battlefields after the war.
'Yesterday I visited the battlefield of last year. The place was scarcely recognisable. Instead of a wilderness of ground torn up by shell, the ground was a garden of wild flowers and tall grasses. Most remarkable of all was the appearance of many thousands of white butterflies which fluttered around. It was as if the souls of the dead soldiers had come to haunt the spot where so many fell. It was eerie to see them. And the silence! It was so still that I could almost hear the beat of the butterflies’ wings.'
Unnamed British officer in 1919
Lost voices of WW1
Listen to voices from Nostell's World War One past brought to life by actors from Yew Tree Youth Theatre. Hear the voices of Rowland and Charles Winn as they struggle with life on the front lines, or that of their sister Edith and her desperate attempt to assure her father that she had made a suitable match in Guy Westmacott. Also that of army chaplain G.M Ambrose who had the sad duty of informing John Turton's family that he had succumbed to gas poisoning.
As part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project 'Red Poppies and White Butterflies' we have been working closely with the local community. Through events, workshops and family history days we have been able to gathered a remarkable community archive. Visit our Community Work page to find out more.
Discover what happened to the people who lived and worked around Nostell Priory during WW1. From soldiers to miners, mothers to munition workers. These never before told stories, shared with us by visitors and members of the local community, offer a vivid picture of the profound impact war had on local lives.
Duty Calls: The Country House at War
Red Poppies and White Butterflies at Nostell Priory is part of the Duty Calls project organised by the Yorkshire Country House Partnership. Duty Calls looks at the impact of various conflicts on nine of Yorkshire’s major country houses. It examines the experiences of their occupants and wider communities.
Nostell Priory during the Great War
Discover the Winn family's WW1 story. A time of heartbreak, heroism and scandal.
Find out how WW1 impacted on the lives of Nostell's people.
Listen to the voices of Nostell's WW1 past here.
Find out how Red Poppies and White Butterflies has been working with the community.
A lifetime trying to forget
Remembering Claud Harold Hill of the East Yorkshire Regiment 1885-1975. A life time trying to forget the atrocities.
Rest in Peace
In memory of my Grandfather Jack Hall. He was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1915, aged 24 years. My mother was only 3 years old. Rest in peace.
Loved and missed
In memory of my great grandad who I never met, who fought and fell in the Great War. Rest in peace and know that you were loved and missed.
A medical orderly
Arthur Hall born 1877 at Darfield, S. Yorks, was a medical orderly during WW1. Received injuries which necessitated the amputation of his leg and an artificial limb. P.J.
Only there a month
In memory of Thomas Bowery who died in action at Ypres on 13/06/1915 aged 21. He had only been there a month before he was killed.
Two years in a P.O.W camp
My Grandfather, Benjamin Stark, Corporal in the West Yorkshire Brigade. Captured and spent 2 years in a P.O.W. camp.
Remembered with honour
Remembered with honour Alfred G. Bradshaw who served in the West Surrey Regiment and died in service in Alexandria, Egypt on 12th September 1915. Now resting in Alexandria military memorial cemetery Egypt. Our Great Uncle.
Died at just 18
In memory of my Uncle Wilfred, Private Wilfred Bellamy 59512, Northumberland Fusiliers, who died Tuesday 16th April 1918, aged 18.
Even with just a small amount of information you can begin the process of finding out more about your own WW1 ancestor. Just a name can be enough to get you started. Look out for our drop-in days and events and let us help you to discover your own WW1 stories