The City of Westminster Archives received £82,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project titled “Saving Samuel Godley”. The City Archives is leading this project in association with the National Army Museum, Cartoon Museum, Household Cavalry Museum, Lord’s Cricket Ground, and Digital Works.
This new project tells the story of Samuel Godley, a soldier in the Life Guards who fought at the Battle of Waterloo, and will culminate in the restoration of his fallen tombstone in the St John’s Wood Burial Ground. Thanks to National Lottery players, a series of creative workshops and visits to local museums with three local schools will explore Godley’s story and develop with the school children a narrative and representative artwork. These will be preserved on an information board to stand alongside the grave as a long-standing community learning resource. By raising to prominence the personal tale of a faceless soldier, whose story reflects the national story of Britain and has local significance for the City of Westminster as well, the project aims to foster pride in the local community.
Education sessions and community talks will also look at Samuel Godley’s story using satirical drawings and cartoons, exploring the way that the relationship of Britain with the continent was depicted in prints from the time of Napoleon to the present day and creating a space in which to engage with current issues surrounding Brexit and Britain’s ties to Europe.
Samuel Godley’s grave neighbours a local park, making it a perfect focal point for a wider project to engage the local community. In line with school activities and the visits to local museums, talks will be given at the Westminster Libraries and Archives and the existing St John’s Wood Memories website will be refurbished and updated to include the educational resources and learning activities produced over the next 18 months.
The project has received the support of the Regent’s Park ward Councillors.Cllr Robert Rigby said: ‘We are pleased to be supporting in some small measure from our local ward budget, to what is after all, a fantastic local community initiative which will undoubtedly help to raise the awareness of a unique and momentous time in our British history’.
Commenting on these contributions, the Archive Manager, Adrian Autton, said: “We are delighted to receive this Heritage Lottery Fund award which will enable us to open up the life of Samuel Godley to a new generation through an exciting programme of engagement activities. We are very thankful to the Regent’s Park ward for their financial support, which unlocked access to this grant and made the progress of this project possible”.
Stuart Hobley, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “It’s great that, thanks to National Lottery players, we can support City of Westminster Archives to shine a light on the story of Samuel Godley, providing a personal perspective to one of the most renowned battles in history. Following on from last year’s commemorations, this project will engage people in their local heritage through creative activities, as well as providing a wider picture of life in the UK during and after Waterloo.”
About Westminster City Archives
The City of Westminster Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible material relating to the history of Westminster. The archive services at Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea now collaborate as a locally commissioned service within tri-borough libraries and archives.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery
For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Peter Daniel at Westminster City Archives on 020 7641 5182
Michelle Cook at Westminster City Archives on 020 7641 5180
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org